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America’s Biggest National Security Threats Are at Home, Not Abroad

July 2, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

In World Politics Review, TCF fellow Michael Cohen discusses how the recent terror attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston demonstrates that the United States' greatest national security threats are domestic, not international.

The discordant responses to these threats are indicative of the sharp and flawed delineation made by U.S. policymakers between domestic and international issues and their respective implications for national security. Indeed, at the same moment that U.S. power on the world stage in unequaled and America faces not a single serious rival for global hegemony, the picture of U.S. power at home tells a different story.

Cohen's full column is available here.

Tags: terrorism, national security, foreign policy, charleston

Post-9/11 Measures Make U.S. Hard Target for Islamic State

July 1, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Last week saw incidents of ISIS-coordinated terrorism in Tunisia and Kuwait, as well as a probable ISIS connection to a terror attack in France. In light of the tragic events, TCF fellow Michael Cohen takes stock of the United States' post-9/11 efforts to combat terrorism and argues that they have largely been effective at limiting the likelihood of a similar attack in the U.S.

While Americans were too distracted to pay much attention or begin worrying that the U.S. homeland might be next, it does beg the question: How vulnerable is the United States to IS and other terrorist groups operating in the Middle East and North Africa? The answer: not much at all.
The reason is perhaps one of the most underappreciated foreign policy stories of the last decade and a half. While the United States was squandering blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan—and its good name in Guantanamo and various black sites around the world—all the while reorienting its foreign policy toward a “Global War on Terrorism,” the nation’s defenses against jihadist terrorism became almost impenetrably high.  

Read Cohen's full column here.

Tags: war on terror, terrorism, national security, isis, foreign policy

Why Are We Blind to Right-Wing Terrorism?

June 26, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Since 9/11, more Americans have been killed at the hand of right-wing extremists than Muslim extremists. TCF policy associate Sam Adler-Bell discusses the recent mass shooting in Charleston and which crimes should be defined as "terrorism."

Tags: terrorism, right wing, national security, gun violence, extremism

Is A New Crime Wave on the Horizon?

Crime rates in certain U.S. cities like Baltimore and Milwaukee have risen seriously and visibly in 2015. Some commentators are concerned that these numbers suggest a new wave of increased crime may be on the horizon after years of decline crime rates. However, TCF fellow Harold Pollack argues in an interview with CNN, we do not yet have enough data to reach a conclusion about new crime patterns: 

For the cities where crime does appear to be trending upward, how can one know if it is a blip or a historic reversal?

"It's a little bit like the stock market. These statistics go up and down," said Harold Pollack, co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. "It's like asking why did the stock market go up 75 points today."

CNN's full article is available here.

Tags: police, crime policy, crime

How Mitch McConnell Accidentally Doomed the Patriot Act

May 26, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Sam Adler-Bell TOPICS: Foreign Policy, National Security

Despite his scare tactics that have worked in the past, Senator McConnell’s hackneyed rhetoric fell short during the most recent Patriot Act vote in the Senate.


Marco Rubio’s tough-guy act on foreign policy

As with many qualms of presidential candidates, Florida Senator Marco Rubio's latest speech on foreign policy was severely lacking in any substantial concrete policy visions. TCF fellow Michael Cohen confirms that, like many presidents, Rubio talks a big game, but rarely has much to say in terms of specific actions he would like to take if elected.

He offered the oft-heard — and untrue — GOP assertion that President Obama has retreated from the world. He assailed the president for hundreds of billions in defense cuts — cuts that are a direct result of the budget caps a Republican Congress forced on the White House. He criticized Obama for betraying American values through “the expediency of negotiations with repressive regimes,” which makes me think that if Rubio ever saw a picture of Ronald Reagan shaking hands with Mikhail Gorbachev his head might explode.

Read Cohen's full article here.

Tags: republican party, presidential race, gop, foreign policy


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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