FPI Overnight Brief: April 26, 2017

The Must-Reads

Middle East/North Africa

Iran
 
President Donald Trump told aides to toughen a State Department letter last week that declared Iran in compliance with a landmark nuclear deal, senior U.S. officials involved in a policy review said. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
A U.S. Navy destroyer had another close encounter with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard "fast attack craft" in the Persian Gulf Monday – Fox News
 
Iran's supreme leader has called on presidential candidates to focus on making the economy grow without help from the West, distancing himself from President Hassan Rohani's policy of promoting growth through foreign trade and investment. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
The influential conservative clergy has long advised women to stay at home as housewives and mothers. But with polling day less than a month away, Mr Raisi’s gentle push back against tradition was an attempt to reach out to voters beyond the hardliners’ core support base — the poorer and more pious sections of society. Some observers interpreted the move as Mr Raisi acknowledging the hurdles he faces as he attempts to unseat Hassan Rouhani, the centrist president, at the May 19 vote. – Financial Times
 
Syria
 
A Marine Corps-controlled howitzer position in northern Syria supporting the assault on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa is mobile, and has moved at least once since it was established, Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said. – Military.com
 
Russia could resume direct communication with the U.S. military about operations in Syria as long as both countries "continue the same fight  — and not a different one," Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak said Tuesday. – Medill News Service
 
French intelligence has concluded that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out a sarin nerve gas attack on April 4 in northern Syria and that Assad or members of his inner circle ordered the strike, a declassified report showed. - Reuters
 
Iraq
 
Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday in an unusually intense operation that presented a new complication for the United States’ military campaign against the Islamic State. – New York Times
 
Some businessmen in Mosul have begun rebuilding their shattered premises without waiting for financial support from the cash-strapped Iraqi government or for the final defeat of Islamic State in the city. - Reuters
 
North Africa
 
Libya is the main launching point for migrants streaming into Europe from across a broad swath of the globe, and whose numbers this year are again surging. Under the plan, Italy would train and equip Libyan guards to scour coasts and deserts to stop, push back and detain migrants before they reach the high seas. – Washington Post
 
All three experts who testified before the panel  — Michele Dunne, a longtime Middle East expert at the State Department now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Elliott Abrams, who served in the George W. Bush administration and is now at the Council on Foreign Relations; and Tom Malinowski, formerly Obama’s  assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights, and labor — painted the U.S.-Egypt relationship as a relic of a bygone era. All agreed that, given the poor human rights and economic conditions in Egypt at present, the relationship should be reconsidered. – Foreign Policy
 
It was a startling collision of religion and politics. Egypt’s president proposed a new law that would prevent Muslim men from ending their marriages simply by saying “divorce” three times. The country’s top institution of Islamic clerics, Al-Azhar, bluntly rejected the idea, saying Islam gives men that right and nothing can change that. – Associated Press
 
Editorial: Mr. Trump’s friendliness toward Mr. Sissi will pay off if he can persuade the general to adopt desperately needed reforms in Egypt, such as rational counterinsurgency tactics in the Sinai, rather than mass repression, and the release from prison of secular opponents and Islamists who renounce violence. Scores of nongovernment groups like that founded by Ms. Hijazi remain under government attack. Mr. Trump was right to argue her case — but if Egypt is to get on the right track, he will need to push for more. – Washington Post
 
Yemen
 
United Nations and Russian officials warned on Tuesday against any attack by Saudi-led coalition forces on the Houthi-held Yemeni port of Hodeidah, the aid lifeline for a country where millions of people are in desperate need of food. - Reuters
 
Levant
 
It was hardly the first time a top-level meeting had been canceled over hard feelings. But when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called off a session with the German foreign minister here on Tuesday, it seemed a particularly sharp reflection of the tension within Israel, and with its allies, these days. – New York Times
 
Israel gave a one-year work visa to a Human Rights Watch researcher on Wednesday after initially denying him a permit and accusing the organization of engaging in "Palestinian propaganda", the group said. - Reuters
 
