Foreign Policy

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  • Geopolitical Cold War with China Would be a Dangerous Mistake, Economist Jeffrey Sachs Says

    CNBC’s Elizabeth Schulze interviews Sachs on the potential of  a cold war with China, which Sachs argues would be a terrible mistake.  It is time for us to come together on climate change.

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  • Conflicting Emotions About Lebanon

    Over the past few decades, I have polled in Lebanon and the results are instructive. Lebanese, of all sects, want “one man one vote.” They reject sectarian governance and the tyranny of militias. And they are wary of US and Iranian meddling in their internal affairs. In other words, they want reform.

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  • Some Good, Some Bad in the Democrats’ Platform on Israel/Palestine

    In this opinion in The Jordan Times, Zogby explains the reticence of Democrats to address the Israel/ Palestine issue but finally sees some hope. “ It’s reflected in the courage demonstrated by Bernie Sanders and newer members of Congress, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who are speaking out for Palestinian rights, and in polls showing that a majority of Democrats support conditioning aid to Israel based on its human rights performance.”

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  • America’s Unholy Crusade Against China

    Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an anti-China speech that was extremist, simplistic, and dangerous. If biblical literalists like Pompeo remain in power past November, they could well bring the world to the brink of a war that they expect and perhaps even seek.

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  • It’s Time for the Democratic Party to Mention the Occupation

    In this co-authored opinion with Jeremy Ben-Ami, Zogby asks, ‘If the next Democratic administration is serious about promoting peace, the party platform needs to condemn Israel’s illegal occupation by name.’ Ben-Ami is the founder and president of the pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group J Street.

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  • G20, Heal Thyself

    As the world’s largest economies, the G20’s members have one overriding responsibility at their finance ministers' upcoming meeting: to agree on actions to suppress the pandemic. Ensuring effective public-health measures is today’s essential economic policy.

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  • Is AIPAC Losing its Grip on Democrats?

    In this The Jordan Times opinion, Zogby discusses the history of AIPAC’s power in Congress, the myth that it was invincible and why that is now changing.

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  • What Jamaal Bowman's Historic Win Represents for the Palestinian People

    For decades, the pro-Israel lobby was able to carry the day in Congress because Members feared the repercussions of criticizing Israel. That tide is turning.

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  • New Unity Needed Amid Challenges of New Global Age

    Sachs discusses the current upheaval and changing form of globalization, arguing  that global solidarity is essential to the safety of the planet.

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  • Opinion: Trump's Anti-China Theory Implodes

    The big lie of the Trump administration is that China is the cause of America's problems. The meme has worked for a while, since it plays into American smugness that if China is succeeding, they must be cheating. Sachs is a regular contributor to CNN.com

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  • We Must Defend Multilateralism

    James Chau of The China Current interviews Sachs on COVID-19, China’s response, and the role of multilateralism in solving global challenges.

    This video originally aired on April 28, 2020

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  • Jeffrey Sachs on the Catastrophic American Response to the Coronavirus

    Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker interviews Sachs on the coronavirus,  the challenges it poses to the global economy and why poorer countries have so far fared better compared to countries like the United States.

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  • America’s Dangerous Iran Obsession

    The US, seemingly with no awareness of its recent history with Iran, and led by an emotionally unbalanced president who believes he may commit murder and get away with it, is still acting out a 40-year-old psychological trauma. As usual, it's others who are most at risk.

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  • Trump Delivered a Fatal Blow to Peace in the Holy Land

    Two years ago Friday, President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It was an irresponsible, dangerous and cruelly insensitive act that did grave damage to the rights and well-being of Palestinians and put an end to any pretense that the United States could help negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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  • America’s War on Chinese Technology

    In this Project Syndicate opinion, Sachs argues that America’s misguided war on Chinese technology will lead us astray from “the urgent task of harnessing breakthrough digital technologies for the global good.”

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  • Sudan’s Military Is Killing Pro-Democracy Protesters. Trump Doesn’t Care — but We Should.

    After the ousting of dictator Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese military has cracked down and killed at least 100 civil rights protesters.  King is a regular contributor to The Intercept.

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  • China is not the Source of Our Economic Problems -- Corporate Greed is

    Sachs argues that a “trade war with China won't solve our economic problems” and instead we must crackdown on corporate greed here at home, and invest in healthcare, education, infrastructure, and a higher minimum wage.  Sachs is a regular contributor to CNN.com

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  • Build, Don't Bomb: A New American Foreign Policy

    In this lecture to the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, Rep. Gabbard discusses American foreign policy. She addresses the perils of the counterproductive, interventionist regime change wars that cost trillions of dollars that could otherwise be invested in our country’s future and the millions of lives that are lost.

