Foreign Policy

President Obama getting beaten up

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard sits down with John Feehery and Rodell Mollineau to talk about the situation in Ukraine and the prospects for a budget. 

Kerry’s hopes, and ours

The current question — what happens after the Arab Spring? — challenges the watching world, and particularly Secretary of State John Kerry, who is currently searching for a way to resolve ancient disputes in the Middle East between Israelis and Arabs.


Israel must go alone

“Deal leaves Israel very few options,” reads the headline on the Drudge Report. But this weekend's interim deal between six world powers and Iran on its nuclear capabilities leaves Israel with one very good option.


Iraq II: Bush, Obama and The Republic of Rhetoric. Just say no.

Watching the Senate hearings on C-SPAN yesterday brought the odd, almost surreal impression that I was watching an old black-and-white movie on the Ted Turner station, not with John Kerry and John McCain but with Lionel Barrymore and Claude Rains.

Kerry has been with us so long and looks so odd and structured as an old man, and the same could be said for McCain. Their complete self-assurance gave them character. They had become the uniform and there was nothing inside that we had not seen before so many times, back some 45 years now. 

That we have sent our trust again to these men for so long without investigation is an astonishing condemnation of the image-driven, post-war democratic temperament. Both came to us as distinguished men of war in a war that we did not win. And they are here to advise us again on yet another war we will not win.


Iran elects a new president

The recent election of Hassan Rowhani to be the next president if Iran may create a window of opportunity to seek diplomatic solutions to the always-controversial matters between the United States and Iran.

Rowhani campaigned as a pragmatist urging Iranian voters to choose a moderation and pragmatism that can lead to improvements in the economic lives of Iranians and move Iran in the direction of reconciliation at home and abroad.

It remains to be seen how far Rowhani will seek to move, and be able to move, in these directions. Make no mistake, the ultimate power in Iran is held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, and power centers that follow his lead.


Thomas Pickering on the chain of command: Ambassador to secretary of State

At the start of the Obama administration, when I was writing about the rookie president’s appalling continuation of the tradition of appointing bundlers/donors to the most glamorous embassies, I called Thomas Pickering. The professional diplomat, or “career officer,” as he called himself (he joined the Foreign Service in 1959), is being treated by a growing number of Republicans as if he’s some hack or patronage toady who’s looking to be secretary of State in the Hillary Rodham Clinton administration to come.


Has America finally lost patience with the Clintons?

It would have been impossible for Watergate to have occurred in the years before it did. Somewhere therein a sea change had occurred and we, the Americans, were determined to rescue ourselves from a million small and debilitating affronts that were destroying our moral fabric and perhaps our sanity.

The original wrong at Watergate — the break-in — is almost forgotten. Benghazi will not be. In Benghazi, the Clinton State Department became a popular front doing the talking for al Qaeda.