New Heritage Index Ranks America’s Military Strength ‘Marginal’

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In Heritage Work

Overall US military capability in the 2015 Index of Military Strength

“Our federal government has no consistent, standardized, and publicly accessible approach to reviewing on a year-by-year basis America’s ability to defend its interests,” Heritage President Jim DeMint writes.

That’s why Heritage this week launched the Index of U.S. Military Strength: to fill a gap in Americans’ understanding of the nature of our military power. Its goals are three-fold:

  1. Assess the status of U.S. military forces (overall score: marginal);
  2. Define the environment in which our military must act (overall score: moderate); and
  3. Identify threats to America’s national interests (overall threat score: elevated).

Future editions will describe how each score has changed from the previous year. Get more information about the scores in the full Index.

Speaking Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation to help launch the Index, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) said that while “liberal thought has always failed” when it comes to national defense, even conservatives “are failing at national defense because they focus on the wrong problem.” Continue Reading »

Ambiguity Should Play No Part in Obama’s Anti-ISIS Strategy

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In Heritage Work

President Obama’s proposed new Authorization for Use of Military Force against ISIS is “ambiguous,” Heritage Foundation legal expert Cully Stimson explains to International Business Times:

He’s trying to thread the needle here by giving something to the anti-war left, by saying ‘it’s not an endless war,’ but he also knows that some Republican senators will not tolerate that sunset provision, so he’s left in language that gives hope that it can be extended in the future

Ambiguity in warfare is not useful. As Heritage expert James Phillips puts it, the president actually left himself “open to future use of special operations forces in an expanded role.”

Take a look at the infographic below from The Daily Signal to see what’s in the proposed AUMF: Continue Reading »

Heritage Leads the Way in Building Ties with India – a Key Asian Partner and Force for Stability

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In Heritage Impact

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Heritage Foundation experts Jim Carafano, Walter Lohman, and Lisa Curtis attend a conference in Dehli, India. (Photo: Vivekananda International Foundation)

While the Obama administration “leads from behind,” Heritage Foundation experts are actively advancing freedom and American interests globally.

Last week, Heritage and the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) cohosted a conference in New Dehli, India to advance U.S.-India cooperation on mutual security interests, including defense and counter-terrorism cooperation, and maintaining stability and peace in the Asia Pacific.

With a population of 1.2 billion and GDP of $5.1 trillion, India is a critical partner for the U.S.. That’s why Heritage experts Lisa Curtis, Jim Carafano, and Walter Lohman and the newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma attended the conference about how to deepen the U.S.-Indian partnership.

Heritage has for several years partnered with VIF, whose founder is now India’s National Security Advisor. Our partnerships with influential think tanks in other countries gives Heritage global policy impact.

This is just one example of how Heritage is making impact all over the globe. Do you think it’s important for Heritage to build relationships like this overseas?

Taiwan’s President Attends Launch of Index of Economic Freedom

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In Heritage Impact

Heritage’s Anthony Kim and Terry Miller, left, greet Taiwan’s President Ma (Photo credit: Office of the President of Taiwan).

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou attended this week’s Taiwan launch of Heritage’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom.

Ma’s attendance reflects Taiwan’s commitment to economic freedom and the importance of the Index overseas. Taiwan is ranked as the 14th-freest economy in the world.

In fact, four of the top 20 freest nations are Asian nations, which is why Kim and Miller are touring the continent to advance freedom. They will be heading next to Seoul, South Korea.

Do you think the United States shares the same commitment to economic freedom as Asian countries like Taiwan?

Roll Call Acknowledges Heritage’s Budget Cutting Proposals

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This article from Roll Call gives a very useful overview of The Heritage Foundation’s Budget Book and outlines how impactful Heritage’s policy recommendations will be for Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The Heritage book is initially aimed at the House and Senate Budget committees, which are both under GOP control for the first time in years and will soon begin work on their respective fiscal 2016 budget resolutions set to be unveiled in March. The organization of the report follows the functional categories or divisions of spending in the budget resolutions, including defense, international affairs, income security and others.

Be sure to check out the Budget Book to see where we can trim the fat from our federal spending.

Heritage Wrote the Book on Cutting Government Spending

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$3.5 trillion — $3,500,000,000,000. That’s how much the federal government spent in 2014. And that number is projected to only grow if President Obama’s budget proposals go through.

