Project on Middle East Democracy
The POMED Wire Archives
Category: Committee Meetings
POMED Notes: “Turkey’s New Foreign Policy Direction– Implications for U.S.-Turkish Relations”
July 30th, 2010 by Jennifer
The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing to discuss changes in the direction of Turkish foreign policy and their effects on U.S.-Turkey. In particular, the hearing focused on shifts in policy toward Iran, Israel, and Palestine of concern to policymakers. To discuss these issues, the full committee– chaired by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), with ranking member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in attendance –requested the testimony of four individuals: Dr. Soner Cagaptay, Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; the Honorable Ross Wilson, Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan; Dr. Ian Lesser, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States; and Dr. Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
POMED Notes: “Oversight Hearing on Corruption in Afghanistan”
July 30th, 2010 by Farid
The Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a public hearing addressing corruption in Afghanistan. The committee, headed by Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), requested the testimony of two witnesses: Richard C. Holbrooke, Ambassador and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; and Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator.Read the rest of this entry »
POMED Notes: Hearing on Ambassadorial Nominees to Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey
July 23rd, 2010 by Jennifer
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing yesterday to consider nominees for ambassadorial positions in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Turkey. Many of the questions posed by the Committee focused on democratization, human rights, governance, and institution building. The Committee—headed by Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and ranking Committee member Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) —requested the testimony of four nominees. The first panel consisted of James Franklin Jeffrey, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, while the second panel included Maura Connelly, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon; Gerald M. Feierstein, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen; The Honorable Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr., to be Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.
POMED Notes: Sen.CFR - Iran Policy in the Aftermath of UN Sanctions
June 23rd, 2010 by Jennifer
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing to discuss implementation of international and domestic sanctions against Iran. The hearing came in light of the UN Security Council’s adoption two weeks ago of Resolution 1929, imposing a fourth and more stringent round of sanctions on Tehran. The June 22 hearing sought primarily to address enforcement of the resolution in order to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, but human rights and democracy issues were also prominent throughout the discussion. The Committee—chaired by Sen. John F. Kerry
(D-MA), with ranking Committee member Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) in attendance—requested the testimony of two individuals: William Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State;
and Stuart Levy, Under Secretary for Enforcement at the Department of the Treasury.
Afghanistan: More Hill Testimony
December 9th, 2009 by Jason
and Ambassador Eikenberry
testified about the new Afghan strategy before the Armed Service Committees in both the House and Senate yesterday. They will continue their testimony on the Hill both today and tomorrow.
According to Chris Good
at The Atlantic, General McChrystal’s prediction of success in Afghanistan was couched in “a healthy amount of humility.” McChrystal argued that a combination of the resolve of the Afghans, the unpopularity of the Taliban, the evidence of recent ISAF success in providing better security and goverannce, and the Afghan support for the ISAF mission all portend the potential for success. But Dana Miliband notes that McChrystal managed a “careful linguistic dance” to avoid uttering the actual word victory, defining success instead as the ability for the Afghans to win for themselves.
and Maleeha Lodhi
in The New York Times
don’t see much of a chance for success at all. They therefore argue “it is essential that the U.S. plan incorporate a political strategy aimed at Afghan national reconciliation - and that plan should involve negotiations with the Taliban.” Azeem Ibrahim
also calls for negotiations
with the Taliban and allow “moderate elements of the Taliban to share power in a democratic Afghan system.”
After a recent trip to Afghanistan, Michael Shank
contends “Afghans are simply asking for an Afghan-centered approach, one that puts Afghans at the fore of every peace and security effort, one that builds sustainable Afghan state and local capacity, and one that sets new precedents for justice and accountability.” Such is the plan outlined by General McChrystal. However, Fred Kaplan pounces on McChrystal’s comment that “there is much in Afghanistan that I do not understand” and argues for the necessity of understanding the local society and culture for COIN to be effective. Additionally,which Andrew McCarhty
at NRO critiques, “General McChrystal would employ COIN tactics in the course of a broader nation-building scheme. It is the nation-building to which I object. It is premature: Nation-building, if we should do it at all, should follow the enemy’s defeat.” He goes on to defend the original Bush Doctrine formulation “before it was modified by the ‘forward march of freedom’ rhetoric that has nothing to do with American national security.”