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  • International Roundtable

    At the Sanders Institute Gathering, Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Ada Colau, MP Niki Ashton, economists David McWilliams and Jeffrey Sachs, and Yanis Varoufakis former Finance Minister in Greece sat down to talk about the fact that we all share common goals for our countries and the world. We can learn from each other, we can help each other, and we can join together.

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  • Yanis Varoufakis: Do not reset the Brexit clock

    In this article Yanis Varoufakis analyses the issues that have presented themselves to the UK in Brexit negotiations. He argues that a deal that merely resets the clock will not be beneficial.

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  • Fully filling the Global Fund

    In this article, Jeffrey Sachs outlines the need for the Global Fund - how it has and should continue to help decrease the rates of AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria that currently kill around 2.5 million people per year. 

    Sachs argues that "In a world divided by conflict and greed, the Global Fund's fight against the three epidemic diseases is a matter of enlightened self-interest. It is also a reminder of how much humanity can accomplish when we cooperate to save lives."

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  • Dr. Cornel West on the Global Shift Right

    Cornel West sat down with Real News Network's Sharmini Peries to talk about the global shift to the right and what the progressive movement can and should do about it.

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  • Dr. Cornel West on the Global Shift Right

    In discussion with Sharmini Peries, Dr. West discusses the fall of the American imperial project and the role of international solidarity in transforming our society.

    This episode originally aired on January 1, 2019

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  • Turning Brexit Into a Celebration of Democracy

    Paradoxically, while the current Brexit impasse is pregnant with risk, the British should welcome it. Their discontent with the choices before them is an opportunity, not a curse, and more democracy is the antidote, not the disease.

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  • Foreign Policy is More Than Just War and Peace

    Foreign policy is more than just war and peace, it is a nuanced and complex issue that directly affects us here at home.

    Jane Sanders sat down with Representative Tulsi Gabbard to talk about foreign policy, starting with her personal experiences serving our country both at home and abroad, through the government’s budget decisions between foreign and domestic spending, and our country’s approaches to some of the most contentious current foreign issues.

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  • Real Border Security Comes From a Moral Foreign Policy

    The horrific accounts of immigrant families being torn apart have inspired ordinary Americans to take to the streets, calling for an end to the Trump Administration’s cruel detention policies. But while President Trump’s recent actions have led to shockingly brutal child incarceration, mass arrests, and the criminalization of immigrants, the issues that push desperate migrants and refugees to our borders span many decades. Progressives must seize this historic moment to tackle the United States’ long-dysfunctional relationship with its Latin American and Caribbean neighbors and build new, more perfect ties.

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  • Europe Must Confront America’s Extraterritorial Sanctions

    Europe’s biggest challenge in resisting US sanctions on Iran is not legal or even geopolitical. It is psychological: European leaders act as if the US still cares about a trans-Atlantic alliance of shared interests, values, and approaches.

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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Condemns President Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal

    “President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal dangerously increases the likelihood of war and undermines approaching talks with Kim Jong-un to denuclearize North Korea."

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  • Denuclearization Means the US, Too

    The US demands that North Korea adhere to the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and on that basis has encouraged the UN Security Council to impose sanctions in pursuit of denuclearization. Yet the brazenness with which the US demands not true denuclearization, but rather its own nuclear dominance, is stunning.

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  • Letter to the President: In Syria, We Should Work for Peace, Not War

    U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard urged President Donald Trump today to refrain from taking military action against Syria, saying it would escalate the conflict, resulting in more refugees and fewer resources to invest in rebuilding American communities.

    Tags: Syria, Government
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  • Italy's Politics and Europe's Future

    Italy - which stands at the border between Europe's prosperous north and crisis-ridden south, and between an open Europe and one seized by atavistic nationalism – will play a pivotal role in determining whether the EU survives long enough to reform itself. The coalition government that emerges will prove crucial.

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  • Trump Is Right About Syria: It's Time to Leave

    President Trump recently suggested that the United States should come out of Syria “very soon.” Leading voices of the foreign policy establishment - in the Pentagon, State Department, Congress, and the media — pushed back, calling for the United States to stay in Syria. Trump quickly acquiesced. Trump was right (yes, a rarity) while the security state was wrong yet again. It’s long past time for the United States to end its destructive military engagement in Syria and across the Middle East, though the security state seems unlikely to let this happen.

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  • Ending America's Disastrous Role in Syria

    America’s official narrative has sought to conceal the scale and calamitous consequences of US efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. That is understandable, because US efforts are in blatant violation of international law, which bars UN member states from supporting military action to overthrow other members' governments.