There’s a better way. Heritage experts have compiled a Budget Book that recommends 106 specific ways Congress can cut spending and reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

The Budget Book, which includes information directly usable by lawmakers and their staffs working on the 2016 budget, outlines ways to cut waste and reform spending in areas like defense, welfare, energy, agriculture, transportation, education, and more.

Controlling spending and debt is imperative. If we don’t, the massive debt will start dragging down the economy. It’ll also threaten our national security by constraining critical defense spending, and limit lawmakers’ ability to respond to unexpected crises.

Even more alarming, we have just surpassed $18 trillion in cumulative national debt. We borrow 14 cents out of every dollar we spend. It needs to end.

Be sure to share the Budget Book with you friends, families, and colleagues.

What do you think should be done rein in spending?

The House Votes to Repeal Obamacare. Here’s How It Can Get to Obama’s Desk

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In Heritage Work

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to fully repeal Obamacare. But this time was different. Now that the Republicans control both the House and the Senate, they can work to repeal President Obama’s signature health care law.

This bill will likely stall in the Senate, where liberals can filibuster it. That’s why Heritage’s sister organization, Heritage Action for America, suggests that lawmakers use a tactic known as reconciliation to repeal Obamacare. As The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness reports,

When a reconciliation bill goes before the Senate, it cannot be filibustered, and just 51 votes—a majority—are needed to advance and pass the legislation.

The vote will also give the new Republican-controlled Senate an opportunity change direction and work with the House to formulate a new health-care alternative to Obamacare.

While Republicans are unified behind repealing Obamacare, they are not unified in deciding what should replace it. That’s where Heritage’s unique combination of research and advocacy comes in.

Heritage policy experts have produced a step-by-step guide for lawmakers to use when crafting an Obamacare replacement. And our policy promotion team and Heritage Action for America will present this plan directly to lawmakers to ensure they take the right approach.

What do you think about this strategy to repeal Obamacare?

Heritage Questions Lead to the Ugly Truth About Obama’s Cuba Policy

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In Heritage Impact

Heritage Foundation Latin America experts Ana Quintana and Mike Gonzalez submitted questions to the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere with the goal of highlighting the Obama administration’s hypocrisy on Cuba.

Well, their pointed questions worked: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) got the State Department to admit that U.S. travel to Cuba will bolster the Castro regime because the Cuban military owns the hotels and much of the tourism industry.

Check out Quintana’s tweet below:

There were two other bombshell announcements that came out of the hearing too:

  1. The Obama administration will not confirm whether it will continue supporting human rights in Cuba
  2. The State Department’s top western hemisphere diplomat had no part in creating the new Cuba policy, which was negotiated directly by the White House

What do you think of the Obama administration’s radical Cuba policy?

Jim DeMint Is Taking Conservative Ideas to the People (and Potential Presidential Candidates)

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In Heritage Impact

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint spent last weekend in Iowa meeting with conservative grassroots activists and presidential hopefuls to promote Heritage’s conservative policies.

After speaking to a crowd of roughly 1,000 activists and opinion leaders in Des Moines, DeMint sat down individually with five potential candidates.

Heritage is helping to shape the 2016 debates, he told them, and can be a resource for them as they develop their platforms.

He also invited them to come by Heritage for candidate briefings that we offer to all candidates, and introduced them to our 192-page policy agenda for the new Congress, Opportunity for All Favoritism to None.

Do you think conservative ideas will play a role in the 2016 elections?

More Than 40 Lawmakers Will Join Heritage’s Conservative Members Retreat

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In Heritage Impact

More than 40 members of Congress will attend The Heritage Foundation’s three-day Conservative Members Retreat this week. Lawmakers and their families will learn about and discuss conservative thought and the practical application of conservative principles to legislation.

Heritage’s top policy experts will be onsite to explain conservative solutions and develop relationships with the lawmakers. Some of the Heritage scholars attending include: marriage expert Ryan Anderson, first principles expert David Azerrad, family policy expert Jennifer Marshall, education expert Lindsey Burke, energy expert Nick Loris, and health care expert Nina Owcharenko.

To get America back to greatness, we need to change the bad policies that have limited freedom, increased spending and debt, weakened our defenses, ignored the Constitution, and allowed further government intrusion into our personal lives. That’s why Heritage makes such an effort to educate lawmakers and ensure they understand the merits of conservative policies.

Do you think it’s important to build relationships upon a shared understanding of conservative principles with lawmakers?

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