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President Reagan spoke of its significance by saying: "One thing is certain. If we're to continue
to advance world peace and human freedom, America must remain strong. If we have learned
anything these last eight years, it's that peace through strength works." Read more »

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Terrorists, Tyrants and Treaties

Published by: Alan W. Dowd, ASCF Senior Fellow

President Obama promises that the controversial deal recently hammered out by U.S., European, Russian and Iranian diplomats will “cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a…nuclear weapons program.” This latest promise of peace in our time warrants close scrutiny.

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US Economy Likely Rebounded to Solid Growth Rate in Spring

Published by: American Security Council Foundation ASCF

 After a terrible winter, the economy is improving, with a solid rebound in the spring expected to be followed by stronger growth in the second half of the year.
 
That's the view of many economists who think a steadily improving job market will give households more income to spend and boost consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of the economy.
 
On Thursday, the government will issue its first of three estimates of economic growth in the April-June quarter, as measured by the gross domestic product. Economists have forecast that GDP grew at a solid 2.7 percent annual rate, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet.

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US Lawmakers Seek Details of Iran Nuke Inspection Regime

Published by: American Security Council Foundation ASCF

U.S. lawmakers pressed top administration officials Wednesday for details on the international inspection regime that will enforce a landmark nuclear pact with Iran.

The officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, testified before the Senate Armed Forces Committee to try to allay lawmakers’ concerns and convince them to approve the deal reached earlier this month in Vienna.

In a testy exchange consistent with Capitol Hill’s generally frosty reception of the deal, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican John McCain, vented frustration over Congress’ inability to review agreements between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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US 'Outraged' After Russia Vetoes UN Resolution on MH17

Published by: American Security Council Foundation ASCF

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations says the U.S. is outraged and dissapointed after Russia vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have set up an international criminal court to prosecute those responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine a year ago.

"When people see Russia's hand up on something like this, when the whole world is united  that when a civilian airliner goes up in smoke and so many families are affected, it is in all of our interests, our collective interests to see that justice is done," U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told VOA.

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China Stages Huge Military Drills in South China Sea

Published by: American Security Council Foundation ASCF

China is holding a series of military exercises in the disputed South China Sea this week, and one of them involved live-fire drills with more than 100 ships, including some with nuclear capabilities.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Restituto Padilla said any country is well within its rights to hold military drills, especially if they take place in international waters. He said the Philippine military has “no problem” with China conducting the exercises, but also called for more dialogue.

“But the point here is they should be taught how to be transparent about these things because what we’re trying to avoid. And what we’re trying to do is to increase the dialogue among the militaries in the region… ensuring that we avoid misunderstandings,” said Padilla.

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Mullah Omar's Reported Death Throws Afghan Peace Talks in Doubt

Published by: American Security Council Foundation ASCF

The Afghan government’s claim that fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar died two years ago has cast doubt on whether the next round of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban will go forward.

On Thursday an emailed statement from Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the group’s political office in Doha, Qatar, is unaware of any legitimate peace talks in Pakistan or China.

"We have heard from the news media that the second round of talks between the Islamic Emirate and the Kabul administration will start soon in Pakistan or China. The Islamic Emirate has handed all authorization to its political office [in Doha, Qatar] and they are not aware of this process," the statement said.

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Kerry, Moniz Return to Capitol Hill to Push Iran Deal

Published by: American Security Council Foundation ASCF

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz go before a Congressional committee again Tuesday as they continue their efforts to get support from skeptical lawmakers reviewing the international nuclear deal with Iran.

Congress has about seven weeks left in its 60-day window to look over the agreement that limits Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from damaging economic sanctions.  The United Nations Security Council approved the terms last week, setting off a timetable that could see sanctions lifted by the end of the year.

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