Foreign Policy

Will the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan “succeed” as it did in Iraq?

Washington, D.C. - Prior to the Iraq and Afghanistan military interventions, U.S. planners cut deals with the least democratic groups in both countries,  crippling U.S. “long term objectives” in the process. In Iraq, the U.S. empowered competing rag tag groups with self-serving motivations. In Afghanistan, the U.S. empowered warlords responsible for the devastation of the country during its decade-long civil war, figures credited for creating the conditions on the ground for Taliban reign.


The Big Question: Will a new book reshape views on Afghanistan?

Some of the nation's top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.

Today's question:

Will the portrayal of the Obama administration in Bob Woodward's new book impact public support for the war?
Background reading here.


Putting poor people first

It may be tempting to dismiss this week’s UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) review summit as yet another talk-shop: Government leaders making fine pronouncements and posing for photo ops. But this time, the decisions our leaders make can mean the difference between hardship and hope. Between impoverishment and opportunity—for a billion poor people worldwide.


Invest in women, invest in the world (Rep. Yvette Clarke)

Right now, the largest gathering of world leaders in at least a decade is assembling at the United Nations in New York to assess what progress has been made in reducing poverty, improving health and ensuring access to education in developing countries.  One issue on the agenda that is especially dear to me is how to combat pregnancy-related deaths and injuries and improve women’s health in developing countries. 


U.S. leading efforts to save lives

It's time to look at the facts regarding the U.S. leadership role in the international fight against HIV/AIDS.  And let's look at it through the lens that matters the most: lives saved.  Thanks in large part to ongoing U.S. leadership, the number of people receiving HIV prevention, treatment and care is growing and will continue to grow with the significant support of the Obama Administration:


A start for New START: Keep it going

Yesterday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14-4 to approve the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). New START, for those who need a little review, is a modest but essential step towards reducing the danger nuclear weapons pose to the United States.


The New START agreement: It's not the numbers that count

The New START arms control treaty, signed last April by Presidents Obama and Medvedev, is scheduled for a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote in the Senate this Thursday, September 16. The treaty, which limits strategic –- i.e. long-range -- nuclear warheads to 1550 and their delivery systems –- missiles and heavy bombers –- to 800, is just the latest in a long line of agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia designed to reduce the danger inherent in large arsenals of highly destructive weapons.


The 123 Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Energizing the U.S.-Russia reset

The “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations has borne significant fruit for U.S. interests since it was announced 18 months ago. These dividends range from signing the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and agreeing to jointly eliminate some 70 tons of weapons-grade plutonium in April, to securing concrete Russian support for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. While most of these accomplishments deal with shared security interests, our two countries should find other ways to cooperate outside the security realm.


The hatred behind Quran burnings (Rep. Keith Ellison)

On a day when we should remember the victims and heroic first-responders of the September 11th attacks, a fringe group in Florida has decided to burn copies of the Quran in a deliberate attempt to provoke individuals of the Muslim faith.


Scott Brown and the bombs in the basement

It is entirely to Scott Brown’s credit that the freshman Senator from Massachusetts has shown an interest in foreign policy since coming to Washington. He has now made his first visit to Israel and written an op-ed in the Wall St Journal calling for all Arab states to support measures to shut down the Iranian nuclear program saying “there can never be peace in the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran.”