National Security Network

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

McCain’s Debate Performance – Unsteady at the Tiller

Report 8 October 2008
Senator McCain’s debate performance yesterday did little to reassure voters about his ability to manage a steady and responsible national security policy. Aside from his gaffe referring to General Petraeus as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, there were serious substantive problems with McCain’s approach.
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McCain’s Foreign Policy - Where’s the Beef?

Report 7 October 2008
Throughout this campaign Senator McCain has failed to lay out concrete plans on some of the most important national security issues before the U.S. McCain has either adopted an incoherent approach, such as with Iran, where he will attack his opponent’s position in one sentence and then agree with it in the next, or replaced policy proposals with empty platitudes about “not surrendering” and achieving “victory” in reference to Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Governor Palin’s Shaky Foreign Policy Performance

Report 3 October 2008
At last night’s debate Governor Palin failed to distinguish Senator McCain’s foreign policy from the failed approach of George W. Bush. Like Bush and McCain, Palin could not enunciate a clear strategy and endgame for how to effectively end the Iraq War. Palin consistently failed to answer questions. She relied heavily on talking points and did not demonstrate that she has a deep understanding of the critical issues of national security.
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Iraq

Political Progress in Iraq Still Necessary

Report 26 September 2008
As the country’s focus has shifted to the economy, 140,000 American troops remain in Iraq and events there are not suspended. While violence has decreased dramatically in the past year and a half, Iraqi politicians have not taken advantage of the situation to come to the political compromises necessary to bring about stability.
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Afghanistan

Focusing on the Greatest Danger

Report 24 September 2008
Yesterday, in testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Gates said that military operations in Afghanistan require another 10,000 troops that he did not have because of Iraq. Gates also stated that the Al Qaeda safehaven in Northwest Pakistan represented the most direct threat to the U.S. homeland. This isn’t surprising.
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Memo to the Community: The National Security Debate

Report 22 September 2008
This debate is the Commander-in-Chief test for both candidates. Senator McCain, by virtue of his military and congressional service, claims the mantle of experience; but he is tied to the Bush Presidency and still faces questions on his economic prowess and his temperament. He must show that his experience translates into superior knowledge and good judgment and that his approach won’t be four more years of the same. Senator Obama must show that he can hold his own with the Senate veteran and that he is ready to be Commander-in-Chief.
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No strategy

Report 19 September 2008
The news this week highlighted the bankruptcy of the conservative economic approach. America’s economic power – which has direct and important implications on America’s international strength - eroded throughout the Bush administration, as tax cuts in the midst of two wars, out of control spending, and poor economic management resulted in spiraling budget deficits. Yet this week also once again highlighted the total lack of a conservative strategy to deal with foreign policy problems.
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Terrorism & National Security

A Bad Day for U.S. Counterterrorism Policy

Report 17 September 2008
After toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Bush administration shifted its focus to Iraq – a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 – instead of finishing the job. Today, we are still paying for this terrible strategic mistake. In Afghanistan, the situation continues to deteriorate as the American commander asks for 15,000 additional troops on top of the increases already planned for later this year.
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International Economy

America's Economic Power Wanes Due to Failed Conservative Approach

Report 15 September 2008
This weekend’s financial turmoil spotlights how, like America’s diplomatic and military power, American economic power has eroded over the last eight years. The U.S. financial system has again been pushed to the brink, as Lehman Brothers moved toward bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch was sold late last night to Bank of America. Fears of a worldwide sell-off appeared to be realized, as markets in Europe and Asia dropped sharply today. This financial crisis will have powerful consequences not just for Americans’ personal circumstances but also for our power and security as a nation.
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Terrorism & National Security

Seven Years After 9/11 Bush Administration's Counter-Terrorism Policy Leaves Us Less Secure

Report 11 September 2008
Seven years after 9/11, the Bush administration still lacks a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy at home or abroad.
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