National Security Network

Diplomacy

Diplomacy Diplomacy

Diplomacy

The GOP War on 'Smart Power'

News CNN 21 November 2011
Diplomacy

Penny Wise, Security Foolish

Report 15 November 2011
This year's congressional debate on the foreign aid budget has brought out an unprecedented coalition of former secretaries of state, senior military commanders and Pentagon officials to argue that, especially in tough economic times, investments in civilian foreign affairs capacity are among the most cost-effective we can make. As five former secretaries of state representing both parties wrote this week, and military leaders of all branches have emphasized, America should continue to fund foreign aid -- not just for the political, economic and moral benefits, but for the strategic and security benefits. Funding the civilian tools of power is not only necessary for winning today's wars, as General David Petraeus has noted; it also helps prevent future conflict and avoid the need for costly military action.
More »
Diplomacy

Misleading from South Carolina

Report 14 November 2011
As Republican candidates for president debated foreign policy in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) laid down lines of attack in the conservative National Review. Many of his attacks were echoed on Saturday by the candidates, who used the piece as a sort of playbook to fill in for a lack of experience and ideas in the field. Missing, in the debate and the article, was strategic thinking - China, for example, is mentioned only once in the piece, in relation to sanctions on Iran - as well as an understanding of the connection between the foundations of our strength at home and our power abroad. Also missing was awareness of how extreme conservative views clash with the advice of military leaders and nonpartisan national security experts. When Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), for example, was asked about her support for torture techniques that our military opposes, she said: "I'm on the same side as Vice President Cheney on this issue" and against Colin Powell and John McCain. Below, NSN explores how the topics covered in Graham's article stack up against expert advice. Graham's words are in italics.
More »
Diplomacy

Debating National Security

Report 10 November 2011
This Saturday, conservative candidates for president will debate national security and foreign policy in Spartanburg, South Carolina. So far those vying for the nomination have given few specifics about how they view the world beyond America's shores. As conservative columnist George Will wrote last week, "the candidates have some explaining to do." With two wars still winding down and the European economic crisis threatening the U.S., Americans need to know how the men and women who want to be America's commander-in-chief would deal with the rest of the world. Citizens need to know what they see as the chief external challenges to America and how they would shape our civilian, economic and military institutions to respond. The National Security Network has put together this list of questions for the eight contenders who will be taking the stage:
More »
Diplomacy

Ready to Lead? NSN Policy Paper Explores the 2012 Candidates and Foreign Policy

Report 9 November 2011
THE TUMULT OF THE LAST YEAR reminds us that the president is not only legislator-in-chief and chief executive. He or she is also commander-in-chief, head of state and lead diplomat. Those roles require a facility with the complexity of world affairs, a vision for America's role in the world that squares with global realities and a capacity to exert leadership that advances our national interest.
More »
Diplomacy

Ready to Lead? NSN Policy Paper Explores the 2012 Candidates and Foreign Policy

Press Release Washington, D.C. 9 November 2011
Less than one year from today, Americans will choose their commander-in-chief. A world that poses an array of complex foreign policy challenges awaits. Yet conservative challengers for the presidency have sidestepped the tough issues and reflexively opposed a range of policies with broad bipartisan support. Despite the veneer of anti-establishment sentiment in this year's field and the fiscal pressures on U.S. spending abroad, the dominance of neoconservative advisors suggests a return of the first-term George W. Bush approach to the world.
More »