Rebeccah Heinrichs | All Articles

Rebeccah Heinrichs
Rebeccah Heinrichs
Foreign Policy Analyst
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      Rebeccah Heinrichs

      Rebeccah Heinrichs is a foreign policy analyst specializing in nuclear deterrence and missile defense. She is the former manager of the House Congressional Missile Defense Caucus and a fellow at the George C. Marshall Institute.

Americans Don’t Target Civilians, Islamist Militants Do

A member of the special forces' Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) stands in front of a billboard bearing the logo of the Islamic State (IS) group in Mosul's eastern district of Mohandessin on January 19, 2017, during an ongoing military operation against IS jihadists.
Iraqi forces battled the last holdout jihadists in east Mosul after commanders declared victory there and set their sights on the city's west, where more tough fighting awaits. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images.

ISIS is trying to increase and exploit civilian suffering and death while the United States tries to avoid and protect civilians. This isn't new. It's the way it’s been with every militant Islamist group the United States has fought since September 11, 2001. But if the United States and coalition forces are going to finally destroy ISIS, it is crucial that this point is understood. More civilians will die until the war against ISIS is completed, and regardless of whose weapon it was that caused the death, the moral responsibility of the tragedy rests with ISIS.

Todd Beamer And Everyday American Heroes

3:30 PM 09/11/2015

On this anniversary of September 11, 2001, what is the hashtag “neverforget” calling us to remember, exactly? The sadness? Absolutely. We should mourn with those who mourn. But we should not only be sad, and certainly not defeated. Let us remember what makes the United States the object of wrath and violence for terrorists like the hijackers. Fourteen years later, we find American leadership absent on the world stage. If anything, we see an American government that appeases countries with the same ideology as the 911 hijackers.

ISIS May Be Succeeding, But Only For As Long As U.S. Political Leadership Allows

3:18 PM 02/05/2015

ISIS has intimidated the UAE from continuing air strikes, has recruited 4,000 foreign fighters since September, is holding and gaining influence in Iraq, Syria, and is now active in Libya, Lebanon, and Yemen. There is no sign the militants are being demoralized or degraded in any meaningful way. Instead, they have more momentum and are gaining fighters. If that is not what winning looks like, what is?

America Still Needs Nukes — And A Better Foreign Policy

4:37 PM 08/12/2014

While the world watches U.S. military efforts in Iraq, seeking to provide temporary relief for Christians and other religious minorities persecuted by the Islamist group ISIS, it provides an opportunity to consider just how different and many the threats are around the globe. Because of this, the U.S. must develop a foreign policy and defense strategy that is up to the task.

How The Obama Administration’s Nuclear Policy Has Backfired

9:54 AM 06/02/2014

During this administration, the one perhaps most dedicated to moving toward “a world without nuclear weapons,” more, not fewer, countries are tempted to or are close to attaining them. Most of the world’s attention related to nuclear weapons is focused on Iran and the effect a nuclear Iran may have on the larger Middle East. But that’s not the only region at risk. Just today, Dow Jones reported that the South Korean president Park Geun-hye, said if North Korea moves forward with yet another nuclear weapons test, "It would be difficult for us to prevent a nuclear domino from occurring in this area.” The countries that are most tempted to nuke up are Japan and South Korea, of course.

Rather than deter Russia, Obama administration gives it cover

5:44 PM 04/22/2014

It’s really no wonder Russia continues to flout U.S. demands to deescalate the situation in Ukraine. The fecklessness of Washington's response to Moscow's behavior is deeper and much worse than the infamous and embarrassingly weak sanctions against a handful of Russian politicians. Since President Obama entered office, his administration has downplayed, and in some severe cases, even tried to conceal Russian violations and dangerous behavior. One might even describe the Obama administration as the Russian government’s best cover.

Attack Syria to demonstrate credibility? What credibility?

2:03 PM 09/04/2013

On Saturday, President Obama announced he will seek congressional authorization to use military force in Syria. On Sunday, Patrick Leahy, the Senate’s senior Democrat, announced his aides were redrafting the authorization. The president’s draft, he said, was “too open-ended.”

Four questions for Chuck Hagel on nuclear weapons

3:46 PM 01/08/2013

Last May, the Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission released a bombshell of a report. The nuclear disarmament group called for draconian cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Many defense experts, including the current head of Strategic Command, General C. Robert Kehler, flat-out disagreed with that report. So why give it another thought? Because President Obama’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, former Senator Chuck Hagel, is a co-author.

Missile defense: the lost years

6:23 PM 09/18/2012

Three years ago Monday, President Barack Obama tossed cooperative agreements with the Poles and the Czechs, scrapping the previous administration’s plan to counter the growing threat of Iranian long-range ballistic missiles by deploying defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Obama’s disarmament policy: We go first

12:58 PM 11/15/2011

While the Obama administration has spent the last three years attempting to take the world down the Road to Zero nuclear weapons, last week the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report presenting the strongest evidence to date that Iran is building a nuclear weapon.

Defense spending isn’t the place to skimp

3:24 PM 08/28/2011

In a private meeting before the debt ceiling vote, several Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee urged House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a hawk to the super committee charged with reducing the deficit. His mission: defend the defense budget.

The bipartisan push for missile defense

2:48 PM 12/13/2010

The coming Congress will bring new opportunity for bipartisan consensus on a traditionally contentious policy matter -- advancing missile defense. On November 20th at the Lisbon summit, NATO officially announced it would move forward with a missile defense system for Europe that will use the U.S. plan called the “European Phased Adaptive Approach” as its cornerstone. Although the administration has pledged to move forward with the EPAA, it is not enough that President Obama simply wants to deploy some missile defense over the next several years. The administration will have to do four things in order to ease the concerns and earn the backing of staunch missile defense supporters.

Lame duck is wrong place for New START

11:47 AM 11/23/2010

The Obama administration has earned a bad rap for ramming legislation through Congress without sufficient oversight, Republican buy-in, or support from the American people. The White House rushed its bulky healthcare bill through before congressmen could read it. As House Speaker Pelosi infamously quipped, “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”