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Lee H. Hamilton
Lee H. Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was previously the Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Prior to becoming Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, Mr. Hamilton served for thirty-four years as a United States Congressman from Indiana. He is a member of the advisory council for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and in December, 2002, he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).

During his tenure in Congress, he served as Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (now the Committee on International Relations), and chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East from the early 1970s until 1993. Mr. Hamilton also served as Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran. Mr. Hamilton served as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, working to promote long-term economic growth and development, global market competition, and a sound fiscal policy. Mr. Hamilton served as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on National Security in the 21st Century (better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission), and was Co-Chair with former Senator Howard Baker of the Baker-Hamilton Commission to Investigate Certain Security Issues at Los Alamos.

He now serves as Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. Mr. Hamilton has been awarded the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999, the Paul H. Nitze Award for Distinguished Authority on National Security Affairs in 1999, the American Political Science Association Hubert H. Humphrey Award in 1998, the American Bar Association CEELI Award in 1998, the Center for Civic Education Civitas Award in 1998, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1998, the Center for National Policy Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Public Service Award in 1997, the American Political Science Association Outstanding Legislator Award in 1997, the Indiana University President's Medal for Excellence in 1996, and the Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study Distinguished Citizen Fellow in 1994.

Other awards of distinction include the Central Intelligence Agency Medallion in 1988, the Defense Intelligence Agency Medallion in 1987, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1985, and the Knight of the French Legion of Honor in 1984.

Entries by Lee H. Hamilton

Why Do They Hate Us?

(42) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 3:12 PM

At a public meeting I recently attended, a woman stood up and asked me a question that gave me some pause: Why do the Arabs hate us so much?

On its surface, hers was a simple, straightforward question, one that I'm certain many Americans have asked themselves amidst regular...

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Are We Safer Now? Yes, But Not as Much as We Could Be

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 4:33 PM

Wherever I go, the question is almost always the same, and it's to be expected, considering my past co-chairmanship of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, more commonly known as the 9/11 Commission.

The question: Are we safer now?

Compared to when the 9/11...

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The U.S. Needs to Define Its Objective, Enlist International Support in Fight Against ISIS Threat

(8) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 1:52 PM

As the world grapples with how to combat the Islamic State -- otherwise known as ISIS -- in Syria, so far it would appear that the biggest weapon in its arsenal is a thesaurus.

Depending on whom you listen to, we're going to "contain," "cripple," "roll back," "defeat" and/or...

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International Community, Including U.S., Must Do More to Stop Ebola Outbreak

(1) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 5:22 PM

As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa continues to spiral out of control, our hearts go out to the victims of this horrible virus. Our thoughts are also with the beleaguered doctors and nurses confronting hellish conditions as they desperately try to halt the spread of a disease that has...

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Diplomacy Is the Only Real Solution to Iraq Crisis

(4) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 10:51 PM

As the nation analyzes the roots of the recent meltdown in the Middle East -- the lightning advance made in Iraq by a violent Sunni Islamic insurgency known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- this much is certain: the Middle East, as we've known it for...

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Achieving Long-term Stability in Ukraine Is Key to Navigating Watershed Moment in East-West Relations

(17) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 12:05 PM

In recent days, there has been no shortage of opinions about Ukraine, the escalating crisis over that country's future and the international community's response to Russia's bold takeover of Crimea.

The conversation thus far has largely centered on how the U.S. and its European allies can ease the standoff...

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The Cold Truths About America's Foreign Policy Vortex

(2) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 7:49 PM

The early weeks of 2014 have me pondering vortexes, but not the kind that continue to bring bone-chilling temperatures to much of the nation, including my home state of Indiana.

I'm thinking of what might be termed America's foreign policy vortex -- a swirling mass of formidable challenges that...

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Top Foreign Policy Challenge Heading Into 2014? It's China

(2) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 10:04 AM

It's the end of the year, which means the traditional reveal of top 10 lists. If there were such a list for foreign policy concerns facing the United States as we prepare to ring in 2014, it would almost certainly be led by areas in which the nation's foreign policy...

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Iran Nuclear Talks Are Bound to Get Tougher

(51) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 12:07 PM

So now what?

That's the big question following last weekend's talks in Geneva over curbing Iran's nuclear program. The conversation closed without a deal, dashing the hopes of those here in America and abroad who believed that -- after decades of tension and stalemate -- an agreement over Tehran's...

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Limited Options, Influence for U.S. in Syria

(2) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 2:17 PM

Presently, the national conversation about Syria has centered on possible prescriptions for an international crisis that has the U.S. tied up in a considerable conundrum.

Should President Obama punish Syria's apparent use of chemical weapons? Did Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad, cross the "red line" that would warrant...

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Immigration Reform: A Major Opportunity to Advance America's National Interest

(11) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 7:19 PM

Several days ago, a new public opinion poll revealed a startling shift in the way people across the globe view our nation's standing as the world's leading economic and political superpower.

A growing number of people now believe the U.S. is losing its place to China as the...

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NSA Controversy Reveals Need for Greater Public Discourse to Prevent Future Abuses

(6) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 5:41 PM

Recent revelations concerning the National Security Agency's controversial mass surveillance programs -- and the government contractor who leaked classified documents about those programs -- have sparked a renewed dialogue: How much individual freedom are U.S. citizens willing to sacrifice for the sake of national security?

Like many...

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Enlarging the Frame

(26) Comments | Posted May 21, 2012 | 5:25 PM

With the next round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran coming up on May 23rd in Baghdad, we know that the parties have concluded further talks could be useful. But it still appears that the central thrust of the P5+1 (the U.S., U.K., China, Russia, France and Germany) will...

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