Washington Failing to Understand Iran’s Opposition

WASHINGTON – The popular uprisings that have brought turmoil to Arab countries across the Middle East and North Africa have also underscored Washington’s dearth of knowledge about forces on the ground in authoritarian states in the Middle East. One of the largest questions bedeviling policy makers has been the composition of various emerging opposition movements. … Continue reading “Washington Failing to Understand Iran’s Opposition”

Pakistani Ambassador Unknowingly Hosted Neocon Fundraiser

Amid putting on a two-and-a-half day conference focused on escalating measures against Iran, a neoconservative think-tank held a fundraiser at the residence of Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S., according to an IPS investigation. The embassy said the think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), failed to notify the Pakistani embassy that the dinner … Continue reading “Pakistani Ambassador Unknowingly Hosted Neocon Fundraiser”

Senate Hawks Push Obama on ‘Zero Enrichment’ for Tehran

Five senators sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama Monday warning the administration not to offer concessions in upcoming talks with Iran over its nuclear program. If Obama takes the advice, experts say, it could sink his engagement efforts with Tehran. The letter, first reported by Foreign Policy‘s Josh Rogin, calls for zero enrichment … Continue reading “Senate Hawks Push Obama on ‘Zero Enrichment’ for Tehran”

Palestinians Remain Split, US Doesn’t Adjust

Last summer, a tight consensus formed in Washington around Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plans to build up state-like institutions in the West Bank and revive the territory’s sagging economy from the lingering effects of the Second Intifada. But the strategy – while still overwhelmingly popular in the West a year into its … Continue reading “Palestinians Remain Split, US Doesn’t Adjust”

Obama Losing Control of Iran Policy

In a surprisingly swift move on Thursday night that could have wide-ranging implications, the U.S. Senate passed a bill containing broad unilateral sanctions to punish foreign companies that export gasoline to Iran or help expand its domestic refinery capabilities. The voice vote came at the eleventh hour before the chamber recessed so legislators could go … Continue reading “Obama Losing Control of Iran Policy”

As US Winds Down, Iraq Tilts Toward Iran

A raid by Iraqi security forces on a camp of Iranian dissidents is widely seen as a sign that Iraqi authorities are establishing their independence as the U.S. occupation winds down – and tilting instead towards Iran. There are unconfirmed reports of injuries and abuses coming from Camp Ashraf, the enclave populated by members of … Continue reading “As US Winds Down, Iraq Tilts Toward Iran”

In Afghanistan, 4,000 Marines to ‘Drink Lots of Tea’

After months of planning and putting pieces in order, aspects of the new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan are beginning to be concretely implemented — including a surge of troops and attempts to curtail the poppy trade that allegedly funds insurgents. But some aspects of the new strategy are lagging behind, and questions linger about the … Continue reading “In Afghanistan, 4,000 Marines to ‘Drink Lots of Tea’”

Misreading the Protests in Tehran

After 30 years of enmity that closed off most lines of communication, the recent crisis in Iran has suddenly engendered a boom of U.S. interest in the Islamic Republic. But much of the attention in Washington and elsewhere in the U.S. is often misplaced, misguided, or completely detached from the realities currently embroiling Iran in … Continue reading “Misreading the Protests in Tehran”

Will ‘Changed’ Iran Complicate US Engagement?

As uncertainty persists about the results of the Iranian election last Friday, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama remains quiet on just exactly what the next tack will be on engaging the Islamic Republic, which experts say is entering a new and unknown period in its history. Because incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who won … Continue reading “Will ‘Changed’ Iran Complicate US Engagement?”

Implementing Af-Pak Strategy Is the Hard Part

With the strategic review for U.S. goals in Afghanistan and Pakistan now complete, the administration of President Barack Obama must shift to the more difficult task of choosing and – even more daunting – implementing policies that seek to quell the militant insurgencies in both countries, says a new report from a think-tank known to … Continue reading “Implementing Af-Pak Strategy Is the Hard Part”