Compromise rulings on The Obameter

Set standards for when the government should hire defense contractors


"Require the Pentagon to develop a strategy for figuring out when contracting makes sense and when it doesn't, rather than continually handing off governmental jobs to well-connected companies."


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Restore the government's ability to manage contracts by rebuilding our contract officer corps


"Restore the government's ability to manage contracts, by rebuilding our contract officer corps."


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Create a system of incentives and penalties for defense contracts


"Enact a program of market incentives and sanctions for Pentagon contractors, just like any other good business client would use, to reward companies that perform well and come in under budget, while punishing firms that fail to perform as originally hired."


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Work to end NATO restrictions on forces in Afghanistan


Some countries "contributing forces are imposing restrictions on where their troops can operate, tying the hands of commanders on the ground. ... As president, Obama will work with European allies to end these burdensome restrictions and strengthen NATO as a fighting force. An increased U.S. commitment to the NATO mission will substantially strengthen our hand in asking for more from our European friends."


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Train and equip the Afghan army


"Barack Obama will strengthen the training and equipping of the Afghan army and police and increase Afghan participation in U.S. and NATO missions, so that there is more of an Afghan face on security."


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Spend $5 billion over three years on cooperative programs with foreign intelligence agencies


"Overseas, Barack Obama will establish a Shared Security Partnership Program to invest $5 billion over three years to improve cooperation between U.S. and foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This program will include information sharing, funding for training, operations, border security, anti-corruption programs, technology, and the targeting of terrorist financing. And this effort will focus on helping our partners succeed without repressive tactics, because brutality breeds terror, it does not defeat it."


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End the use of extreme rendition


"From both a moral standpoint and a practical standpoint, torture is wrong. Barack Obama will end the use torture without exception. He also will eliminate the practice of extreme rendition, where we outsource our torture to other countries."


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Revise the Patriot Act to increase oversight on government surveillance


"As president, Barack Obama would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision."

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Restrict warrantless wiretaps


"Barack Obama opposed the Bush Administration's initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens. As president, Obama would update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law."

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Prioritize security investments in refineries, pipelines and power grids


"Barack Obama will prioritize security investments in our refineries and pipelines and power grids."


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Improve communications systems for first responders


"Barack Obama supports efforts to provide greater technical assistance to local and state first responders and dramatically increase funding for reliable, interoperable communications systems. He also supports a more rapid turnover of broadcast spectrum to first responders."


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Strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) aimed at stopping spread of weapons of mass destruction


"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will institutionalize the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a global initiative aimed at stopping shipments of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials worldwide. They will expand the responsibilities of its members, not only in stopping illicit nuclear shipments, but also in eradicating nuclear black market networks. A stronger PSI will produce greater international intelligence and police cooperation, maintain tougher export controls and criminal penalties for violations in countries around the world, and apply the tools developed to combat terrorist financing to shut down proliferators' financial networks."


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Create a national cyber adviser to coordinate security of electronic infrastructure

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will declare the cyber infrastructure a strategic asset, vital to national security and the global economy, and develop and deploy systems to protect it. ... Barack Obama and Joe Biden will establish the position of national cyber advisor who will report directly to the president and will be responsible for coordinating federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy."

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Create loan sanctions to stop private creditors from lending to repressive regimes


"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will lead a multilateral effort to address the issue of 'odious debt' by investigating ways in which 'loan sanctions' might be employed to create disincentives for private creditors to lend money to repressive, authoritarian regimes."


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Significantly increase funding for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that we should channel most support for democratic activists living under the most repressive regimes through independent institutions, committed to supporting democrats but free from perceptions of questionable or ulterior motives. They will significantly increase funding for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other nongovernmental organizations to support these civic activists."

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Restructure and streamline USAID


Barack Obama and Joe Biden will "coordinate and consolidate PEPFAR, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Middle East Partnership Initiative and many foreign assistance programs currently housed in more than 20 executive agencies into a restructured, empowered and streamlined USAID. ... An empowered and elevated agency should be more nimble in the face of change and use tax dollars more responsibly."


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Increase the size of the foreign service


Barack Obama and Joe Biden "will increase the size of the Foreign Service, fully fund the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and create a new Office of Conflict Prevention and Resolution with senior Ambassadors to support high-level negotiations and provide the expertise and capacity to seize opportunities or address crises as they arise. An Obama administration will also build a ready reserve corps of private civilians that can participate in post-conflict, humanitarian and stabilization efforts around the globe."


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Strengthen the State Department's ability to respond to conflict


Barack Obama and Joe Biden "will increase the size of the Foreign Service, fully fund the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization and create a new Office of Conflict Prevention and Resolution with senior Ambassadors to support high-level negotiations and provide the expertise and capacity to seize opportunities or address crises as they arise. An Obama administration will also build a ready reserve corps of private civilians that can participate in post-conflict, humanitarian and stabilization efforts around the globe."


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Direct attorney general and homeland security secretary to meet with Latin American leaders to develop a hemispheric crime strategy


"Barack Obama will direct his Attorney General and Homeland Security Secretary to meet with their Latin American and Caribbean counterparts in the first year of his presidency to produce a regional strategy to combat drug trafficking, domestic and transnational gang activity, and organized crime. A hemispheric pact on security, crime and drugs will permit the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean to advance serious and measurable drug demand reduction goals, while fostering cooperation on intelligence and investigating criminal activity.


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Urge China to stop manipulation of its currency value


"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use all diplomatic means at his disposal to achieve change in China's manipulation of the value of its currency, a practice that contributes to massive global imbalances and provides Chinese companies with an unfair competitive advantage."


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