The Foreign Service Journal, November 2006

Bush; and Leslie H. Gelb, president- emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. Beers is president of the new organization and Gelb is chair- man of its advisory board. The Washington-based think-tank draws on the expertise of over 1,000 national security specialists on both sides of the partisan divide. It intends to extend the debate to the public through town hall meetings, citizen outreach and online exchanges. The Security Framework Project, a com- munications hub sponsored by, and maintained for, the progressive nation- al security community, is another key project. “The National Security Network acts as a switchboard to connect media, political leaders and experts to ensure the best ideas are getting where they need to go,” Beers said at the launch event at the National Press Club. “NSNmembers are committed to fostering an informed public dia- logue to ensure a secure and prosper- ous future for the United States and to restore America’s legitimacy as a global leader.” One of the core missions of the Network is to strengthen citizen support for responsible foreign poli- cy throughout the country. Chap- ters are currently active in three states, and are being set up in five more. “The National Security Network aims to put ‘security’ back into ‘national security’ and do it by restor- ing bipartisanship,” said Network Advisory Board Chairman Leslie H. Gelb. “No other national security organization integrates policymaking, messaging and community outreach within one enterprise. Network members are the best of the next gen- eration. They are problem-solvers addressing real challenges.” — Susan Maitra, Senior Editor Religious Freedom Report Draws Criticism Despite a general trend toward religious freedom, in certain regions the past year has witnessed increased governmental efforts “to create sec- tarian violence and attack people of other faiths,” said John V. Hanford III, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, at a Sept. 15 brief- ing on the 2006 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom ( www. htm ). The State Department report cov- ers conditions in 197 nations and ter- ritories, noting significant abuses in eight “countries of particular con- cern.” The CPC list — China, Erit- rea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam — remains unchanged from 2005 but, according to Hanford, an updated list is forthcoming. Among the CPCs, the report traces a decline of freedom in Iran, where “government actions and rhetoric cre- ated a threatening atmosphere for nearly all religious minorities.” Both recognized and unrecognized minori- ties in Iran continue to suffer at the hands of discriminatory government- sponsored media campaigns, the report states. The report cites ongoing restric- tions in China, where Christians, Muslims and Falun Gong practition- ers continue to be violently persecut- ed. It also expresses concern over intensified restriction of religious activities — on the part of both Christian and Muslim groups — in Uzbekistan, which many speculate will be included in the new CPC list. Criticism has been leveled at the report from both the domestic and international arena. The U.S. Com- mission on International Religious Freedom stated that it was “shocked” 12 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 C Y B E R N O T E S