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  • America Doesn’t Have More Crime Than Other Rich Countries. It Just Has More Guns.

    This article from Vox answers the question: "Why does the US have such a high rate of gun murders, by far the highest in the developed world? Is it because of guns, or is there something else going on?"

    It finds that America does not have a higher crime rate than other developed countries, the issue is that the crimes are much more lethal - "American criminals just kill more people than do their counterparts in other developed countries. And guns appear to be a big part of what makes this difference."

    Specifically, "when people have a handheld tool that is specially engineered for killing efficiently, escalation to murder becomes much, much more likely."

    Vox gun deaths per population

    Tags: Guns
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  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

    This article details the current nuclear situation around the world. At the "dawn" of the Nuclear age the United States hoped to hold a monopoly on nuclear weapons, but that has since changed. Since the U.S. acquired nuclear weapons, a number of other countries have acquired the ability to build nuclear weapons. In 1968, a number of countries signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty designed to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further; in 1996 many also signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. 

    The article then lists each of the countries who have possession of nuclear weapons, how many they have and information about retirement and dismantlement. For instance:

    The United States has 1,411 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 673 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers. In addition to approximately 2,300 non-deployed strategic warheads and roughly 500 deployed and non-deployed tactical warheads. 

    Warheads Graphic

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  • The West's Broken Promises on Education Aid

    The Global Partnership for Education, a worthy and capable initiative to promote education in 65 low-income countries, is begging for funds. The fact that it must do so - and for a paltry $1 billion per year, at that – exposes the charade of the US and European commitment to education for all.

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  • A New Grand Coalition for Germany and Europe

    With America AWOL and China ascendant, this is a critical time for Germany and the European Union to provide the world with vision, stability, and global leadership. And that imperative extends to Germany's Christian Democrats and Social Democrats.

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  • Opinon: President Trump must uphold America’s commitment to the Iran Nuclear Deal

    If the U.S. is truly committed to the security of the American people, and making the world a safer place through nuclear nonproliferation, we must demonstrate our commitment to peace and diplomacy to Iran and to the rest of the world. 

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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Visits Armenia on Congressional Delegation to Enhance U.S.-Armenian Economic, Humanitarian, and Security Tie

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard last week traveled to Armenia on an official, bipartisan diplomatic trip as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, and as a member of the Congressional Armenian Caucus.  

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  • Op-Ed: Safety at home and abroad, from terrorism to food security

    Nothing is more important than the safety and security of the people of Hawaii and our country. As a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, I am focused on keeping the American people safe from threats to our national security, environment, communities and fellow citizens.

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  • America’s Dangerous Anti-Iran Posturing

    More than ever, we need an era of diplomacy that emphasizes compromise, not another round of demonization and an arms race that could all too easily spiral into disaster.

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  • Discussion of Ideological & Legislative Responses To Terrorism

    At this panel discussion and press conference held in New York City on June 24th, 2017 by the Interfaith Unity for Tolerance, Representative Tulsi Gabbard joined a panel discussion about how academic and legislative responses to terrorism are complementary approaches that will provide long term and intellectual responses to terrorism.

    In a press release about the event, the IFUT said that this discussion "will lead towards nuanced understanding and informed solutions."  

    Gabbard said, “I think that there has been a concerted effort both on the part of some in the media, as well as many in politics, and many in our foreign policy establishment seem to have been advocating for a continuance of these regime change wars, really ignoring the fact of what has been the consequence of these wars in countries like Iraq and Libya and Syria, where each time we have waged these wars, [it] has resulted in the strengthening of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or the creation of ISIS [Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIL], and it has resulted in a tremendous amount of suffering and death for the people of these countries."

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  • So What Exactly Is the Paris Climate Accord?

    Recently, the Paris Climate Agreement as been in the news but what is the agreement and why does it matter? This article from NPR outlines some of the key goals included in the Paris Climate Agreement:

    2 Degrees: "Holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels ..."

    $100 Billion: "To help developing countries switch from fossil fuels to greener sources of energy and adapt to the effects of climate change, the developed world will provide $100 billion a year,"

    2020: "The agreement now codifies that and sets a framework for those reductions to begin in 2020."

    5 years: The deal is designed to evolve as the years pass. Every five years, specifically, each nation's targets will be reevaluated to move the world closer to the 2-degree target.

    The article explains how and why these, and other goals were included.

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  • There’s No Strategy Behind Trump’s Wars — Only Brute Force

    "Trump's wars are now all over the map. The peace movement can fight back by joining already thriving intersectional campaigns."