David Daoud and Yaya Fanusie write: Hezbollah’s recent fundraising efforts show the benefits of U.S. financial pressure on the group – pressure that policymakers should continue. Analysts should watch carefully, however, as Hezbollah’s shift to direct, online, and grassroots fundraising will require more creative strategies to interdict. – The Cipher Brief
 
Turkey
 
Turkish authorities on Wednesday detained more than 1,000 people suspected of backing a Turkish cleric blamed by the government for a failed military coup last summer. – Washington Post
 
The credibility of the judges who oversaw Turkey’s referendum last week is being called into question because most of them were hastily appointed when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purged the judiciary after last summer’s failed coup. – New York Times
 
Behind the scenes, many of the irregular ballots were retroactively stamped by local election officials, making it impossible to tell which had been suspect in the first place. Lawyers following the referendum and opposition politicians say the vote was so compromised it will be impossible to ever be sure of the result. Opposition parties claim that as many as 2.5 million ballots could be suspect. It is impossible to know on which side the disputed ballots were cast. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
A leading European human rights body on Tuesday put Turkey on a watchlist over the crackdown on dissent since last year's coup attempt, rights violations and concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan's increased grip on power. - Reuters

Asia

Afghanistan
 
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will soon make a recommendation to President Donald Trump for an updated strategy in Afghanistan that could include deploying more American troops there after visiting Monday with top leaders in the war-torn country. – Stars and Stripes
 
In the wake of a surprise attack that killed at least 160 Afghan soldiers last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis said “the fight is going to go on” against terrorism and not just in Afghanistan. – USNI News
 
The Taliban overran three security checkpoints in Afghanistan's northern Takhar province, killing eight policemen and cutting off a key road and two of the region's districts, an Afghan official said Tuesday. – Associated Press
 
Pakistan
 
Pakistan seeks a reset of its relationship with the U.S., a senior official said Tuesday ahead of talks with the Trump administration’s top security official. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
China has increased its economic sway in Pakistan during the past year, providing more than $1bn in loans to help its neighbour stave off a currency crisis. – Financial Times
 
Michael Mazza writes: The United States has long looked at Pakistan as an important partner in the Afghanistan war and with good reason. But Islamabad has also been a crucial partner in Beijing’s efforts to complicate India’s security environment and to project Chinese power into the Indian Ocean region. U.S. national interests suffer as a result. – The Hill
 
China
 
China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier slipped into the sea for the first time on Wednesday, after days of publicity celebrating the impending launch as a milestone in President Xi Jinping’s drive to extend China’s military reach far beyond its shores. – New York Times
 
An American businesswoman from Houston was sentenced to three and half years in prison in China on spying charges on Tuesday, over two years after Chinese security officers spirited her away and 20 or more years after the alleged espionage was said to have taken place, her lawyer said. – New York Times
 
China says its Silk Road initiative is helping create "a new era of globalization" open to all, according to a draft communique for a summit next month on the project, as Beijing burnishes its free trade credentials amid protectionist forces elsewhere. - Reuters
 
Korean Peninsula
 
The United States and South Korea began installing key elements of an advanced missile-defense system in a rural southern county on Wednesday, a day after North Korea held huge artillery drills to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of its military. – New York Times
 
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain suggested Tuesday that he’ll push the Trump administration to take a harder line toward China over North Korea’s nuclear provocations when senators head to the White House Wednesday for an unusual group briefing on Pyongyang’s activities. – Washington Times
 
In the last few years, national security analysts and senior defense officials have suggested that it may not be North Korea’s ballistic missiles or artillery that are used to launch a large-scale attack on South Korea or U.S. installations, but North Korean commandos potentially armed with biological weapons. – Washington Post’s Checkpoint
 
The White House will host the entire Senate on Wednesday for an extraordinary briefing on North Korea amid rising tensions with Pyongyang and growing questions about how the Trump administration intends to halt the regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. – Foreign Policy
 
