National Security Network

Obama Administration

Obama Administration

International Economy

Despite Challenges, Summit Yields Results

Report 1 April 2009
The G-20 Summit represents a tremendous challenge for the Obama administration. But the US leaves London well-placed to lead continued global collaboration over the course of the year and manage disagreement productively. There would be no need for international diplomatic summits if everyone was already in agreement.
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Afghanistan

The World Joins in: a Regional and International Strategy for Afghanistan

Report 30 March 2009
Tomorrow’s conference at The Hague – bringing together almost one hundred countries, international and non-governmental organizations – represents an important step in implementing a comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan that recognizes that American interests cannot be secured through military force alone.  Afghanistan’s neighbors including Pakistan, Iran, Russia, India, China and the Gulf States all have significant interests in the country.  If they are not engaged to play a productive and positive role, there is little chance that Afghanistan can be stabilized.
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Afghanistan

A Focused and Comprehensive Strategy

Report 27 March 2009
After more than six years of strategic drift and lack of attention, the United States finally has a focused and comprehensive strategy for dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan.  As President Obama explained today, “We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” 
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Diplomacy

Focusing on the Trouble to Our South

Report 24 March 2009
This week the Obama Administration rolls out a new approach toward partnering with Mexico to address shared security threats:  a new security plan to target drug cartel violence and visits by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.  The plan is a welcome first step not just for the challenges on the Mexican border but toward an approach to security that gets out of traditional “foreign” and “domestic” policy boxes for a comprehensive approach.
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Iraq

After Six Years, A New Consensus On Iraq

Report 20 March 2009
Six years after the war began, a popular and political consensus has emerged on the way forward. This new consensus represents an important turning point in the debate over Iraq -- and an important early victory for the Administration’s ability to enunciate and build support for national security policies that are pragmatic, progressive and widely supported.
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International Economy

Despite AIG Outrage, U.S. has Global Role to Play

Report 17 March 2009
The justified outrage over AIG’s post-bailout bonuses should not be conflated with the revelation that AIG dispensed billions to foreign banks.  The US needs an international recovery to sustain our own recovery, and our status as the sole global superpower and the world’s reserve currency give us a unique stake in working to maintain the global economy. Despite public anger at AIG, as President Obama noted during his address to Congress, “in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger.”
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International Economy

Global Economic Crisis Requires Global Action – Not Hoover-Era Responses

Report 9 March 2009
The World Bank released a report on Friday that projected the global economy will contract for the first time since WWII. This has led Lawrence Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, to call for a global stimulus effort that seeks to boosts demand throughout the world. The world will be watching the G-20 summit in April for the hope of seeing strong global action along the lines advocated by Summers and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. However, despite the need for countries to take strong action, Congressional conservatives are stuck in a mindset reminiscent of the Hoover-era. Calls for “spending freezes” and to stimulate the economy exclusively through tax cuts, are reflective of a movement that has run out of ideas and has no practical solutions to solve the economic crisis their very own policies created.
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Russia

The Reset Button is Pushed on Russia: What Next?

Report 6 March 2009
Today, Secretary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov with – literally – a “reset button” for the US-Russia relationship.  Her gesture at their first meeting capped forty days of positive signals to Moscow on the need to forge a new relationship based around “mutual respect” and  the urgent need for cooperation on a range of issues including Iran, Afghanistan, nonproliferation, and European – Russian relations.
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Military

Defense Budget Primer

Report 26 February 2009
The Obama administration's budget represents a return to responsible budgeting. The signal that the Administration plans to move away from supplemental requests and its willingness to cut items unrelated to war spending represents a return to responsible budgeting.  
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Diplomacy

Getting Diplomacy out of the Penalty Box

Report 19 February 2009
President Obama’s trip to Canada – his first trip abroad since taking office – promises to strike a new tone and to begin to reverse the decay that has occurred in our key relationships over the last eight years. Renewing the North American partnership is vital to addressing key global and domestic challenges.
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