BPC Blog

The group has had many names and iterations, including, most recently, as al-Qaeda in Iraq

Who’s in Iraq? Why are there various names for the terror group in Iraq?

The terrorist group marching through Iraq and slowly taking control of large swaths of the country has been referred to by a variety of names by our government officials, the media and foreign policy experts. These include the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). 

Both bills would allow veterans to receive VA-funded care from outside providers

Recently, the House and Senate each passed bills to address the serious ongoing problems with the Veterans Health Administration under the Department of Veterans Affairs. Though the bills share several common reforms, a conference committee is expected to reconcile differences between the two and send a final package to President Obama’s desk.

The gap between surface transportation spending and revenues has turned into a perennial problem that calls out for a solution with some foresight

Earlier this week, Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced bipartisan legislation that would shore up the Highway Trust Fund by increasing federal excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel by 6 cents per gallon over each of the next two years and indexing these taxes to inflation thereafter. According to the release, the proposal would raise $164 billion over the next decade, closing the trust fund’s shortfall during that time.

Although America has an interest in preserving a unified Iraqi state, it is unclear if Nouri al-Maliki will be able to withstand the pressure from ISIS

On June 17, BPC hosted a conversation on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the regional implications of Iraqi and Syrian instability.

The nomination of İhsanoğlu has ensured that Turkey’s presidential election will not be waged along the ideological fault lines that divide the country

On June 16, Turkey’s two main opposition parties, the social democratic Republican People’s Party and the rightist Nationalist Action Party, decided to nominate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the former Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as a joint candidate in the presidential elections scheduled for August 10. 

The finger-pointing in the VA scandal has been bipartisan. Thankfully, the same is holding true in the initial search for solutions.

27 percent of households nearing retirement have neither assets in retirement accounts nor a defined benefit pension

Many Americans, including those near retirement, have not saved enough. The Employee Benefit Research Institute finds that over 40 percent of Americans are at risk of running short of money for expenses in retirement. The combination of low saving rates, insufficient emergency funds, and increased responsibility for workers has left too many Americans without adequate savings for retirement to supplement their Social Security benefits.

Yesterday, Stanley Fischer was confirmed to be next Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board by the U.S. Senate. We think this is a good time to revisit his speech on the regulation of the financial system, delivered in August 2009.

The Middle East may be the only place where the transitive property of alliances does not hold: the enemy of your enemy could very well still be your enemy

On June 10, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, as well as Tikrit, and is now steadily advancing towards Baghdad. The ascendancy of this extremist organization—which had been excommunicated from al Qaeda earlier this year—has profound implications for the security and stability of the region. It also exposes just how fractured and unsettled the Middle East is.

Turkey now faces a choice between an uncontrollable jihadi group it might have helped create and the Kurdish groups it once opposed

The ceasefire negotiated last year between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party, one of the government’s major accomplishments, is now in danger of collapsing as discontent grows over the lack of progress toward a lasting peace deal. This has serious implications for Turkish politics because the Kurds are an important voting bloc in Turkey that could help determine the winner of August’s presidential elections.


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