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AUMF against ISIS, Al Qaeda introduced in the Senate

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 11:03
Senators Jeff Flake and Tim Kaine introduced on Thursday a bipartisan Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Taliban that, if passed, could be the first such resolution since 2002.

Senate panel OKs new sanctions on Iran; nuclear deal remains

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:32
-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved bipartisan legislation that would authorize the president to levy new penalties on Iran while keeping the landmark nuclear deal in place.

Trump plan to sell off half of oil stockpile sparks debate

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:07
President Donald Trump's proposal to sell nearly half the U.S. emergency oil stockpile is sparking renewed debate about whether the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is still needed amid an ongoing oil production boom that has seen U.S. imports drop sharply in the past decade.

Trump meets NATO leaders amid tensions

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:39
On the final leg of his first foreign trip, President Trump met with NATO leaders amid rising tensions over his relationship with Russia and U.S. leaks related to the investigation of the Manchester terror attack.

Trump meets NATO leaders amid tensions

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:39
On the final leg of his first foreign trip, President Trump met with NATO leaders amid rising tensions over his relationship with Russia and U.S. leaks related to the investigation of the Manchester terror attack.

Democratic congressman has heart valve replacement procedure

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:35
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has undergone a heart procedure and will remain hospitalized for a few days.

Is Trump's Saudi Arms Deal the Worst Arms Deal Ever?

Cato Recent Op Eds - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:10

A. Trevor Thrall

Over the weekend, President Trump inked an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $110 billion — the largest single arms sale in United States history. Trump’s rationale is that arming Saudi Arabia will help in the fight against terrorism and help contain Iran’s negative influence in the Middle East. The deal also fits Trump’s “America First” vision of a transactional foreign policy centered on U.S. economic interests.

Sadly, although Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner helped negotiate the Saudis a great deal, the agreement will come with a significantly higher price tag for the region and for the U.S.

The administration has yet to release all the specifics, but according to the State Department the deal would “significantly augment” Saudi Arabia’s military capabilities (which were not too shabby to begin with). Land systems in the deal include tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, artillery, and counter-mortar radar systems. The sea leg includes four of the new (and oft-troubled) U.S. Littoral Combat Ships, as well as patrol boats and associated weapons. The Royal Saudi Air Force will receive new transport, light close air support, and ISR aircraft. The deal will also provide missile defense systems like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and improvements to cybersecurity and communications networks.

Trump’s decision to sell billions of dollars of advanced weaponry to a nation with one of the world’s worst records on human rights is not an example of foreign policy realism—it is an abdication of American principles.

The biggest losers in the short run will be the citizens of Yemen. The U.S. has backed the Saudis from the beginning of the war, which has been justified by the desire to root out al Qaeda elements and curb an insurgency believed to have Iranian support.

But the cure has been far worse than the disease. Last month, the United Nations called Yemen “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.” In just three years the war has displaced millions, killed thousands of civilians, and now threatens most of Yemen’s citizens with starvation and disease. Human rights organizations have documented numerous possible Saudi war crimes throughout the campaign. Trump’s arms deal will allow the Saudis to escalate their attacks in Yemen, ensuring American complicity in the devastation that follows.

Longer term, this deal weakens the ability of the U.S. to advance the cause of human rights around the world. Though human rights concerns must sometimes take a back seat to security concerns, criticism from both sides of the aisle makes it clear that this is not one of those times. By failing to make human rights improvements a condition of the deal or even to raise the issue publicly, Trump’s decision to sell billions of dollars of advanced weaponry to a nation with one of the world’s worst records on human rights is not an example of foreign policy realism—it is an abdication of American principles.

At the strategic level the deal also fails to pass muster. By empowering Saudi Arabia, Trump believes he is combating terrorism and containing Iran. In reality, the deal will do little if anything to lower the risk of terrorism in the U.S. In fact, the deal rewards a nation that has worked hard to support the spread of the radical Islamist views that underpin Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. What the deal will do, however, is further destabilize a region already in dangerous flux thanks not only to terrorism but also to widespread civil and sectarian conflicts.

In addition to directly fueling conflict in Yemen and creating future anti-American terrorists, arming Saudi Arabia heightens tensions with Israel and raises the likelihood of an arms race with Iran. But adding more weapons to an already-fragile region won’t be the catalyst for lasting peace. Only diplomacy can hope to solve the deeply rooted animosities and security dilemmas that plague the Middle East. Unfortunately, by taking sides the U.S. loses the ability to play the role of neutral broker in future diplomatic efforts.

