This week, the Obama Administration secured enough votes in Congress to guarantee that the proposed Iran nuclear deal will move forward. While the agreement does not have majority support in Congress, the minority voting for the deal is now large enough to overcome the resolution of disapproval—either by Senate filibuster or White House veto.
The recent Iran deal provides relief from international economic sanctions in exchange for certain limitations on Iran’s nuclear program. Upon implementation of the deal, a substantial amount of money would flow to the Iranian government, although the total amount is the subject of much debate.
According to initial reports from U.S. officials, Iran would have access to $100 billion of frozen assets. The Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence cited this same figure in congressional testimony earlier this year. Secretary of State John Kerry later walked this number back to around $50 billion, reasoning that half of Iran’s frozen assets were already obligated to various projects. While Iran may have already decided how to allocate some of the windfall, it does not reduce the amount they will receive from sanctions reli
With the Obama Administration’s announcement of the long-postponed international nuclear agreement with Iran, it is now time for the U.S. Congress to weigh in. According to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, passed and signed into law earlier this year, Congress will have 60 days to review the deal—or choose not to act.
Distinguished business executive Carly Fiorina stopped by the AAF studio to talk about reining in big government and the Iran deal rewarding bad behavior.
Governor Bobby Jindal stopped by the AAF studio this week to talk foreign policy -- nuclear negotiations with Iran -- and Mardi Gras traditions in the great state of Louisiana.
Last Friday, Governor Rick Scott of Florida visited the American Action Forum and spent a few minutes in our studio sharing his Big Ideas on our Little Stool. He talked about his major economic policy initiative for 2015, the White House’s approach to ISIS and fighting terror, and… his favorite Florida theme park. Watch and RT here. Tweet, tweet – and stay tuned for the next installment of “Big Ideas on a Little Stool” – America’s biggest leaders sharing their big ideas with AAF.
Newly-installed Secretary of State John Kerry recently returned from his first foreign trip, which was described as a “listening tour.” During the eleven-day, nine-nation swing through Europe and the Middle East, Kerry got an earful about U.S. policy toward Syria, Egypt, and Iran, while signaling increased U.S. attention to Europe. In a sense, Kerry’s honeymoon trip exhibited “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.”
The Arab Spring brought a new reality to Egypt: a democratically elected Islamist government, and a population that found its voice. Despite this seismic shift, U.S. policy toward Egypt is stuck in the framework of the Mubarak era. The Obama administration’s perceived backing of the Muslim Brotherhood risks empowering forces that could yet prove hostile to U.S. interests while spurning the very reformers we profess to support.
One of the fears about regime change in Syria is that it will lead to sectarian civil war similar to Iraq. These fears are not without merit, but applying lessons learned in Iraq could improve the outcome in Syria. Specifically, the U.S. should encourage Syria not to purge its government of Ba’athists or disband the army. We also should support practical steps that focus on security, jobs, and political inclusion.
A surge of terrorist activity has been unfolding in northern Africa and its Sahel region. The administration needs to recognize the threat al Qaeda continues to pose and show more urgency in its response. The incoming national security team should heed recent events in crafting a comprehensive strategy for the next phase of the war on terror.
Co-Authored by Yelena Altman
January 23rd will mark the one-year anniversary of the official establishment of Syria’s al-Nusra Front, also known as Jabhat Al-Nusra. In just twelve months, al-Nusra has become one of the most visible revolutionary groups in Syria, as well as a major foreign policy problem for the U.S. As the conflict in Syria continues, the U.S. must take a more active role in strengthening Syria’s moderates to ensure this jihadist group does not wreak havoc in a post-Assad Syria..
President Obama’s expected nominee for Secretary of Defense comes with a remarkable amount of baggage. Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel may yet be confirmed, but his nomination has generated substantial opposition from both the left and the right. Senators need to get to the bottom of serious questions about Hagel’s temperament, views on Iran and Israel, and commitment to adequate defense spending.
Proponents of economic sanctions as a tool of foreign policy cite Burma, also known as Myanmar, as evidence that sanctions work. The full story is more complicated, but shows the power of sanctions even in cases where the direct economic effects of a trade embargo may be small. U.S.
Co-authored by Yelena Altman
The creation of a new coalition to represent the Syrian opposition could prove to be a watershed moment in resolving Syria’s crisis. The coalition has the potential to further galvanize international and domestic support for the Syrian opposition and could to play a crucial role in finally deposing Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.