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Lindsey Graham: Wrong on Everything

TCF fellow Michael Cohen reminds us that there's potential for South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham to be a contender in the 2016 Republican presidential primary race. Although Senator Graham claims he is "more right than wrong," there's contention when it comes to his foreign policy predictions and decisions, many of which inspire fear in his constituents. Cohen points out the numerous faults of the Senator who regularly uses hyperbolic language and repeatedly dubs America “the good guys” in the global community.

Graham would likely defend his past statements by saying that Obama screwed up all the gains made in Iraq by withdrawing U.S. troops in 2011. It’s of course a regular GOP refrain. Yet for Graham, it’s an interesting position to take because under the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, Obama was mandated to end the U.S. troop presence if he could not get the Iraqis to agree to provide legal protections for U.S. soldiers. This is a subject that Graham likely knows something about, seeing as he is judge advocate general in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Indeed, if there is anyone in the Senate who should understand the need for clear legal protections when deploying U.S. troops overseas it would be Graham.

Check out Michael Cohen's full article.

Tags: south carolina, presidential race, lindsey graham, gop party, 2016 election

Foreign Policy Wins Obama Could Still Pull Off

Despite being called a "lame-duck" president for the remainder of his second term in office, President Obama has shown that he intends to throw some curveballs at Congress despite their clashing viewpoints on both foreign and domestic policy. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis suggests the daring president is capable of taking a stand on torture, reach a detente with North Korea, establish a deal-to-end-all-deals with Iran, and put some distance between the US and Israel.

Despite keeping his promises to end two wars and to reestablish America’s power to persuade, not just coerce, Obama has drawn some scorn as a foreign policy president. Poobahs across the spectrum from right to left have derided him for not having a policy (drifting on Syria, passively responding to the Arab Spring), for naively pursuing diplomacy (the reset with Russia, the pivot to Asia), for adopting his predecessor’s militarism (the surge in Afghanistan, the war on ISIS).

But, free from any future elections, the president may finally be at liberty to engineer bigger symbolic moves, like the recent rapprochement with Cuba. He can even try for politically unpopular policy realignments that would ultimately benefit his successor.

The full article was published in Boston Globe.

Tags: president obama, north korea, lame duck president, israel palestine peace, foreign policy, domestic policy

Corruption and Revolt

In this week’s New Yorker, TCF fellow Patrick Radden Keefe takes a look at corruption: all nations have it, but just when is it too much? 

Tags: karzai, foreign policy, corruption, afghanistan

Three Ways to Increase Gun Safety in the Home

January 5, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF fellow Michael Cohen brings to light the recent task-forces created by president Obama to combat ebola, ISIS and smoking. He then points out the particular lack thereof for a similar task-force on gun safety and prevention of accidents associated with gun mishandling. Cohen describes America's gun culture as "toxic" and provides some suggestions for reforming this issue.

We know that having a gun in one’s home doesn’t actually make that home safer. Instead it increases, significantly, the possibility that someone who resides there will die as the result of a firearm. So here’s a suggestion: Rather than spend billions more on combating terrorists that pose less of a threat to Americans than falling TVs, how about invest the money and attention to gun safety?

Cohen's full article can be read here.

Tags: reform, nra, gun safety, gun control

Media Overreach in Sony Hack

December 23, 2014 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

TCF fellow Michael Cohen goes over the different parties that might be to blame for the recent Sony Entertainment hack, calling the hack a severe attack on free expression. Cohen points out that Sony is mostly considered the victim in this situation with media companies to blame for the gossip they glean from hacks and the American public for being "a pathetically skittish lot" when the word terrorism is mentioned.

Media outlets, from Gawker to the New York Times, have gorged themselves on titillating gossip about Hollywood executives and movie stars gleaned from the hack. The majority of stories were far more of prurient interest than they were of public interest — with the latter generally used to justify the former. But hey, clicks are clicks.

Read Cohen's full piece from The New York Times.

Tags: terrorism, north korea, media, film industry, censorship

Dick Cheney’s Defense of CIA Torture Shows How Low We Can Go

December 16, 2014 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

The recent release of the CIA's torture report has gained considerable criticism from the media. On a recent episode of NBC's "Meet the Press" that featured Dick Cheney as a guest, the hysteria around U.S. torture methods became further substantiated by Cheney making absurd claims regarding the large margin of tortured detainees who were discovered to be innocent and denying that water-boarding is not technically a torture tactic. TCF fellow Michael Cohen says that if anything has come out of the torture report, it is the reminder that the U.S. is capable of going to great lengths to prevent terrorist attacks on their soil.

Nowhere does Cheney express any remorse for an individual killed by the US government who was neither a terrorist, nor a threat to Americans. The ends are justification enough for the means — whatever, it appears, those means happen to be. It begs the question of whether there is anything that the US government could do to allegedly prevent a terrorist attack that would shock the conscience of Cheney.

Read Cohen's full article from Boston Globe.

Tags: torture, terrorism, dick cheney


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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