Current law constraining the President: a series on Congress’s options to limit arms sales and aid to Saudi Arabia, part 2

The White House’s Saudi policy implicates at least four pieces of existing legislation. If the President refuses to obey them or cuts corners, Congress can bring him to heel directly via impeachment, or indirectly through court orders that force executive branch agencies to halt the restricted activity.

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Facing a President’s veto: a series on Congress’s options to limit arms sales and aid to Saudi Arabia, part 1

Even without a two-thirds majority, Congressional representatives determined to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its flagrant violations of international law could dodge the veto and limit the President’s actions by enforcing existing laws that nominally prevent the U.S. from supporting states that violate human rights.

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Another forever war: The US strategy in Syria

In a speech at the Hoover Institution on January 17, United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlined a plan to keep US troops in Syria indefinitely, beholden to an unrealistic set of conditions. Although the new policy identifies areas of concern for the US and its allies in the Middle East, the goals outlined lack specificity and are so broad as to be impractical. If the Trump administration does not narrow its goals in Syria, it risks turning Syria into a conflict as open-ended as Afghanistan.    

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How foreign aid undermines good rebellions in Syria

Despite the international community’s efforts to shape governance in Syria, moderate opposition groups have failed to gain a foothold in the country’s political sphere. This is largely related to the international community’s strategy in Syria, which has shifted from demanding the departure of Bashar al-Assad to providing humanitarian assistance and countering the Islamic State. As part of this shift, the international community has emphasized the promotion of a “good” rebellion and governance training for rebel groups in Syria.

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