Sen. Cory Gardner has been among the lawmakers calling on the Trump administration to prioritize addressing the threat of North Korea launching nuclear weapons, and the Colorado Republican said it is “refreshing” to see some action. – Roll Call
 
North Korea could have the capability to fire a missile at the United States by 2020, top Asia-Pacific experts told lawmakers Tuesday. – The Hill
 
The U.S. Navy flotilla sailing toward the Korean peninsula to deter Kim Jong Un’s regime lacks a key capability: It can’t shoot down ballistic missiles. - Bloomberg
 
A senior Republican senator says he emerged from a dinner meeting with Donald Trump confident the president will not allow North Korea to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States. – Associated Press
 
Analysis: As North Korea edges closer to being able to threaten the United States with a missile, a preemptive U.S. strike will become more thinkable. If it comes to war, it could be hell on Earth. Barring a fast surrender by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, even a purportedly limited, preemptive U.S. strike could lead to deaths in that region numbering as high as the hundreds of thousands, experts say. – Roll Call
 
Editorial: The way to avoid this dire prospect is for China to join the U.S. and its allies in a united effort to change the regime in the North to one that will give up its nuclear weapons. This needn’t mean unification with the South, and it could mean a government in Pyongyang that is still allied with China. But China needs to take action beyond its familiar plea for more negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. Toward that end, tougher sanctions are worth pursuing lest war becomes inevitable. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
John Bolton writes: Why, after this eight-year charade, anyone would believe North Korean “commitments” to renounce nuclear weapons is hard to understand. The real problem is that many otherwise sensible people are prepared to believe that agreements constitute reality, rather than actual behavior. Reporters and diplomats often say things like “the agreement ended [fill-in the blank]’s nuclear program.” Needless to say, no agreement does any such thing, only the verified conduct of the parties themselves. – Washington Post
 
East Asia
 
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Tuesday called for the Trump administration to launch a new U.S. military deterrence initiative in the Asia-Pacific region, similar to what is already being done in Europe, as a counterweight to China. – Washington Examiner
 
In contrast with his predecessors at PACOM, Harris has been a strong and provocative voice, regularly challenging China's actions in the region and pushing for ever-stronger U.S. moves there. When asked in 2013 what was the greatest threat to security in the region, then-PACOM Commander Adm. Samuel Locklear responded "climate change." But Harris has far more assertive in his views. – Defense News
 
Southeast Asia
 
Thousands of U.S. troops will head to the Philippines for next month’s Balikatan military exercise, in a sign that the dark clouds that hovered over the alliance last year may be clearing. – Stars and Stripes
 
Southeast Asian nations would adopt a softer than usual tone about South China Sea disputes at a leaders' summit on Saturday in Manila, and exclude references to militarization or island-building, according to a draft of the chairman's statement. - Reuters

Security

Defense
 
The future of President Trump's requested defense supplemental this year is "bright," but any new funding is likely to be less than the $30 billion the president wants, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Tuesday. – Washington Examiner
 
Last November, executives from America’s largest defense companies lauded the election of Donald Trump, whom they believed might help end the legislative caps on Pentagon spending. Five months later — nearly 100 days into Trump’s presidency — executives are tamping down those bullish military-spending expectations, and some are even re-upping the gloomy warnings of the final Obama years. – Defense One
 
The Pentagon’s contract management agency forecasts Lockheed Martin Corp. will deliver 57 of its F-35 jets this year, nine fewer than the company plans. - Bloomberg
 
The Navy would have to spend $102 billion annually build, operate and maintain a 355-ship fleet over the next 30 years, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office issued on Monday. – USNI News
 
The total acquisition cost of the U.S. Marine Corps’ new heavy lift helicopter has increased from $26.1 billion to $27.7 billion — a result of growing labor costs and the move of its production line, the service’s program manager said in an exclusive interview with Defense News. – Defense News
 
