The American economy will at long last enjoy a solid cyclical recovery in the year ahead. But in the process the country will also discover how deep its structural problems run.
In the summer of 2006, President George W. Bush was relaxing at Camp David with the visiting prime minister of Denmark when the conversation turned to Vladimir Putin. It had been five years since Bush memorably peered into the Russian leader's soul. But now hope had been replaced by exasperation.
On Aug. 20, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama declared that if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began shifting around or using his chemical weapons, Obama would consider that "a red line." The implication was that such a move would lead to American intervention in Syria. Some officials from the Israeli Foreign Ministry believed that Obama drew the line because he believed it would never be crossed. If that was his assumption, he made it based, in part, on assessments received from the Israeli intelligence services, which have waged a multidecade clandestine campaign to strip Assad of his deadliest weapons -- and which also have emerged as the United States' primary partners in collecting information on Middle Eastern regimes.
CAMBRIDGE – Ever since Edward J. Snowden disclosed the National Security Agency’s ongoing collection of massive amounts of electronic-communications data generated by United States citizens and non-citizens alike, attention has been lavished on his personal status. But the more important issue, even before Russia granted him temporary asylum, is the status of American civil liberties. Is the US guilty of hypocrisy, as Russia, China, and others have charged?
Facebook, Google and other social media giants have been all-too-willing to hand over information about their users when American intelligence and law enforcement agencies come calling.
The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.
Good morning Chairman Sensenbrenner, Ranking Member Scott, and Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify today on the important topic of privacy and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
This year's threat assessment illustrates how dramatically the world and our threat environment are changing. Threats are growing more interconnected and viral. Events that at first seem local and irrelevant can quickly set off transnational disruptions that affect U.S. national interests. It's a world in which our definition of "war" now includes a "soft" version. We can add cyber and financial to the list of weapons being used against us. And such attacks can be deniable and non-attributable.
Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed critics today before the Senate Banking Committee, as he delivered the Federal Reserve’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Report. Bernanke’s testimony comes on the heels of a prominent monetary policy conference last week, in which participants speculated about the political fallout that could ensue once the Federal Reserve begins to unwind the unconventional policies it put in place during and after the Great Recession. Because the Fed could incur losses when it eventually raises interest rates and sells off assets from its ballooned balance sheet, many expect that by the end of the decade the Fed might no longer generate sufficient earnings to return profits to the Treasury. After a decade of rising profits remitted to Treasury (topping out at nearly $89 billion last year), many wonder whether Fed losses could trigger aggressive push back from Congress.
President Obama has recently announced his principal foreign policy nominees: for the State Department, Senator John Kerry; for the Defense Department, former Senator Chuck Hagel; and for the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, Obama's current counterterrorism adviser in the White House.
Map of major natural gas and oil pipelines in the United States. Hazardous liquid lines in red, gas transmission lines in blue. Source: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
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