Politics & National Security

Tony Webster / Ben Balter (background)

One of the great benefits of democracy is that politics impacts policy, even national security policy. Elections, confirmation battles, and legislative fights all affect the way the United States balances its competing priorities, interests and values as it conducts foreign and security affairs. National security professionals would therefore be wise to keep an eye on what candidates are saying about national security matters, how they are faring in the polls, and on which way the winds in Congress seem to be blowing the national security issues of the day.

Latest in Politics & National Security

The Russia Connection

Confidence in Mueller’s Investigation Soars After Barr Letter

March 21 to March 22, just prior to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s delivery of his report on the Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr, we conducted a nationwide survey asking respondents a series of questions regarding Mueller’s investigation. From March 26 to March 28, after the release of Barr’s letter with his top-line summary of the investigation’s conclusions, we conducted another nationwide survey asking respondents the same series of questions to gauge how the report’s release and subsequent media coverage affected the public’s opinion of the investigation.

Donald Trump

When Is Impeachment the Right Remedy?

There is a tendency to think of impeachable offenses as like landmines. If the president accidentally or purposefully steps on one, then it explodes and he must suffer the consequences. Constitutional lawyers might find this line of thinking particularly attractive because it would allow them to get to work on identifying a finite set of actions as high crimes and misdemeanors and to set Congress about the business of determining whether the president has actually committed such offenses.

congressional oversight

Congressional Subpoena Power and Executive Privilege: The Coming Showdown Between the Branches

With the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives sporting an aggressive oversight agenda on national security and foreign policy issues, it’s only a matter of time before a raft of congressional subpoenas are fired off from Capitol Hill. Also only a matter of time is resistance to those subpoenas based on the assertion of executive privilege by the Trump administration.

Federal Law Enforcement

FBI Agents Association Argues Shutdown Hurts National Security

“Financial security is national security.” So argues the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), an outside group advocating for bureau employees, in a new report entitled, “Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of the Government Shutdown.” In a compilation of anonymous accounts provided by FBI personnel, the report warns of the shutdown’s far-reaching consequences for bureau operations and FBI agents themselves.

In memoriam

George H.W. Bush's National Security Team: A Study in Statecraft

The obituaries of President George H.W. Bush have appropriately focused on his foreign policy successes, especially his deft diplomatic handling of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany as well as his firm but ultimately restrained response to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. One reason for his success is that he entered office with more foreign policy experience than any other president, having served not only as vice president for eight years but also previously as director of central intelligence, ambassador to the United Nations and as envoy to China.

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