Weapons aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America destroyed a  remote-controlled drone during a live-fire exercise of a rolling airframe missile launcher to test the ship's defense capability, service officials said. – Scout Warrior
 
Interview: Bob Sheibley is at the helm of both efforts as acting Army project manager for Future Vertical Lift and the Improved Turbine Engine Program. Defense News recently spoke with Sheibley about the two efforts, and where they stand amid turbulent times of defense budget negotiations. Here are some edited excerpts. – Defense News
 
The War
 
Defense lawyers asked a Marine judge Tuesday to order the prosecution to find out if a man accused of running the al-Qaida army in Afghanistan will get out of Guantanamo if he’s acquitted or completes a war crimes sentence. – Stars and Stripes
 
Strategic Issues
 
The Pentagon is getting serious about gearing up for potential space combat. Breaking with a decadeslong policy that stopped short of publicly advocating putting arms in orbit, U.S. Defense Department leaders are calling for faster development of offensive weapons and combat tactics for space, initially to protect the biggest, most expensive U.S. spy satellites from potential attacks. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
The Air Force will test launch a nuclear-tip capable intercontinental ballistic missile from California on Wednesday, according to a new report. – The Hill
 
Cybersecurity
 
During her tenure as the CIA’s top lawyer, Caroline Krass dealt with investigations into the CIA’s enhanced interrogation programs and black sites, unrest in Ukraine and Crimea, the rise of ISIS, normalizing relations with Cuba, the Syrian refugee crisis, and Russian meddling. Now headed out the door, she says the most challenging threat the United States faces comes from cyberspace. – Foreign Policy’s The Cable
 
While a major focus in the latest influence operation involving the 2016 election, cyber is only one small part of information warfare and information operations, according to current and former officials. – Defense News
 
Foreign governments that rely on the services of private criminal hackers leave their operations vulnerable to being exposed and disrupted, creating something of a “silver lining” for U.S. law enforcement investigations of cyberattacks, a top Justice Department official said Monday – Associated Press
 
Interview: Defense News interviewed Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee Chair Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., who said his first priority for the new panel is simply getting a lay of the land. Beyond that beyond, he aims to press the administration to complete work on U.S. policy that would define an act of war in cyberspace. – Defense News

Russia/Europe

Ukraine
 
EU ambassadors have approved visa liberalization for Ukraine, a key step toward closer ties and visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainians. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
Russia
 
A website that has previously carried Al Qaeda messages on Tuesday issued a claim of responsibility for the recent subway bombing in St. Petersburg, Russia, publishing a statement from a previously unknown cell said to be working on behalf of the terrorist group. – New York Times
 
The European Union wants to expand its dialogue with Russia on key foreign policy issues, the first significant sign of a thaw in relations and a move that reflects growing concerns in Brussels about U.S. foreign policy. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s Human Rights Commissioner, Konstantin Dolgov, moved from his current post into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration. And who will replace Dolgov? That would be nobody. – Foreign Policy’s The Cable
 
Maxim Eristavi writes: The persecution of gay people in Chechnya is a wake-up call for the advocates of democracy and progress in Eastern Europe. Those who speak loftily of a “civilizational war” with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutish program of “traditional values” will have little credibility if they fail to observe core values of humanity and basic compassion. It is time for Eastern Europe to put itself on the right side of history. Silence can lead only to defeat. – Washington Post
 
Europe
 
Nine men were arrested on Tuesday in a series of early morning raids in and around Barcelona, Spain, in connection with the March 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels. – New York Times
 
Brussels is preparing to confront Hungary over a new education law that could force one of the country’s leading universities to close, marking the latest escalation of tension between the EU and Budapest. – Financial Times
 
British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party has increased its lead over the opposition Labour Party and now has 49 percent support ahead of a June 8 election, a lead equivalent to that held by Margaret Thatcher in 1983, Ipsos MORI said. - Reuters
 
