Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner is Vice President for Government Relations at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.

The Right Lessons From a Tragic Drone Error

 

In the wake of revelations that a January 2015 drone strike targeting two senior al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan also tragically resulted in the deaths of two hostages — U.S. citizen Warren Weinstein, and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto, both aid workers — the Obama administration is apparently preparing to review its rules governing drone […]

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Power Failure

 

Ten years ago next week, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States issued its final report, known as the 9/11 Commission Report, documenting the events leading up to the day that a determined adversary exploited vulnerabilities in our system to kill three thousand Americans and cause $2 trillion in localized and global […]

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Judging ‘Drones’ From Afar

 

Since the nomination of John Brennan to Director of Central Intelligence, the past few weeks have seen intensified debate within the United States on the American use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also referred to as drones), both overseas and stateside. Due process, separation of powers, citizenship, use of force — all these concepts have […]

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A Question Not Asked

 

Last night’s presidential debate rightfully put the spotlight on President Obama’s performance over the last four years as commander-in-chief. As informative as the debate was in certain respects, it regrettably did not include discussion of the President’s views on what to do with the remaining terrorist detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. Like his […]

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LOST Trade Routes

 

There is never a good time to deny the United States Navy maximum capability to defend American interests, but now is a particularly bad time. Iran’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons and China’s continuing escalation of its military buildup will have significant implications for key trade routes like the Strait of Hormuz (through which 20% […]

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Walking Too Softly

 

These days, when it comes to the U.S.-Mexico border, the only thing more alarming than the myriad security threats crossing over into the United States is our leadership’s apparent cluelessness as to how serious a problem we face and what to do about it. By way of example, the State Department recently put on a […]

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Radicalization Lessons

 

Earlier this week, Sen. Richard Durbin convened a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims.” The subcommittee heard from four witnesses, each giving the same one-sided narrative on this issue, but did not hear from any witnesses offering an alternative view. This was a sharp contrast to the more balanced […]

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Citizenship as Sword

 

Recent news reports indicate that the second issue of Inspire, a web-based English-language al Qaeda magazine, was just published. The publication — which features articles containing suggestions on how to commit violent acts of jihad most effectively, from truck bombs to nerve gas — also contains an article written by Samir Khan, an American citizen […]

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The Other Lockerbies

 

Senators Menendez and Lautenberg of New Jersey took to the microphone this week to express disappointment that witnesses from the British government and BP — including outgoing CEO Tony Hayword — were unavailable to appear before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing convened last week. The purpose of the hearing was to explore BP’s alleged […]

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Trusting Terrorists, Abandoning Troops

 

I recently returned from a week-long media tour in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some of our finest soldiers and sailors are tasked with a difficult and thankless job: guarding dangerous detainee enemy combatants captured in the course of the Global War on Terror. In the same week, Reps. Burton (R-Ind.) Rohrabacher (R-Cal.) and Gohmert (R-Tex.) […]

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