also questions whether the U.S. is nation-building or not, focusing on McChrystal’s warning against “thinking of local militias as a better security off-ramp than the Afghan army.” He also wonders why Pakistan is not received sufficient attentiongiven that, per McChrystal’s testimony, our goal in Afghanistan is to primarily fight Al Qaeda. Laura Rozen explores how the Obama administration has both de-emphasized the faltering leadership
of President Asif Ali Zardari
while also offering a mixture of sticks and carrots to the Pakistani military to ramp up efforts against Islamist militants and especially the Afghan Taliban.
In another post, Rozen reports that a recent memo from retired General Barry McCaffrey suggests “the international civilian agency surgewill essentially not happen […] Afghanistan over the next 2-3 years will be simply too dangerous for most civil agencies.” Rozen contends such analysis “bolsters chatter that the U.S. military leadership may not be ready to put aside tensions with its civilian counterparts,” as fleshed out by this recent New York Times
article on the relationship between General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry. Nonetheless, Jen DiMascio
of Politico reports
that the pair “sought to present a unified front” yesterday on the Hill.
Michael Posner Confirmation Hearing
July 29th, 2009 by Max
Michael H. Posner
, President of Human Rights First, testified Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to be confirmed as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In his testimony
, Posner asserted that the framework put forth by President Obama in his Cairo speech–in which it was asserted that freedom of speech, rule of law, equal administration of justice, transparent justice and freedom were not just American ideals, but human rights to be supported everywhere–”can and should guide U.S. policies everywhere in the world.”
Posner stated, “If confirmed, I will view my role as being a principle advocate for robust human rights and democracy policies within the Government. It will be my job to make the best case possible for why these interests are important and why adherence to these principles will advance the long term national interests of the United States.”
POMED Notes: 2009 Supplemental War Bill
May 7th, 2009 by Eoghan
The House Appropriations Committee met today to consider the 2009 supplemental bill to provide funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, aid to Pakistan, and other purposes. Chairman David Obey (D-WI) said he was “extremely dubious” that the Obama administration’s strategy in Afghanistan would succeed, but that he was willing to give them one year to try it out.
Petraeus/Crocker Testimony Day 1 Roundup
April 9th, 2008 by Stephen
The editors of the Small Wars Journal
blog have a comprehensive roundup of commentary on yesterday’s two Senate hearings with General Petraeus
and Ambassador Crocker. Included are links to a few dozen articles, analyses, reactions, and live-blogging from the two hearings. Petraeus and Crocker are now speaking before the House Armed Services Committee, and will appear before the House Committee on Foreign Afffairs this afternoon. We’ll have further details on today’s hearings later on.
POMED Notes: Hearing on Iraq in 2012
April 3rd, 2008 by Sharlina
The panel of witnesses included Professor Carole O’Leary, Program Director, Scholar in Residence, Center for Global Peace, American University, Dr. Dawn Brancati, Fellow, Institute of Quantitative Social Studies, Harvard University, The Honorable Carlos Pascual
, Vice President, Director of Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution, Dr. F. Gregory Gause, III
, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Vermont, and Dr. Terrence K. Kelly, Senior Operations Researcher, RAND Corporation.
POMED Notes: Hearing on International Relations Budget for FY 2009
February 15th, 2008 by Nicolas
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on the International Relations Budget for Fiscal Year 2009. The witness was The Honorable Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State. The hearing was presided over by Acting Chairman Rep. Howard Berman. Secretary Rice was questioned by various members of the committee on a variety of foreign issues.
POMED Notes: Senate Examination of Ambassador Nominees
February 7th, 2008 by Nicolas
On Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing for appointment of three ambassadors. The ambassadors to be were the Honorable Margaret Scobey for the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Honorable James F. Moriarty for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and Ms. Deborah K. Jones for the State of Kuwait.
