Barack Obama

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Undiplomatic or Strategic?

I’m a big fan of former Ambassador Jim Dobbins, who has served in Afghanistan and knows an awful lot about how to conduct development programs in counterinsurgency situations, but I don’t think he’s being very fair in criticizing Ambassador Karl Eikenberry here.

For one thing, Eikenberry’s cables, which favored the witholding of …

In the Arena In the Arena


The wingnuts are already promoting a–bogus, of course–link between the Fort Hood shooter and the President. I would recommend that this post be read in conjunction with a look at the brilliant Jon Stewart impersonation of Glenn Beck posted by Amy Sullivan below. Can’t you just see it?

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Russian Autumn

There is probably less than meets the eye in substantive terms to the recent Russian intransigence on a sanctions regime for Iran. Vladimir Putin merely said that talk of additional sanctions was “premature”–and if the New York Times report cited in my post below can be credited, Putin is right.

But there’s something else going on …

Video: Photo Op in the Oval Office

Follow along with Time’s White House photographer Brooks Kraft as he and the rest of the press corps are herded past the President as he meets with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

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The Afghanistan Paradox

This war has come to be inexorably linked to this President. He likes to say that he’s “taking the fight” to the terrorists because it’s “fundamental to the defense of our people.” His strong supporters include Karl Rove, John McCain and Sarah Palin. In Congress, Democratic leaders grate at the idea of granting him more …

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Obama’s Press Conference

He’s good. You forget that when you haven’t seen him in a while. He seemed entirely in command, not at all rattled by the toxic political dust storm swirling in Washington. His answers were supple, substantive. The questions were pretty good. The key point that he hammered was the ugliness of the status quo. “If you heard there was a …

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Getting Defensive at NSC, State

Bob Woodward is body armor in official Washington. He’s protection against the verdict of history, since his insider books are usually the first attempt to explain the inner workings of any given Administration. You want to be on his good side; just ask Colin Powell. So when former General Jim Jones invited Woodward along on a trip to the …

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Bill Kristol has, for the past twenty years, played neoconservative wise man with gradually diminishing effect. His major claim to fame was coming up with the recalcitrant strategy–vote no!–that turned Republicans like Bob Dole away from reforming health care in 1994. This was considered brilliant at the time. Ever since, he has been …

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Latest Column

On the need for Barack Obama to renew his domestic policy focus. This column could easily have been longer, and I know there will be some disagreement over the positions I favor. Here are a few notes and further explanations:

1. On the carbon tax and the inadequacy of cap-and-trade, here’s a terrific paper by Elaine Kamarck putting …

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