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Rundown 07/29/13

Rundown 07/29/13

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A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team.
A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team.

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Published by: American Enterprise Institute on Sep 05, 2013
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12/08/2013

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Good morning and welcome to the Rundown. Judging by the number of out-of-office replies
we’re getting these days, the average Rundown reader must travel quite a bit. Sadly, we don’t
have a frequent-flier rewards program for our most faithful readers, but how awesome wouldthat be? As always, feel free to ping us with comments or questions.Best,Your AEI Foreign and Defense Policy Studies team
 
Tweet of the Week
Roger Noriega
The Castro regime is so bereft of new ideas that its leaders can do little more than blamevictims of its old ideas: 
In the
N
ews
Defense
 
The president’s advisers are encouraging Congress to help them restrain internal cost growth on priorities
such as health care, but Congress is moving in a different direction.
As part of the 
ongoing
 with eachmember of the Joint Chiefs, 
 hosted Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno for a public
 this morning. A full recording of the event will be posted to the 
 within the next few hours.In the recent Wall Street Journal op-
ed titled
, 
and Brookings Institution scholar Michael O’Hanlon write: “It is important
that the U.S. maintains itscontract with those who serve by providing them generous pay and benefits. But it is unfair to those verysame troops to undercut the other sacred contract we have with them, which demands they have access tothe best weapons an
d training so they are ready for whatever the nation asks of them next.”
 
NSA
 
The NSA survived a legislative challenge in the House of Representatives last week, but defenders of the
agency face an uphill battle to convince the public that the agency’s p
rograms can improve security without imperiling civil liberties.
In today’s Washington Post, 
 discusses the 
 on vital NSA programs. He
writes: “When terrorist attacks succeed, members of Cong
ress are the first to demand that intelligenceofficials explain why they failed to
'
connect the dots.
'
Well, if Congress ends the metadata program, those
intelligence officials will have a simple answer: because you took away the field of dots.”
 In a recent 
 for AEIdeas, 
discusses a new RAND study about al Qaeda’sexpanding capabilities and scope. He concludes: “The fa
ct is, al Qaeda is not decimated, it is growing. Andif we want to find out what they are planning, we need to maintain a robust NSA terrorist surveillance
program.”
 
M
iddle East
The Syrian state broadcaster is reporting that the Syrian army has recaptured the key rebel district of Khaldiyeh in the central city of Homs. If confirmed, this event would represent a major coup for the Assad 
regime as the city links Damascus to the Alawite hinterland of Assad’s minority community.
 
On Wednesday, 
 will testify before the House Subcommittee on the Middle East
and North Africa at a hearing called “Th
e Iran-
Syria nexus and its implications for the region.” Click 
 tolivestream his testimony at 2:30 p.m. on July 31.
 
Latin America
On Sunday, Pope Francis ended his trip to Brazil with a Mass before more than a million people gathered on
a beach in Rio de Janeiro, reflecting the Vatican’s ambition to arrest the loss of worshipers in Latin America.
 
weighs in on Peru’s progress under President Humala in 
:“Certainly, if all
Humala is interested in is popularity he could follow the examples of populists in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador,and Venezuela who pander to their base to consolidate power. He has not done that. As long as Humala
continues to put his country’s progress ahead of his own interests he deserves the encouragement of those
who want Peru
to prosper.”
 
Asia
Citing widespread voting irregularities, Cambodia’s opposition party has rejected the ruling party’s victory announcement in this weekend’s parliamentary elections.
Last week, 
, 
,and 
 released a research paper that analyzesthe impact of resource security concerns on Japanese foreign policy. See the full text of the paper,
“Ensuring Japan’s critical resource security: Case studies in rare earth element and natural gas supplies,”
. 
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