Finally, this arms deal will help ensure that the U.S. remains entangled in the Middle East for years to come. The past 16 years of experience in the region should have taught us that American intervention to combat terrorism is of limited value, and that fighting other people’s battles is a losing cause. In spite of this, Trump has enthusiastically committed the U.S. to a closer partnership with Saudi Arabia that will give many people greater reason to resent the U.S., encourage U.S. leaders to continue meddling in Middle Eastern affairs, and further destabilize the regional balance of power.

The Saudis may have given Trump a gold medal for his visit, but it’s doubtful that history will do the same for this arms deal.

Trevor Thrall is a senior fellow for the Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department and an associate professor at George Mason University”s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Montana GOP candidate cancels Fox interview following assault charges

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 09:03
Greg Gianforte, the GOP House candidate in Montana who was charged on Thursday for misdemeanor assault after an incident with a reporter, has pulled out of a scheduled interview on Fox News.

John Kerry tells grads to end terrorism by offering them ‘good governance’ and jobs

Michelle Malkin - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 08:57

**Written by Doug Powers

During his commencement address yesterday at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, John Kerry urged grads to focus on one of the major enemies of humanity — no, not air conditioning, the other one. Kerry revisited one of the Obama administration’s more laughable assumptions, which was that terrorism exists because of governments unresponsive to their citizens needs and a lack of jobs:

The former secretary of state praised Mr. Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia Sunday that called on Muslim nations around to globe to “drive out” Islamic extremists, but argued that education and jobs are the big-picture answer to combating terrorism.

“What we need is not a martial plan for the 20th century, what we need is a new plan for the 21st century,” Mr. Kerry said.

“Surely we can begin to prevent tomorrow’s extremism by offering young people the promise of modernity and good governance, not the destruction of strapping on a suicide vest and blowing yourself up and a whole bunch of innocent people,” he said, referencing Monday’s terrorist attack in Manchester that killed 22 people.

I’m a little surprised he didn’t also tie terrorism to climate change, but because it’s John Kerry, perhaps that’s implied here:

Former State Sec. Kerry says to solve terror problem in Middle East, we need to send the youth to school and work pic.twitter.com/UM46hZcONY

— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 25, 2017

Apparently Kerry thought another good way to stop terrorism was to send a sh**load of cash to the world’s number one state sponsor of terror.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Greg Gianforte: A look at the congressional candidate accused of assaulting reporter

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 08:03
Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for a special House election in Montana, was officially charged with assaulting a journalist — just one day before the election.

Capitol Attitude: Just good enough

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:39
There was some good news for House Republicans when the Congressional Budget Office released its updated analysis of the GOP health care bill Wednesday: No sitting Republican body slammed a congressional reporter to the ground when asked about it.

Manchester bombing changing stakes in UK election

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:28
The UK security crisis has given Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet a great deal of visibility, and that will in some ways enhance her standing.

Trump meets with EU officials in Brussels ahead of NATO summit

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 05:10
United States President Donald Trump met with European Union officials in Brussels on Wednesday, ahead of attending his first NATO Summit, which he has previously called an "obsolete" alliance.

President and Pope: Why Trump's foreign trip is surprising his critics

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 04:00
President Trump’s meeting with Pope Francis seemed to capture not just the success he’s having on this foreign trip, but the progress he’s made since he and the pontiff were at odds during the campaign.

Trump casts wider net in search for FBI director

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 02:00
President Trump has widened his search for a new FBI director after sources told Fox News that his past front runner, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, is out to the running to fill the vacancy.

Greg Gianforte, Montana House GOP candidate, cited for misdemeanor assault after incident

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:57
Montana GOP House candidate Greg Gianforte was cited for misdemeanor assault after an incident with a reporter from The Guardian on Wednesday night, police said.

Gingrich: Trump trip will be remembered as 'historic turning point'

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:01
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News' "Hannity" Wednesday that President Trump's first foreign trip as chief executive would be remembered as a "historic turning point" in the struggle against Islamic terrorism.

Greg Gianforte: Fox News team witnesses GOP House candidate 'body slam' reporter

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:15
The race to fill Montana's sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives took a violent turn Wednesday, and a crew from the Fox News Channel witnessed it firsthand.

CBO Score: Republicans, Democrats react

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 20:30
The Congressional Budget Office Wednesday released its long-awaited score on the second Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, the American Health Care Act, which passed the House of Representatives last month.

Sessions failed to disclose meetings with Russian envoy on security clearance form

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 20:00
Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose contacts with foreign dignitaries, including the Russian ambassador, on a security clearance form he submitted as a United States senator last year, the Justice Department acknowledged Wednesday.

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