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Libya: Making a Friend out of the Enemy of our Enemy

by PSA Staff | July 29th, 2015 | |Subscribe

*Alex Braha is a Senior Associate at Andreae & Associates in Washington, DC, where she focuses on political and security issues in Africa and the Middle East. She received her M.A. in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

The beginning of this month saw glimmers of hope quickly turn back to stalemate with the UN-led negotiations to solve the crisis in Libya. July began with Abdullah al-Thinni, the prime minister for the internationally recognized government currently in power in Tobruk, proclaiming his hopes that a peace deal could be signed at the latest round of talks. This was followed a few days later by the refusal of the rival government in Tripoli to show at the peace talks, expressing their rejection of the UN proposal and suggested amendments from the Tobruk government. The latest iteration of a peace plan is the fourth draft undertaken by UN envoy Bernadino Leon, and the closest he has been to consensus. But with the last minute refusal by the Tripoli government, how many more chances remain to get a deal?

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How Iran turns lemons into high-octane lemonade

by PSA Staff | July 10th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor from 1983-1985, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. This post originally appeared in the Washington Times

In 2009, as intelligence reports confirmed that Iran — the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism — had resumed its nuclear weapons development program, the efforts of American policy officials to reverse it focused first on Iranian vulnerabilities. What critical commodity or service essential to daily life in Iran might be restricted by sanctions and thereby influence the government of Iran to change course? It didn’t take long to identify such a strategic commodity: gasoline.

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Lee Hamilton: Despite Growing Tensions, US Must Move Forward on Cooperation With China

by PSA Staff | July 1st, 2015 | |Subscribe

Published in the Huffington Post:

Lee H. Hamilton is a Distinguished Scholar, Indiana University School of Global and International Studies; Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Chairman, Center on Congress at Indiana University. He served as U.S. Representative from Indiana’s 9th Congressional District from 1965-1999.

He is a co-founder of the Partnership for a Secure America and sits on the PSA Advisory Board.

We routinely slam each other’s records on human rights. We accuse them of stealing commercial secrets, as we unabashedly acknowledge our own attempts to uncover security secrets. We debate which of our systems of government — capitalism or communism — truly works best, and we squabble over our respective responsibilities in addressing the potential catastrophic impact of climate change. (more…)

Madeleine Albright Says: Learn to Interrupt, But Only If You Know What You’re Talking About

by PSA Staff | June 24th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Madeleine K. Albright was U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in NY Magazine.

This week, the Cut is talking advice — the good, the bad, the weird, and the pieces of it you really wish you would have taken. Here, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on learning to get things done in the United Nations.

Probably every woman you know, certainly every woman I know, has been in meetings where you’re the only woman in the room, and you want to make some kind of a comment and you think, Okay, I’m not going to say that, because it sounds stupid. And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it’s completely brilliant, and you’re really mad at yourself for not having spoken. I had that experience most of my life.

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World losing battle against terror, climate change & cyberattacks: Albright

by PSA Staff | June 17th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Madeleine K. Albright was U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. Ibrahim A. Gambari was Foreign Minister of Nigeria and U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. This article originally appeared at USA Today.   

As the United Nations marks its 70th anniversary later this year, there is mounting evidence that the international community is losing the fight against the most pressing security and justice challenges of our time. From Syria to sub-Saharan Africa, a marked increase in mass atrocities has undermined basic human rights and reversed the trend of declining political violence that began with the end of the Cold War. Climate change, cyberattacks, and the threat of cross-border economic shocks also pose grave implications for global security and justice.

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Doomsday: The Coming Collapse of North Korea

by Jamie Metzl | June 15th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Jamie Metzl is co-chair of PSA’s Board of Directors. He is the author of Genesis Code and a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council. He served in the U.S. National Security Council, State Department, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Follow him on Twitter @JamieMetzl. This article originally appeared at The National Interest.

Doomsday: The Coming Collapse of North Korea

As a member of the U.S. National Security Council staff in the later 1990s, I worked with colleagues on plans for responding to the potential collapse of the North Korean government. As a self-induced famine ravaged the country, we considered what we might do when the regime finally succumbed to the inevitable consequence of its own insanity. Almost twenty years later, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is still there and those predicting its imminent collapse have continually been proven wrong. But today, the North Korean madness may well be nearing its endgame. I predict it will be gone within a decade.