Jakub Janda writes: On April 24, the European Values Think-Tank released a new major study examining how individual member states of the European Union perceive the threat coming from the Russian Federation. More than 450 policy documents, intelligence reports, and other sources were used to assess how Russia's aggressive behavior impacts the foreign and security policies of the twenty-eight EU countries, from Estonia to Portugal. – Atlantic Council
 
France
 
After all but endorsing the far-right presidential candidate in France last week, President Trump has been conspicuously silent since his fellow populist Marine Le Pen finished second in the voting on Sunday and put herself within striking distance of the Élysée Palace. – New York Times
 
Political novice Emmanuel Macron is widely expected to win the French presidency on May 7, but he will need a big victory in yet another crucial round of elections to become more than a mere figurehead. For Mr. Macron to be able to implement his policies if he defeats far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the runoff, his upstart movement will have to secure a parliamentary majority in June. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
French police are questioning 10 people on suspicion of supplying weapons to an Islamist militant who attacked a Jewish deli in Paris in January 2015, killing four Jewish hostages, police sources said on Wednesday. - Reuters
 
NATO
 
Stephen Blank writes: We allowed this situation to develop by ignoring countless arms control violations, and these agreements constituted the foundation of European security after 1991. The failure to rebuild an effective and durable structure of European security that includes Ukraine, other pro-Western post-Soviet states, NATO, and EU members will only intensify and accelerate the challenges we face. – Atlantic Council

Americas

United States of America
 
American officials are widening their investigation into whether Huawei broke American trade controls on Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, according to an administrative subpoena sent to Huawei and reviewed by The New York Times. The previously unreported subpoena was issued in December by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees compliance with a number of American sanctions programs. – New York Times
 
Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, may have violated federal law by not fully disclosing his business dealings with Russia when seeking a security clearance to work in the White House, top House oversight lawmakers from both parties asserted on Tuesday. – New York Times
 
The Trump administration’s tough new approach to Canada on trade is helping crystallize support in the U.S. Congress for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and setting the groundwork for the increasingly complicated negotiations, current and former officials said. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
President Trump sent a powerful message to those who doubt his will to fight anti-Semitism — and to his own supporters in the white nationalist movement — during an annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday. – New York Times
 
An article about President Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club was not reviewed for ethics or conflict-of-interest issues before it was published this month on a government website, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Tuesday. – Washington Post
 
Former U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations on Tuesday urged Congress not to cut the organization’s funding, as President Donald Trump’s skinny budget proposes, warning that the U.S. could pay the price in the long run. - Politico
 
The Army's top personnel officer is on tap to be the next vice chief of staff, according to a nomination received Monday by the Senate. – Military Times
 
Two top Democrats are pushing President Trump to provide legal justification for this month’s missile strike on a Syrian airfield. – The Hill
 
Former U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power is writing a memoir about her transition from writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning condemnation of foreign policy to becoming a leading public advocate for the government. – Associated Press
 
Trump-Russia Connections
 
Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the infamous anti-Donald Trump dossier, acknowledges that a sensational charge his sources made about a tech company CEO and Democratic Party hacking is unverified. – Washington Times
 
The question of how Russia and other adversaries might use cybertools in the future to meddle in American politics is, of course, overshadowed for now by what U.S. intelligence agencies say was Moscow’s elaborate campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential race. – Roll Call
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to speed up its probe of Russia's meddling in the 2016 White House race amid reports of frustration about the pace of the investigation. – The Hill
 
The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said in an interview Tuesday that he always wants to move faster in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. But real progress is taking place, he said, including scrutiny of ties between Moscow and President Donald Trump’s aides. - Politico
 
Latin America
 
Argentina’s economy contracted 2.2% on the year in February, indicating that the country’s widely expected fiscal recovery may end up being slower than anticipated this year. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
 
So far, Cuba is weathering the storm as Venezuela’s economy craters and protesters fill its streets to denounce Cuba’s greatest socialist ally. – Associated Press
 
Two Venezuelan men died on Tuesday from gunshots at political demonstrations, bringing to 26 the number of fatalities around this month's protests against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. - Reuters
 
