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.
The crisis in Syria predictably has spilled over into neighboring countries, triggering military confrontations with Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon. Of these, tension between Syria and Turkey warrants the most attention.
Painful as sanctions have become for Iran, the U.S. should not be satisfied that current laws alone will exert the maximum pressure. The Obama Administration should embrace the Congressional penchant for new sanctions legislation, continuously identify and penalize firms that are helping Iran do business, and hold accountable countries that promised to reduce their oil imports from Iran.
Today’s crisis involving Israel and the Gaza Strip has much in common with a similar skirmish four years ago. Dramatic changes in the region since then, however, complicate the picture and increase the stakes.
Both crises began with a spike in rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israel. Claiming credit for these terrorist attacks were not just resistance groups like the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but also the military wing of Hamas itself, whose political arm has run Gaza since 2007.