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Tired of Trump? Read this instead.


With so much attention paid to America’s seemingly never ending Presidential election, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole other world out there. So, with a three day weekend looming, we assembled a reading list for you about all sorts of things besides the 2016 elections! We know these issues matter to you, and we wanted to help you get caught up on what’s going on around the world.

This list is designed to give context to the headlines we see flashing across our screens every day and give you more than just sound bites and partisan accusations. Whether it is war in Syria, policy debates in Washington, or peace in Colombia, we hope this list will give you a little more insight about the world the next president will inherit. 

Happy reading and enjoy your Labor Day weekend! 

Iraq, Syria, and ISIS

The Conversation: Why defeating ISIS with military might is starry eyed idealism

Getting rid of ISIS and groups like it certainly requires seriousness and a willingness to get hard work done — but that doesn’t just mean preparing to get bloody. It means we need to be realistic and unafraid to say, ‘Our strategy is to build peace.’

New York Times: Syria’s Paradox – Why the War Only Ever Seems to Get Worse

“Despite many offensives, peace conferences and foreign interventions, including this week’s Turkish incursion into a border town, the only needle that ever seems to move is the one measuring the suffering of Syrians — which only worsens.”

David Cortright: Alternatives to military intervention in Syria

Supporting long term efforts to resolve the underlying issues in Syria is the answer to ending war in Syria and stopping ISIS, not greater military intervention.

Creative Associates International: Beyond Inclusivity – Women on the frontlines for peace in Syria

“When women are at the negotiating table, success is more likely. Research shows that a peace agreement is more likely to be reached – and is 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years, when women are involved.”

Bustle: The U.S. Admitting 10,000 Syrian Refugees Is A Step Forward, But This Rescue Mission Proves It Isn’t Enough

“On Monday, the White House trumpeted some good news on the Syrian refugee front: the administration had successfully welcomed 10,000 Syrian refugees, meeting its target ahead of schedule. While that is a significant accomplishment, the United States accepting 10,000 refugees is nowhere near enough.”

Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Libya

The Nation: Why Is the United States Abetting Saudi War Crimes in Yemen?

“Thanks to US weapons, intelligence, and logistical help, Saudi Arabia is adding to more war and instability in the Middle East.”

Politico: The Mideast conflict Obama still could solve

“Former administration members say there’s no question Obama and his aides have a better shot at resolving the crisis in Yemen than the civil war in Syria, where Kerry’s efforts have struggled to gain traction.”

The National Interest: The Illusion That America Can Fix Libya

“Will we ever learn? How many people will have to die, and how many more hundreds of billions of dollars will be squandered, before we get that long-distance social engineering does not work?”

America’s Over-militarized Foreign Policy

Politico: Let’s End America’s Hopeless War for the Middle East

“The tendency to see the region and Islamic world primarily as a problem that will yield to an American military solution is, in fact, precisely the problem.”

The American Prospect: Using American Power Prudently

“The U.S. should put more focus on the nonmilitary tools of national-security policy, enhance our homeland security, and place more emphasis on nation-building at home in order to truly enhance our national security.”

The Nation: The US Defense Industry and the ‘Weaponization’ of American Foreign Policy

“When the US provides ‘security assistance’ and exports weapons to places like Ukraine and Saudi Arabia, it often benefits nobody besides weapons manufacturers.”

Foreign Policy: Mercenaries Are the Silent Majority of Obama’s Military

“The president’s ‘light footprint’ approach to war has relied on thousands of Americans paid to fight — and die — in the shadows.”

And finally, a ray of peaceful hope…

New York Times: Colombia’s Milestone in World Peace

“Progress toward peace moves slowly and uncertainly, but it is propelled by determination, ingenuity and the will of millions — and by the realization that peace is not a utopian ideal but an eminently attainable outcome.”

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20 Organizations Express Continued Disappointment in NDAA Budget Gimmick

  Dear Senator /Representative, The recently released conference report for the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would authorize an additional $3.2 billion unrequested by the Pentagon, effectively exceeding the spending limits set in place previously by Congress [...]

Your holiday weekend long reads are here

Now that the election is over it is time to take a fresh look at the national security and foreign policy challenges that lie ahead. That’s why we are sending you our third in a series of long reads that give you more in-depth analysis about the issues that we will dominate the upcoming year. These [...]