Global Fragility Act faces opposition in Senate

Senators Chris Coons and Todd Young stressed the importance of a new foreign policy bill, the Global Fragility Act, in advancing U.S. peacemaking efforts at the Keough School’s Unity on Global Fragility conference.

The conference, which took place July 18 at the Keough School Washington Office, contributed to an ongoing discussion about the U.S. government’s role in preventing violent extremism abroad. It was co-sponsored by the Keough School of Global Affairs and its Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Mercy Corps and Search for Common Ground. George A. Lopez, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, was a speaker at the event.

The Global Fragility Act, currently making its way through the Senate, outlines new strategies for combating instability in at-risk countries by integrating efforts across the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Defense Department. A different version of the bill was passed by the House in May.

Originally published at on July 18, 2019.

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US imposes sanctions on Hezbollah officials accused of supporting Iran

George A. Lopez, professor of peace studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs, provided expert commentary on the Trump administration’s use of sanctions against Hezbollah officials in Lebanon in a New York Times article Tuesday.

According to the article, the administration imposed the sanctions as a move against supposed allies of the Iranian government. The use of economic sanctions for political leverage has been a trademark of U.S. foreign policy under Trump, Lopez said.

“The notion of simply listing people and freezing their accounts without evidence of their specific financial support to Iran or specific terrorist activities, that is a reach,” said Lopez, an expert in economic sanctions. “But it is consistent with the use — some would say misuse — of sanctions by this administration. The emphasis is less on direct causal linkage and more guilt by association.”

Originally published at on July 9, 2019.

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