Tag Archives: Afghanistan

President Trump Travels Overseas to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Europe; Congress Focuses on Iran, Russia and Cyber Matters

President Donald Trump departed Washington Friday afternoon for Riyadh, kicking off a nine-day trip with stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Europe. According to National Security Advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster, who previewed the President’s trip, the trip has three core purposes:  (1) reaffirm U.S. global leadership; (2) continue building key relationships with world leaders; and … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes Officials from the UAE, Turkey and Colombia, Before Departing Washington for His First Overseas Trip; Congressional Committees will hold Hearings Ranging from the Asia-Pacific to Africa to the Western Hemisphere and the Balkans

President Donald Trump signed two Executive Orders last Thursday, one related to strengthening the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure and the other related to establishing a presidential advisory commission on election integrity.  He also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday, discussing Syria, Ukraine, and other topics. President Trump fired Director … Continue Reading

The Senate Will Hold Hearings on North Korea, Russia and Cyber-Related Concerns; the Pentagon Readies its Afghan Strategy for the President

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order last Thursday related to religion.  Later that day, he traveled to New York, New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.  The President spoke with President Vladimir Putin of Russia by telephone last … Continue Reading

President Trump Will Welcome the Palestinian President to the White House and Meet with the Australian Prime Minister in New York City; Congress Will Hold Hearings on Human Trafficking, Remittances and International Development, While Also Focusing on a Longer-Term Funding Measure for the Remainder of Fiscal Year 2017

President Donald Trump welcomed Argentine President Mauricio Macri to the White House last Thursday. In a joint statement, the two leaders committed to expanding bilateral trade and investments; strengthening cooperation to counter narco-trafficking, terrorist financing, money laundering, corruption and other illicit finance activities; and increasing cooperation on cyber policy. President Trump will welcome Palestinian President … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes Argentine President to the White House and is Expected to Sign Additional Orders This Week; Congress Returns to Session and Focuses First on Averting a Federal Government Shutdown, While Holding Hearings on Russia, Syria, Afghanistan and the Asia-Pacific

Congress returns to Washington today after a two week recess. Both chambers must quickly pass legislation to fund the Federal Government through the end of FY 2017, before existing authority expires on 28 April. President Donald Trump signed a number of orders last week related to trade and financial services.   He signed an Executive Order on … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes German Chancellor to the White House; Senate Finance Committee to Hold a Hearing for Robert Lighthizer; Congressional Committees to Focus on Russia and Syria

President Donald Trump focused last week on health care reform and the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget proposal, with the skinny budget proposal due to be released this week.  President Trump spoke with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Tuesday, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel … Continue Reading

President Obama Returns Early From an Overseas Trip and Heads to Dallas; Congress Works to Wrap Business Before Summer Recess and Will Hold Hearings on the Human Trafficking Report, Zika, Cyber Concerns, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Turkey, and Pakistan, Among Other Topics; TTIP Negotiators Meet This Week

President Barack Obama travelled to Warsaw, Poland, at the end of last week to attend the NATO Summit and meet with Polish government officials.  In joint remarks to the press after a U.S.-EU meeting on Friday, President Obama emphasizing a close cooperation with the EU, including through the ongoing transatlantic free trade agreement negotiations, while … Continue Reading

Iran Nuclear Deal Enters into Force, While Congress Scrutinizes Iran’s ICBM Test; 11th Round of TTIP Negotiations Commence This Week in Florida; President Obama and Senate Committee Focus on Climate Change Early This Week

Iran Nuclear Deal Enters into Force – Congress Scrutinizes Iran’s ICBM Test On Sunday, President Barack Obama issued a statement on the adoption day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran. The President said he had directed the heads of all relevant U.S. executive departments and agencies to begin … Continue Reading

Defense Department’s Budget Scrutinized this Week; Secretary Carter Travelled to Afghanistan and Spoke with U.K. Defense Minister

Defense Department’s FY 2016 Budget This week, Congress will hold the following hearings to examine the Department of Defense’s FY 2016 budget request: Wednesday, February 25: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of the Navy’s FY 2016 Budget request for seapower and projection forces. Thursday, February 26: The House … Continue Reading

The White House Hosts a Countering Violent Extremism Summit; Washington Closely Monitoring the Situation in Ukraine; Congress is in Recess

Upcoming Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Summit U.S. National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen reported last week that 20,000 foreign fighters are joining ISIL and other extremist organizations. Secretary of State John Kerry also observed that thousands of extremist fighters have been killed in Syria and in Iraq, including many foreign fighters. This week, the White House … Continue Reading

Countering Extremism Summit Announced (18 February) in the Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks in France; President Obama to Host U.K. Prime Minister Cameron

Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attack After the horrific terrorist attack last Wednesday on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, President Barack Obama spoke with French President François Hollande, expressing condolences for the loss of twelve civilian lives and solidarity with France. Countering Extremism On Sunday, the White House announced it will host a Summit … Continue Reading

