By Jenna Ben-Yehuda, President and CEO, Truman National Security Project and Truman Center for National Policy

The election is well underway with a record-shattering 70 million votes already cast for the next President. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is laying time bombs for a prospective Biden administration. Each is intended to gut the government workforce and civil society of its independence and expertise under a second term. Three recent moves, taken together, deserve consideration and bring to mind actions by authoritarian governments in Russia, Venezuela, and Hungary. These countries have deployed similar tactics to dismantle independent voices and politicize government employees, which…

A Reflection on Memorial Day from Jon Margolick

American flag
American flag

Jon Margolick, Executive Vice President, Truman National Security Project

In one of my favorite books, there’s a song about angels. It’s not at all a serious song, and many of the characters are far from serious people, but there isn’t a dry eye or a silent throat in the room when it’s sung. They learned it together, on campaign, in days when their country needed them. They only ever sing it together. Onlookers can be forgiven for thinking they sing it for each other. …

Justin Reynolds (second from left) with members of his C-17 crew.

By Justin Reynolds, Truman Defense Council

On November 3rd, while most Americans were watching the Presidential election, I was at the controls of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III. My crew on that flight — seven men dressed in our tactical uniforms, all but one of us white — fit the image most Americans have of their military. Disturbingly, it’s also the image many Americans have of the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

One in five of those charged in the Capitol riots were veterans, and a recently released Pentagon report found that a small…

By Brian Babcock-Lumish

The revitalized Quadrilateral Security Dialogue of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States has the potential to be a lodestone of coalition and alliance structures in the Indo-Pacific region. This month’s virtual summit — joining President Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison — lays the long-term strategic groundwork to deter Chinese revisionism in Asia. As President Biden described it, the “Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.” …

By Sally A. Painter

Originally posted on the Blue Strategies website

Two years ago, we celebrated International Women’s Day with a recognition of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand. The 2019 theme was “Balance for Better,” a concept that reflected Prime Minister Ardern’s commitment to strong but compassionate leadership. Earlier this week, International Women’s Day offered a new focus — “Choose to Challenge” — calling for increased recognition of gender bias, inequality, and the power of sustained and meaningful action to provoke change. Once again, we find ourselves looking to Prime Minister Ardern’s example — this time to help…

By Emily Bilbao and Erik Brine, Truman Defense Council Member

The vile actions of seditionists attacking our nation’s Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power during the counting of Electoral College votes will forever live in infamy. It is clear that some Republican lawmakers bear responsibility for fomenting this violence, and that years of vilifying government contributed to the hate on display. No political or bureaucratic act compares to a violent coup attempt, however, as former federal civil servants, we cannot help but reflect on the quieter attempts during the Trump era aimed at disrupting our democratic norms, processes…

By: Terron Sims, II, Truman National Security Project Security Fellow

On the early morning of April 5, 2004, as the sun was rising just after the first night of fighting in the Battle of Sadr City, I went with my squadron commander to Sadr City to assess the battle damage to the neighborhood. The atmosphere was eerily still. As we walked down a main street, I began to realize that countless Iraqi men were glaring at us in such a manner to where it was obvious that they were who we were fighting a few hours ago. We knew these…

President Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to end the Muslim bans from four years prior. (The White House)

On January 20, 2021, President Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to end the Muslim bans from four years prior. On that landmark day, Truman members reflected on the history of the bans, the harm they caused, and how they altered the trajectory of so many people’s lives.

Sadaf Jaffer, Truman Political Partner

As a Muslim American it directly impacted me and my community. At the time I was living in Montgomery Township, New Jersey working as a Postdoctoral Researcher in South Asian Studies at Princeton University. In the wake of the Muslim Bans, I participated and spoke at number of…

By: Truman National Security Project’s Colorado Chapter

On January 6, flags were raised against the US Capitol, their poles used to violently break down doors and windows behind which our elective representatives barricaded themselves while under siege. A confederate flag, the very symbol of slavery and treason, was paraded through the halls of freedom and where the late Rep. John Lewis so recently walked and boldly strove for equal rights. We now know the rioters — who some have aptly called domestic terrorists — murdered one Capitol Police officer, violently assaulted others, left behind bombs, looted our National Capitol, and…

By: Isaac Eagan, Truman National Security Project Defense Council
This piece was repurposed from a social media post by the author

I spent a considerable amount of time in Georgia over the past month, first in Augusta and then in Atlanta, serving as a poll watcher alongside courageous election officials to help ensure every eligible voter — regardless of their background or party affiliation — could cast their ballot in the Senate runoff. What I witnessed in Georgia resonated deeply as one of the most powerful, heartening examples of our democracy in action. I saw 60 year-olds compelled to vote…

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