White House Leans on Regimes in Syria and Yemen

A day before Obama’s address on the Middle East, the White House made two important gestures Wednesday in the ongoing Arab Spring saga. As with much of U.S. policy in the region of late, its not clear how much effect either will have.

America and Pakistan After Bin Laden: Still Frenemies

With the fate of Osama bin Laden now firmly sealed, a crucial new question has emerged: Can America’s long-fraught relationship with the country in which the al-Qaeda leader was hiding survive much longer?

For nearly a decade, America has danced a strange tango with Pakistan, our nuclear-armed Islamic ally on Afghanistan’s eastern …

Realist Attack on the “Genocide Chick”

Under the cover line “Interventionista”, the National Interest this week fronts a lengthy story on Samantha Power, Obama’s special assistant for multilateral affairs. Power was an advocate for intervening in Libya, and the article spends a lot of time reviewing her writing to lay out her efforts as a supporter of humanitarian …

Mideast Peace Plans Imminent? Please.

There has been much talk in recent weeks of how the likely U.N. General Assembly recognition of a Palestinian State in September is forcing the Israelis and the Americans, who oppose the recognition, to come up with preemptive …

The Martyrdom of St. Douglas, Pt. 2

Amb. Douglas Kmiec has submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Kmiec was criticized in a State IG report (pdf) for spending too much time and embassy resources on private writing and outside events. Now, the AP reports, Kmiec will step down in August.

Bahrain Tests Obama’s Principles

Shortly after President Obama announced bombing runs over Libya, he gave the following explanation for his actions: “The core principle that has to be upheld here is that when the entire international community almost unanimously …

Huntsman, China and 2012

Yesterday in Shanghai, the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Hunstman–who also happens to be a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate–made news by criticizing the Chinese government’s human rights record in a kind of valedictory speech. His remarks called attention to something I hadn’t been aware of: an unusually …

What Bill Burns’ Ascension at State Says About Obama’s Foreign Policy

James Steinberg announced last week that he is stepping down as Hillary Clinton’s deputy at the State Department to run the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Taking over for him is Bill Burns, a career diplomat.

The shift is natural enough on the surface. Steinberg had made it clear he wanted …

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