Obama Outlines Current U.S. Foreign Policy Concerns; New U.S. Sanctions Announced Against Russia; Israel Sends Ground Troops Into Gaza

On Wednesday (July 16), President Barack Obama outlined current U.S. foreign policy concerns, providing updates on the: (1) election in Afghanistan; (2) P5+1 Talks with Iran and the expiring six-month Interim Agreement; (3) Israel-Palestine/Hamas conflict; and (4) Ukraine crisis. Ukraine Crisis President Obama announced new U.S. sanctions against Russia on July 16, targeting a series of … Continue Reading

Washington Focuses on Crises: Iraq/Syria & Ukraine

Iraq/Syria Crisis Early last week, on Tuesday, President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of approximately 275 U.S. military personnel to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  On Thursday, President Obama provided the nation with an update on U.S. action in response to the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant … Continue Reading

Deputy Secretary Of State Bill Burns Visits With Political Leaders In Kyiv, Ukraine

Legislative & Executive Branch Ukraine & Russia Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns was in Kyiv, Ukraine, last week meeting with political leaders, civil society and religious leaders.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last Wednesday: “The United States strongly supports Ukrainian leaders’ ongoing work to form an inclusive, multiparty government to represent all … Continue Reading

Senate to Debate FY 2014 NDAA; Senator Levin Issues Letter to Obama on Afghanistan BSA

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Defense Authorization The Senate returns to Washington this afternoon and is scheduled to resume its floor debate on the Fiscal 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) ( S.1197). Top Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have been working on a scaled-back NDAA bill to ensure its passage … Continue Reading

WTO Adopts Multilateral Trade Facilitation Deal; Mourning Nelson Mandela

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Trade Over the weekend, the White House welcomed the news that the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted a multilateral trade facilitation deal reached in Bali, Indonesia. The United States and India compromised on food subsidies, and a Latin American bloc led by Cuba dropped its opposition to an agreement. At … Continue Reading

Defense Officials Describe Negative Impact of Sequester; Reports Allege NSA Eavesdropping on World Leaders; Afghan Council Considers Status of Forces Agreement

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Budget and the Sequester Last week in congressional hearings, defense officials described the negative impact the second round of sequestration will have on the Pentagon. The Defense Department, like all government agencies, is currently operating under a continuing resolution (P.L. 113-46). Unlike other federal agencies, the Pentagon has never operated … Continue Reading

Budget Conference Committee to be Established; Senator Voices Disapproval of Using Civilian Courts and Prisons for Captured Terrorists

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Budget Last week’s successful eleventh-hour Senate-led bipartisan proposal (H.R. 2775) to raise the debt ceiling (until February 7) and end the government shutdown, by essentially funding the federal government at FY 2013 numbers (through January 15), also included a provision to establish a budget conference committee to reconcile the differing … Continue Reading

Secretary Kerry Travels to France, UK and Italy; Talks Resume with Iran on Nuclear Capabilities; Captured al Qaeda Operative Pleads Not Guilty

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Secretary Kerry Travel This week, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to France, the United Kingdom and Italy. In Paris, the Secretary will meet with representatives of the Arab League’s Arab Peace Initiative Follow-on Committee to discuss the Middle East Peace Process. Secretary Kerry will also hold a bilateral … Continue Reading

House Passes Select Stopgap Funding Measures; Government Shutdown – Effects on Military and Defense Contractor Pay and Intelligence Agencies

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Budget and the Debt Ceiling With no congressional consensus on a bill to fund the U.S. federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, on Tuesday, October 1, the U.S. government partially shut down. Last week, the House attempted to advance its strategy of passing “mini” continuing resolutions (CR) to fund … Continue Reading

President Obama Addresses the U.N. General Assembly

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Syria Last Thursday, September 26, the five permanent members of the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council finalized a resolution that stipulates the Syrian government must abide by the terms or the Security Council will take measures under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. Such measures could include economic sanctions or military … Continue Reading

Obama Encourages Egyptian Leaders to Engage in Dialogue; Authorization of Military Aid to Syria Blocked; Negotiators Meet for First Round TTIP

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Egypt Last week, the Obama Administration dealt with possible U.S. legal ramifications connected to the Egyptian military’s intervention on July 3 that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi as the President of Egypt, specifically whether the intervention should be classified as a coup d’état. President Obama encouraged all political, … Continue Reading

Secretary Hagel Sends Letter to Senate Committee Opposing Sequester Cuts; Defense Appropriations Bill Comes to House under Closed Rule

Legislative Branch Activity Defense Budget Last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in which he “strongly” opposed the $52 billion sequester cuts to the Defense Department’s FY 2014 Budget. He particularly cited risks to U.S. military readiness and technological superiority. Secretary Hagel noted the adverse effects … Continue Reading
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