    This article, written by Phyllis Bennis and highlighted by Danny Glover, investigates the foreign policy approach under the Trump administration. It describes the focus on raw power and war as opposed to diplomacy. "According to the British human rights monitor AirWars, well over 1,000 civilians may have been killed by U.S.-led forces just in Iraq and Syria in March alone, the highest monthly total they’ve ever tracked."

    Bennis suggests that there is a way for the United States, and factions therein, to turn back towards diplomacy. He states "What we do know is that everyone - from Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Somalis, and Yemenis to those of us in this country — needs diplomacy to win out over war. We’ve faced wars for decades now, but we’ve also had some victories where negotiations triumphed over force — in Cuba, in Paris at the climate talks, and most especially in the Iran nuclear deal."

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  • Syria's War: Who is Fighting and Why

    This video by Vox describes the complex history and alliances of the Syrian civil war.

    It begins with the Arab Spring protests in 2011, then describes the transition through multiple foreign powers backing the different sides, the rise of ISIS, through to the decision by the Trump administration to bomb forces related to Assad - "This is the first time that the United States has directly attacked the Assad regime."

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  • USAID's Syria Complex Emergency Fact Sheet

    This fact sheet lists all of the humanitarian aid that the United States is involved with in Syria.

    It describes the current situation in Syria specifically looking at the individuals who are in need of humanitarian aid. Looking specifically at the time period between February and March of this year, official organizations have "recorded nearly 687,000 displacements, including approximately 44,000 new displacements, from conflict-affected areas in northern and southern Syria."

    The report also looks at the humanitarian access that these individuals have, and how the UN and others give humanitarian aid: "Between February 1 and 31, three UN humanitarian convoys delivered food assistance for approximately 64,000 people and relief commodities for more than 30,000 people."

    These actions, however, are not enough. The fact sheet goes on to describe the areas where assistance is not covering all the need that exists:

    Food security and nutrition: "An estimated 9 million people across Syria are in need of emergency food assistance, agriculture support, and livelihoods interventions, according to the UN."

    Health: "The ongoing conflict, including attacks on health infrastructure and personnel, continues to diminish health care capacity throughout Syria."

    Water: Approximately 51 percent of Syria’s population lacks sustained access to the public water network, according to the UN."

    Refugee Assistance: "As of March 24, UNHCR had registered nearly 5 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries."

    Other Humanitarian Assistance: "In mid-March, the UN released the 2017 HRP, requesting $3.4 billion to address the critical needs of conflict-affected people in Syria."

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  • Did NAFTA Help Mexico? An Update After 23 Years

    This paper from the Center for Economic Policy Research compares the performance of the Mexican economy with that of the rest of the region and with its own economic performance, over the 23 years since NAFTA took effect, based on the available economic and social indicators. Among the results, it finds that Mexico ranks 15th out of 20 Latin American countries in growth of real GDP per person, the most basic economic measure of living standards; Mexico’s poverty rate in 2014 was higher than the poverty rate of 1994; and real (inflation-adjusted) wages were almost the same in 2014 as in 1994. It also notes that if NAFTA had been successful in restoring Mexico’s pre-1980 growth rate - when developmentalist economic policies were the norm — Mexico today would be a high-income country, with income per person comparable to Western European countries. If not for Mexico’s long-term economic failure, including the 23 years since NAFTA, it is unlikely that immigration from Mexico would have become a major political issue in the United States, since relatively few Mexicans would seek to cross the border. 

    Tags: NAFTA, Trade, Mexico
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  • How Progressive Cities Can Reshape the World — And Democracy

    "As national governments lurch to the right, a citizens coalition is Barcelona is showing how ordinary people can reclaim control of their communities."

    This article, written by Bertie Russel and Oscar Reyes and published on Danny Glover's website, describes the successes and evolution of the "citizen platform Barcelona en Comú." It comes to a number of conclusions about the main lessons "that can help inspire and inform a radical new municipal politics that moves us beyond borders and nations.":

    1) The best way to oppose nationalist anti-immigrant sentiment is to confront the real reasons life is shit.

    2) Politics doesn’t have to be the preserve of rich old white men.

    3) A politics that works begins by listening.

    4) A politics that works never stops listening.

    5)Politics doesn’t begin with the party.

    6) Power is the capacity to act.

    7) Transnational politics begins in your city.

    8) Essential services can be run in our common interest.

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  • The Ethics And Practicalities Of Foreign Aid

    The Trump administration has recently put forward a budget that includes cuts to the foreign aid program. In this article Prof. Jeffrey Sachs argues the merits of foreign aid.

