The First 100 Minutes: Tiptoeing Through Trump’s Landmines

As Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo withdrew in the dying days of their administration, they sowed the foreign policy ground with landmines. The landmines were meant to checkmate the new administration so that, no matter which way President Biden moved, the landmines would blow up. In the first minutes of the administration, certain statements … Continue reading “The First 100 Minutes: Tiptoeing Through Trump’s Landmines”

Rob Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy

President Biden’s commitment to re-entering the Iran nuclear deal – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA – is already facing backlash from a motley crew of warhawks both domestic and foreign. Right now, opponents of reentering the deal are centering their vitriol on one of the nation’s foremost experts on … Continue reading “Rob Malley for Iran Envoy: A Test Case for Biden’s Commitment to Diplomacy”

Coexistence or Cold War With China?

"The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States… does not challenge that position." Thus did President Nixon, in the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972, accept China’s territorial claim to the island of Taiwan. … Continue reading “Coexistence or Cold War With China?”

Rights Advocates Alarmed by US Spy Agency’s Purchase of Warrantless Phone Location Data

Digital rights advocates reacted with alarm to a report published Friday detailing how Defense Intelligence Agency analysts in recent years bought databases of U.S. smartphone location data without first obtaining warrants. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is part of the Department of Defense and is tasked with informing military and civilian policymakers about the activities … Continue reading “Rights Advocates Alarmed by US Spy Agency’s Purchase of Warrantless Phone Location Data”

America Adrift and Aflame: Fix the US Before the World

The Beer Belly Putsch, as the January 6 takeover of the Capitol has been called, created shock waves across the nation’s capital and around the world. It was never as serious as some observers suggested: the president had no coup plan and most of the ragtag protesters appeared to be little more than accidental tourists, … Continue reading “America Adrift and Aflame: Fix the US Before the World”

The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars

Perhaps the strangest thing about America’s "forever wars" is how little obvious impact they’ve had here. A country – an imperial power, in fact, that liked to think of itself as the planet’s last or "lone" superpower – goes to war for so long (and with so little evident result) that even "the longest war" … Continue reading “The Massive and Unseen Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars”

Battle Lines Drawn on Ending Yemen War

One day before the Inauguration, the Trump Administration added Yemen’s Houthi movement to a list of foreign terrorist organizations. It was just the latest, desperate attempt to hamstring President Joe Biden’s promise to end the war in Yemen. While Trump proudly proclaims that he started no new wars, he also failed to end any of … Continue reading “Battle Lines Drawn on Ending Yemen War”

The No Fly List: More Dangerous Than the Capitol Rioters

As I write this, the Capitol Hill riot of January 6 is enjoying its extended 15 minutes of fame, complete with straight-faced comparisons to December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. In hindsight, it will hopefully (and hopefully quickly) shrink to its real-life proportions: A few thousand hysterical Donald Trump supporters, and likely at most … Continue reading “The No Fly List: More Dangerous Than the Capitol Rioters”

Fearing the Palestinian Narrative: Why Israel Banned Jenin Jenin

On January 11, the Israeli Lod District Court ruled against a Palestinian filmmaker, Mahmoud Bakri, ordering him to pay hefty compensation to an Israeli soldier who was accused, along with the Israeli military, of carrying out war crimes in April 2002, in the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp located in the northern occupied West Bank. The … Continue reading “Fearing the Palestinian Narrative: Why Israel Banned Jenin Jenin