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Peace envoy Gary Hart: America will invest in Northern Ireland, but only if there is political and economic stability

by PSA Staff | June 15th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Retired United States Senator Gary Hart (D-CO) is the personal representative of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and a member of PSA’s Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in the Belfast Telegraph.

America will invest in Northern Ireland, but only if there is political and economic stability

Most of us think of ourselves either as a citizen of a nation, or a follower of a religion, or both. In many older societies, identity is shaped by family, or tribe.

Even within nations, there are cultural divisions, such as the Walloons and the Flemish in Belgium, or the Ossetians and the Abkhazians in Georgia. Within religions there are Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox and other sects in Christianity and Shia and Sunni within Islam.

In the United States, it is still quite common to have people and neighbourhoods described as Italian-American, Irish-American, Cuban-American and so on. There are fewer tribal, ethnic and cultural identities in more unitary nations, such as Poland and Italy.

These sociological reflections are of little importance on a day-to-day basis, unless one kind of discrimination, or another, occurs, or unless ongoing sectarian conflicts perpetuate themselves over centuries, as in the Middle East.

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Lee Hamilton: Democracy needs people who’ll run

by PSA Staff | June 15th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN) is a member of PSA’s Advisory Board and director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. This article originally appeared on Omaha.com.

Democracy needs people who’ll run

I spend a fair amount of time talking to students and other young people about Congress and politics in general, and I’ve noticed something. It used to be that I’d regularly get asked how one runs for office. Nowadays, I rarely do.

This is a young generation that is famously leery of politics. Every year, the Harvard Institute of Politics surveys young Americans about their attitudes. In their most recent survey, only 21 percent of respondents considered themselves politically engaged. Last year, only a third counted running for office “an honorable thing to do” — compared with 70 percent who considered community service honorable.

A lot of young people are repelled by politics; they’ve lost faith in the system just as many other Americans have. And I fully understand that elected office is not for everybody. You can make wonderful contributions to our communities and to our society as a whole without holding office.

But look. If you don’t have people who are willing to run for office, you don’t have a representative democracy. As the leading edge of the millennial generation reaches the age where running for office is a realistic possibility, I hope they’ll consider a few things.

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Lee Hamilton: Congress is wrong to be shrinking from its war powers

by PSA Staff | June 1st, 2015 | |Subscribe

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN) is a member of the PSA Board of Advisors and director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. This article originally appeared on Omaha.com.

Congress is wrong to be shrinking from its war powers

A few weeks ago, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia made a small splash in the press when he took Congress to task for failing to authorize our nation’s ongoing war against Islamic militants.

“The silence of Congress in the midst of this war is cowardly and shameful,” he said. “[T]his Congress, the very body that is so quick to argue against President Obama’s use of executive power … allows an executive war to go on undeclared, unapproved, undefined and unchecked.”

Those were strong words, meant to spur Congress to action. Yet after a day or two, they sank without a trace. No one in the media picked up the call. No one in a position to influence the Senate or the House made a move to advance a congressional war authorization.

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Albright and Carson: Why Change in Nigeria Matters to the World

by PSA Staff | May 29th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a strategic advisory firm, and Chair of the National Democratic Institute. She is a member of PSA’s Board of Advisors. Ambassador Johnnie Carson, a former assistant secretary of state for African affairs, serves on the board of the NDI and co-chaired its recent election observer mission in Nigeria. He also serves as a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group.

This article originally appeared on TIME.com.

Why Change in Nigeria Matters to the World

This week, something unprecedented is happening in Africa’s most populous country, where groundbreaking political change is underway. Nigeria’s incumbent president will step down and a new president from another political party, Muhammadu Buhari, will be sworn in.

The March election that brought Mr. Buhari to office was a political triumph for Nigeria and a positive step for the future of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Few expected that the election would be peaceful or credible, but the Nigerian people demanded nothing less.

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All blog posts are independently produced by their authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of PSA. Across the Aisle serves as a bipartisan forum for productive discussion of national security and foreign affairs topics.