North America

Op-Ed

Misreading the Fed on a Rate Increase

Author: Benn Steil
Wall Street Journal

Benn Steil’s op-ed explains how the mechanics of implementing Federal Reserve monetary policy have changed radically since the crisis. Little known is that the new plumbing is not actually controlled by the FOMC, but by the much smaller Board of Governors. Given that the Board is decidedly more dovish than the FOMC, Fed watchers focused on the latter may be expecting a more aggressive timing and pace of rate rises than is likely.

See more in United States; Monetary Policy

Op-Ed

The Self-Contradictory 'Stand' Against the PATRIOT Act

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

“Had the program been in place more than a decade ago, it would likely have prevented 9/11. And it has the potential to prevent the next 9/11.”So wrote Mike Morrell, the CIA’s former acting director, about section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes the National Security Agency to search telephone “metadata” (i.e., connections between telephone numbers not the content of calls) to ferret out terrorists. Now section 215 is no more.

See more in United States; Intelligence

Primary Sources

USA FREEDOM Act of 2015

This legislation was introduced to Congress on April 28, 2015, as H.R. 2048 Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015. President Obama signed it into law on June 2, 2015. The act is an overhaul of the National Security Council's intelligence gathering program, the largest reform of the program since the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

See more in United States; Intelligence; Organization of Government

Op-Ed

Did the Game Just Change in the South China Sea? (And What Should the U.S. Do About It?)

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
China File

As the 14th annual Asia Security Summit—or the Shangri-la Dialogue, as it has come to be known—gets underway in Singapore, we asked contributors to comment on what appears to be a recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and China over the two countries’ presence in the South China Sea.

See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

President's Global Development Council: Reports

On September 22, 2010, President Barack signed a Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, or the U.S. Global Development Policy, which calls for "the elevation of development as a core pillar of American power and charts a course for development, diplomacy and defense to mutually reinforce and complement one another in an integrated comprehensive approach to national security." In 2012, the Global Development Council was established and in 2014, it produced its first report of recommendations for implementing the U.S. Global Development Policy.

See more in Global; United States; Economic Development

Primary Sources

U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Camp David Joint Statement

On May 14, 2015, President Obama met at Camp David with delegations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. They discussed the security relationship between the the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), particularly in addressing terrorist threats from the self-proclaimed Islamic State and al-Qaeda, transferring defense technologies, and negotating with Iran.

See more in United States; Middle East and North Africa; Regional Security