Secretary of State John Kerry will testify this morning before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the 2014 State Department budget.

Secretary of State John Kerry (Paul J. Richards/Associated Press)

The committee members should make the best use of the opportunity. Here are some questions they might want to ask:

• Why would we suggest to the Chinese that we’d delay or halt missile defense if they cooperate on North Korea?

• Is missile defense a strategic imperative for the United States?

• Why would we dangle the promise of negotiations with North Korea when the past record of these talks has been disastrous?

• Should our goal be the reunification of the Korea peninsula?

• What steps diplomatically and economically are we taking to sanction Pyongyang for its human rights atrocities?

• Russia has barred certain Americans from entering that country. Should we cease meetings and confabs about the “rule of law” and such until Russia understands and implements the rudimentary principles behind that sentiment?

• Was reset with Russia a mistake, and have we constructed a new policy? What is it?

• What is our policy toward Egyptian human rights violations and officially condoned anti-Semitism?

• Should we be conditioning aid to Egypt rather than giving it with no strings attached?

• You said months and months ago that Bashar al-Assad was on his way out of Syria. When is that? If you knew he’d last this long and kill this many people, would you have suggested stronger U.S. action sooner?

• The UK and others believe there is evidence Syria has crossed the “red line” on use of chemical weapons. What have we done to investigate and what are our findings?

• What impact would it have on Iran if Assad remained in power?

• Has the situation of the Syrian people become more grave in the last 4 to 5 years?

• If we supplied lethal weapons to the Syrian rebels would the war end sooner?

• If we set up a no fly zone would we save lives and/or hasten Assad’s downfall?

• We have had meeting after meeting with Iran in which the only result was to have another meeting. When do you think we should acknowledge negotiations aren’t working?

• What steps are you taking with allies to make the military option more credible to Tehran?

• Should our official policy in Tehran be regime change?

• You recently called for Turkey to involve itself in the “peace process.” What evidence do you have that it would play a constructive role? Have you spoken to Turkey about its prosecution of a world-famous pianist for “insulting Islam”?

• You suggested just a short time ago there was a basis for restarting the “peace process.” Does the forced resignation of Salam Fayyad affect your assessment?

• Without Fayyad, how can we and the European Union make certain our tax dollars aren’t being skimmed off for personal use by the Palestinian Authority or Fatah officials?

• Did you appeal to President Mahmoud Abbas not to push Fayyad out?

• Fatah and Hamas are now in a unity government. Can the U.S. legally provide aid? Even if legal, should we?

• The Palestinian Authority is four years past elections. Have you publicly or privately urged the PA to hold democratic elections?

• Was it a mistake to loosen sanctions on Cuba without concrete steps toward democratization and openness by the Castro brothers? What is the condition of Alan Gross and what steps are we taking to free him?

• If we could agree with Iraq to have a contingent of U.S. troops based there, as we did in Korea and Germany, would that be a stabilizing force and/or curb Iranian influence?

• What dangers and hardships will Afghan women face once we depart?

• Is al-Qaeda in North Africa a threat to U.S. interests?

• Since the killing of Osama bin Laden, where has al-Qaeda increased its presence? What are we doing about it?

• Why are so many top political spots in the State Department unfilled?

• What are we doing about the plight of Christians in Islamic countries?

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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