    Sachs' support for foreign aid is rooted in his morality: "My own support for foreign assistance is based on morality. “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” we are told in the book of Deuteronomy. Those who fail to help the poor cast themselves outside of the moral community." 

    There are also clear, measurable benefits to foreign aid:

    "Aid works when its main purpose is to finance supplies such as medicines and solar panels, and the staffing by local workers in public health, agronomy, hydrology, ecology, energy, and transport. US government aid should be pooled with finances from other governments to support critical investments in health, education, agriculture, and infrastructure, based on professional best practices. That’s how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria works, as one important example. It’s a model of success."

    Sachs ends his article with the statement: "There is a real question: Who has aided whom over the past centuries? And can we live in morality and peace?"

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  • NAFTA’s Legacy: Expanding Corporate Power to Attack Public Interests Laws

    This fact sheet from citizen.org looks at the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and specifically the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS): "NAFTA grants rights to thousands of multinational corporations to bypass domestic courts and directly “sue” the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments." 

    It describes the legal basis for theses ISDS. ISDS gives multinational corporations the ability to challenge new government policies if corporations claim these policies violate their NAFTA rights. "More than $392 million in compensation has already been paid out to corporations in a series of investor-state cases under NAFTA." When looking specifically at what sorts of claims are made "of the 11 claims (for more than $36 billion) currently pending under NAFTA, nearly all relate to environmental, energy, financial, public health, land use and transportation policies - not traditional trade issues."

    The fact sheet then lists and describes a number of the cases that have been brought under NAFTA.

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  • US Foreign Policy — From Primacy to Global Problem Solving

    Not for decades has American foreign policy been as uncertain and contested as it is today.

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  • Learning to Love a MultiPolar World

    The only sane way forward for the US is vigorous global cooperation to realize the potential of twenty-first-century science and technology to slash poverty, disease, and environmental threats. The rise of regional powers is not a threat to the US, but an opportunity for a new era of prosperity and constructive problem solving.

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  • Giving Voice To Millions Of Americans - End US Wars Of Intervention

    In November 2016, Founding Fellow and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard met with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria. 

    This article, written by Rep. Gabbard, summarizes the meeting and outlines the recommendations that she put forward to President Trump about how the U.S. could and should approach the Syrian civil war - including stopping U.S. interventionism and supporting groups with ties to Al Qaeda.

    She states: "The crux of my advice to President-elect Trump was this: We must end this ill-conceived, counterproductive regime-change war immediately. We must focus our precious resources on investing in and rebuilding our own country and on defeating Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to the American people. 

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  • The Fatal Expense of American Imperialism

    THE SINGLE MOST important issue in allocating national resources is war versus peace, or as macroeconomists put it, “guns versus butter.” The United States is getting this choice profoundly wrong, squandering vast sums and undermining national security. In economic and geopolitical terms, America suffers from what Yale historian Paul Kennedy calls “imperial overreach.” If our next president remains trapped in expensive Middle East wars, the budgetary costs alone could derail any hopes for solving our vast domestic problems.

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  • Shadow World

    SHADOW WORLD REVEALS THE SHOCKING REALITIES OF THE GLOBAL ARMS TRADE – THE ONLY BUSINESS THAT COUNTS ITS PROFITS IN BILLIONS AND ITS LOSSES IN HUMAN LIVES.

    Directed by Johan Grimonprez and produced by Danny Glover,  and in part based on Corruption Watch UK founder Andrew Feinstein’s globally acclaimed book TheShadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, the film reveals how the international trade in weapons – with the complicity of governments and intelligence agencies, investigative and prosecutorial bodies, weapons manufacturers, dealers and agents – fosters corruption, determines economic and foreign policies, undermines democracy and creates widespread suffering.

    The film unravels a number of the world’s largest and most corrupt arms deals through those involved in perpetrating and investigating them. It illustrates why this trade accounts for almost 40% of all corruption in global trade, and how it operates in a parallel legal universe, in which the national security elite who drive it are seldom prosecuted for their often illegal actions. SHADOW WORLD posits alternatives through the experience of a peace activist and war correspondent, as well as through the voice of Eduardo Galeano who contributed selections from his stories for the film.

    Ultimately SHADOW WORLD reveals the real costs of war, the way the arms trade drives it, how weapons of war are turned against citizens of liberal democracies and how the trade decreases rather than enhances security for us all. In shedding light on how our realities are being constructed, the film offers a way for audiences to see through this horror, in the hopes of creating a better future.

  • America's True Role in Syria

    Syria’s civil war is the most dangerous and destructive crisis on the planet. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has greatly compounded the dangers by hiding the US role in Syria from the American people and from world opinion.

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