Foreign Policy

 

There’s plenty of evidence that Congress isn’t doing its job.  Instead of conducting responsible oversight of government spending, it has wasted nearly $7 million on a Benghazi investigation discredited as little more than a partisan sham.  The House has voted more than 40 times to repeal Obamacare, unsuccessfully, but refuses to schedule a vote on gun control.  The last three Congresses have been among the least productive in recent times, and a shrinking percentage of the laws passed can be deemed “significant.”  Capitol Hill has dithered on providing funds to address the Zika outbreak and has failed to authorize, expand or constrain the U.S. intervention in Syria. In spite of the growing partisan divide and shrinking appetite for compromise, there are three recent examples of successful cross-party cooperation in the foreign policy arena.  In February, the Electrify Africa Act – designed to promote first-time access to power services for at least 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020, building on an Obama Administration initiative – was passed by both houses and signed into law.  Last week, the House completed action on the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (FATAA), requiring public reporting and consistent evaluations of foreign assistance spending,…

Trump’s masterful move to shun the Fox’s broadcast of Thursday’s Republican debate grabbed headlines and sound bites. What are we political communicators to make of this? Trump is a tyrant and a showman, using his exceptional publicity skills to dominate the spotlight. This delights bad boys and girls everywhere. But was that his real goal? Or was he stupid like a fox (the animal, not the network) in giving the chattering classes a focus other than his bullying sound bites? Watching the Trump-less debate, we finally saw more substance than name calling. Then it became clear that Trump’s diva tantrum was NOT about grabbing the spotlight, but avoiding the substantive grilling Cruz, Rubio and others had prepared on his fuzzy governing details. We progressives may not agree with the conservative agenda. But the men left on the stage have serious governing proposals to implement that agenda. Without Trump, the debate allowed a closer view of real politicians’ proposals for fighting Islamic extremism, undermining LGBT rights and women’s access to healthcare, and ensuring Americans never lose the right to assault weapons, no matter how many school children are mowed down. The top issue, however, was immigration. None of the policies are…

Posted by Suzanne Turner in Campaigns, Foreign Policy Read More

Anyone of a certain age will remember the 1987 television commercial for Frusen Glädjé ice cream. A woman sits on the floor of her living room, having just finished an entire pint. When her husband walks in, she confesses, “I ate all the Frusen Glädjé.” She adds, with a smile: “And I’d do it again.” The narrator tells us to “enjoy the guilt.” Our nation’s response to the release of the executive summary of the Senate Select Committe on Intelligence’s report on torture follows pretty much the same script. Although it took too long to be released, was resisted too hard and remains too censored, we can be proud of a democratic process that has begun to open up this unflattering history for reflection and debate. Yet so far, neither Congress nor the administration has taken meaningful steps to punish those who acted wrongly, to make amends to those who were harmed or to close the loopholes that allowed these crimes to occur. In short, we’re not really sorry, and we would do it again. Click to read the rest of this article -Diana Ohlbaum, Principal at turner4D, is a contributor for The Hill. You can find her other publications for…

Posted by adminaj in Foreign Policy Read More

In a recent column for The Washington Post, Jackson Diehl excoriates the Obama foreign policy for its “sloppy thinking” that there is no military solution to the key international challenges facing our country. “Political and military solutions are not mutually exclusive but intertwined; political solutions are often dictated by military conditions,” Diehl argues. He goes on to suggest that what’s harming our national security is the failure to take aggressive enough military action in Syria and Ukraine. But who’s doing the sloppy thinking here? Where is the evidence that more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has brought us any closer to political solutions that can be sustained beyond the departure of U.S. forces? After spending over $1 trillion and deploying over 100,000 troops, are we any safer now? Click to read the rest of the article  -Diana Ohlbaum, Principal at turner4D, is a contributor for The Hill. You can find her other publications for The Hill in our blog  

Posted by adminaj in Foreign Policy, Uncategorized Read More