POMED Notes: Hearing on Afghanistan
February 1st, 2008 by Sharlina
In Panel I, Ambassador Richard A. Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State and Ambassador David T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State testified at the hearing. The second panel’s witnesses were comprised of General James L. Jones, Jr., USMC (Ret.), Former Commander, European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Thomas Pickering, Former Under Secretary for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Committee Chairman Senator Joseph R. Biden
presided over the hearing.
POMED Notes: Hearing on Pakistani Elections (Part II)
January 31st, 2008 by Sharlina
Ambassador Richard A. Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, testified at the hearing. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John F. Tierney
presided over the hearing.
POMED Notes: Hearing on U.S. Foreign Assistance Aid
January 24th, 2008 by Nicolas
Yesterday the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on U.S. Foreign Assistance aimed to discuss reform on how aid is distributed and the nature of the assistance projects priority should be given to.
Witnesses included Mary Bush, former Chairman, HELP Commission, Leo Hindrey, former Vice Chairman, HELP Commission, Lael Brainard, Vice President and Director, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institute, and George Rupp, CEO and President, International Rescue Committee; CSIS Commission on Smart Power.For full POMED notes click here.
POMED Notes: Hearing on Censorship in Arab Media
January 22nd, 2008 by Sharlina
POMED NOTES: Hearing on US - Pakistan Relations
January 18th, 2008 by Kent
On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on the future of Pakistan after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last month. The hearing focused on how the United States should handle relations with the country in the midst of the political turmoil over the February parliamentary elections.
C. Christine Fair, Ph.D of RAND Corporation, Ashley J. Tellis, Ph.D. of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Lisa Curtis of The Heritage Foundation testified at the hearing. Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gary Ackerman presided over the hearing.
POMED Notes: Foreign Affairs Hearing about Iraq
December 20th, 2007 by Celest
Yesterday, the International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing
to investigate if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s request for an extension of the UN mandate for coalition in forces in Iraq without the approval of the Iraqi Parliament was unconstitutional under the Iraqi Constitution. This is debatable because the Iraqi Constitution says that the Iraqi Parliament must approve all international treaties and agreements, and it is questionable if extending the UN mandate in Iraq qualifies as an international agreement.
The witnesses were Michael Rubin
, Ph.D., Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; Issam Michael Saliba
, Esq., Senior Foreign Law Specialist, Middle East and North Africa, Law Library of Congress; Kenneth Katzman, Ph.D. Specialist in Middle East Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service; and Raed Jarrar, Iraq Consultant, Middle East Peace Building Program, American Friends Service Committee. Chairman Bill Delahunt
(D-MA) and Ranking Member Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) both made opening statements.
The hearing was not able to conclusively say if Maliki’s actions were unconstitutional as the witnesses were split on if this was actually the case. The Q&A session covered many topics including the representativeness of Iraq’s electoral system and how Iraq’s democracy is evolving.
David Lesch’s Testimony on Syria
November 13th, 2007 by Celest
provides a transcript of David Lesch’s oral testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Near East on November 8, 2007. POMED’s notes
from the hearing were posted last week.
POMED Notes: Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Syria
November 9th, 2007 by Celest
Yesterday the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing entitled “Syria: Options and Implications for Lebanon and the Region.” Sen. John Kerry
(D-MA) made an opening statement. Sen. Richard Lugar
(R-IN) submitted an opening statement to the record.
Witnesses were: the Honorable C. David Welch, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Department of State, Washington, DC; Mr. Robert Malley, Middle East and North Africa Program Director, International Crisis Group, Washington, DC; Dr. David W. Lesch
, Professor of Middle East History, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; and Mr. Emile el-Hokayem, Research Fellow, Southwest Asia/Gulf Program, The Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
Hearing: The State Department and the Iraq War
October 26th, 2007 by Celest
On Thursday morning the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing
to question Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about the State Department’s performance in Iraq, including fighting corruption and the use of private security companies. Questions focuses on three main topics: corruption in the Iraqi government, problems in the State Department, and the use and oversight of private security companies. Chairman Henry A. Waxman
(D-CA) made opening remarks
For POMED’s notes, click here
U.S. Government-Related Resources
The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of POMED as an organization