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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2009


WASHINGTON—Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Co-Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Vice-Chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, was one of three Members of Congress to participate today in a joint war games exercise with executive branch personnel organized by the Department of Defense.

“Regardless of the international crisis to which we are responding, it is imperative that leaders from both the legislative and executive branches be at the table together when the United States makes major foreign policy decisions,” Hastings said.

Today’s three hour program hosted by the National Defense University included a discussion about possible scenarios involving Russia. Participants included representatives from the Departments of Defense, State and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The foreign policy simulations had policymakers examine three potential scenarios in Russia’s future – a military situation in Ukraine’s Crimea region, a crisis involving the Russian economy and a hypothetical Russian election between current President Dmitry Medvedev and Premier Vladimir Putin.

“Exercises like the one we had today prepare us to handle any international incident and promote cooperation between the legislative and executive branches,” Hastings said.

Today’s strategic policy forum aimed to have U.S. government leaders examine Russia’s political and security outlook and identify strategic policy options and responses to concerns that Russia is seeking to gain more control over its neighboring region.

Helsinki Commission Chief of Staff Fred Turner also participated in today’s exercise.

Media Contact: Neil Simon
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Chairman Chris Smith (L), Bill Browder, author of Red Notice, and David Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedom at the McCain Institute. Courtesy of The McCain Institute for International Leadership. (Feb. 2015)