U.S.-China Cooperation in the Middle East

Posted by Annie-Marie Gergi on August 18, 2015 in Blog
The Center for American Progress hosted an event: U.S.-China Cooperation on the Middle East. The distinguished panel included members from the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation along with members from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies. The panel spent 90 minutes laying out some of the mutually shared interests between the U.S. and China and described the potential of partnership between the two world superpowers in terms of providing stability in the region. Traditionally, the strategies held by U.S. and China have been in stark contrast to one another. The U.S. has been overly involved in the Middle East, while China seems to be largely absent. China subscribes to the idea of non-intervention, focusing its energy on developing economic and financial relations and avoiding areas of conflict.
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No Entry

Posted by David Curtis on August 17, 2015 in Blog
Arab Americans and American Muslims know all too well the troubles and humiliations one encounters when attempting to travel to Israel or Palestine. Cases of American citizens being denied entry to Israel are plentiful and well-documented; in fact, even the U.S. State Department has warned that “U.S. citizens whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern or Muslim origin … may face additional, often time-consuming, and probing questioning by immigration and border authorities, or may be denied entry into Israel.” This not-so-tacit acknowledgement of racism against our own citizens by one of our greatest allies is a troubling concession.
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Let's Make a Deal

Posted by Anna Toth on August 17, 2015 in Blog
While September 17th will be just another day for many of us, for our President, members of the international community, and members of our Congress it is the fast-approaching day of reckoning on the Iran nuclear deal which was negotiated last month by the P5+1 and Iran. The Obama administration has defended this deal against critics from both sides of the aisle, claiming that during negotiations, “the United States refused to take a bad deal, pressing for a deal that met every single one of our bottom lines. That’s exactly what we got.”
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Finding a Way Forward for Syria

Posted on August 10, 2015 in Washington Watch
A flurry of recent bilateral and multilateral discussions involving Americans, Russians, Saudis, and others have provoked speculation that there may be a renewed push for negotiations to end the conflict in Syria.
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TSA Gets New Administrator - But What About SPOT?

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on August 04, 2015 in Blog

There has been no shortage of news scoops on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) embarrassments. Whether failing to catch arms smugglers, being caught in a scheme to sexually harass travelers during the screening process, or allowing a small child to fly without a ticket, the TSA is decidedly under fire. Newly appointed TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger appeared before the House Committee on Homeland Security last week to answer some tough questions. The Committee pressed Neffenger...

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The GOP: Reaping What It Sowed

Posted on August 03, 2015 in Washington Watch
The 2016 Republican presidential contest has barely begun and it has already grown alternately tiresome and old or just downright scary.
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Israeli Prime Minister in Denial of Gaza Blockade

Posted by Sabrin Qadi on July 30, 2015 in Blog
On June 25, the third Gaza Freedom Flotilla set sail from Greece to Gaza in an attempt to deliver tons of medical equipment and humanitarian aid. The Swedish-flagged vessel named “Marianne” carried dozens of anti-occupation activists and dignitaries, including a former President of Tunisia and a current member of the Knesset party, committed to breaking the siege imposed by Israel on the city of Gaza since 2007. The convoy was intercepted, nonviolently but with disproportionate resources used, on June 29 by the Israeli Navy through a series of negotiations in Arabic between Israeli-Arab Knesset member, Basel Ghattas and a Shin Bet officer. Thirteen vessels surrounded the flotilla while drones buzzed above them all while being escorted to the port of Ashdod; preventing it from delivering much needed aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.
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Iran Nuclear Deal is a Diplomatic Victory

Posted by Hunter Headapohl on July 29, 2015 in Blog
On July 16 the Middle East Policy Council hosted a Capitol Hill forum about the recently negotiated Iran Nuclear Deal. The panel, made up of experts in defense, economics, and public policy, looked not so much at the deal itself but on the broader strategic and economic impacts of the agreement. The forum began with remarks from James Miller, former undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense and board member of the Atlantic council. Mr. Miller discussed the security implications of the agreement, arguing that we could not have gotten a better deal given the strict inspection standards of the agreement and the ability to snap back sanctions. Like many others, he shared concerns that Iran would try to cheat under the agreement, but argued that we are prepared to respond if they do so. He also countered the narrative of Iran’s military supremacy in the region, highlighting Iran’s relatively low military spending compared to Saudi Arabia and its restricted access to weapons under the sanctions.
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Tunisia's Transition: How Can We Help?

Posted by David Curtis on July 28, 2015 in Blog
Is Tunisia the last hope for democracy after the uprisings of 2011? If indeed there is hope, especially in the wake of recent and appalling terrorism, the United States must play an integral role in supporting the democratic transition. Last week, a group assembled on the hill and alerted congressmen of the best ways to assist Tunisia’s democracy, which is still in its delicate infancy. Witnesses at a July 14th Congressional Subcommittee Hearing, titled “Tunisia’s Fragile Democratic Transition,” were in almost complete agreement about how to bolster prospects for democratic success in the Maghreb country. Their general consensus is both revealing and refreshing, considering the diverse backgrounds of panelists: representatives from both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute spoke in harmony on how the U.S. can augment the chances for a Tunisian triumph.
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Transforming Higher Education

Posted by Nicole Khamis on July 27, 2015 in Blog

Discussion of the Higher Education Act, a hot topic on the Hill ahead of its budget reauthorization this fall, was accompanied by talk of decreasing federal regulations and de-mystifying financial processes for students who are struggling to pay and stay in college.

A hearing, titled “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Exploring Barriers to Innovation” was held in the Dirksen Senate Building Wednesday morning to discuss problems and possible solutions to the flawed post-secondary education system. 

Signed into law by President Johnson in 1965, the HEA must be reauthorized every five years. Last reauthorized in 2008, members of Congress have been...

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