Venezuela warned on Tuesday it would leave the Organization of American States (OAS) if the regional body goes ahead with a possible Foreign Ministers meeting to debate the state of the crisis-stricken nation. - Reuters
 
Roger Noriega writes: It is clear that Maduro and his corrupt socialist regime are bound for destruction. The only question is whether others will stand by as he takes the rest of Venezuela down with him. – Washington Examiner

Africa

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson invited the chairperson of the African Union to Washington for a meeting, then backed out on him at the last minute, infuriating African diplomats, several sources tell Foreign Policy. – Foreign Policy
 
Two months after U.S. Africa Command sent a contingent of special operations forces for tactical training with African troops in areas threatened by Boko Haram militants, U.S. Army Africa is set to take training there to the operational level. – Stars and Stripes
 
West African regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday it was ready to impose targeted sanctions against those it deems responsible for blocking the implementation of a deal to resolve a political crisis in Guinea-Bissau. - Reuters
 
A Zambian court refused on Wednesday to throw out treason charges against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, a case that has stoked political tensions months after contested elections. - Reuters

Trump Administration

President Trump’s decision to launch cruise missiles at Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack was part of a new “Trump Doctrine” governing his foreign policy, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Tuesday. – The Hill
 
U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Robert Story Karem as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and Kari Bingen as principal deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence. – Defense News
 
President Trump tapped former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown on Tuesday to serve as ambassador to a second South Pacific country. – Washington Examiner
 
Army secretary nominee Mark Green is pushing back on critics who he says are “blatantly falsifying” his past statements. – The Hill
 
Josh Rogin reports: Nearly 100 days into his administration and amid a growing crisis with North Korea, President Trump has so far failed to install Asia policy officials in several key posts across the government, a situation experts say is hampering strategy development, slowing relationship-building with key allies and potentially dangerous if a conflict erupts. – Washington Post

David Ignatius writes: As President Trump nears the 100-day benchmark, it’s a good moment to examine the relationship that has evolved between the mercurial and inexperienced commander in chief and his unflappable defense secretary, Jim Mattis. – Washington Post
 
Joseph Nye writes: Fortunately, after 100 days, the military aspect looks more robust than Trump’s early rhetoric suggested. But the same cannot be said about the international economic system or the governance of global commons. If we want any hope of preserving American leadership, Trump will have to do a lot more learning in the months to come. – Washington Post

Eli Lake writes: Before Donald Trump won the election in November we were warned: He is a Russian stooge. He is a fascist. He will upend the protocols and traditions that make governing possible. This is not normal. Now that we are approaching the 100-day mark, it's worth noting that the president is defying the expectations of his resistance. And while there is plenty to oppose in Trump's young presidency, he is neither the Siberian Candidate nor the second coming of Mussolini. - Bloomberg View

Democracy and Human Rights

Trump has suggested that the United States and Russia are moral equals. He has said he might reinstitute torture as a counterterrorism tool and indicated that the slaughter of civilians by the Syrian regime was none of our business. But this month, as his presidency approaches its 100-day mark, Trump appears to have had at least a partial change of heart. – Washington Post
 
The press rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is warning that media freedom is increasingly threatened under authoritarian regimes as well as in countries regarded as models of democracy. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says new media technologies make censorship more difficult, but are also increasingly utilized by repressive governments as the number of journalists imprisoned and killed continues a recent upsurge. – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Ideas

Interview: In this interview with William McKenzie, editor of The Catalyst, and retired Army Colonel Miguel Howe, director of the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, Secretary Gates describes the threats he believes the nation and its military must prepare for next. - The Catalyst
 
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) writes: Two characteristics define the security environment facing the United States in the 21st century.  One is that we face a wider array of serious challenges than ever before.  The second is that the pace of change is accelerating.  This combination of many threats changing ever more rapidly tests our traditional notions of armed conflict, as well as the organizations and systems we have relied upon to defend the country for the past 70 years. – The Catalyst

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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