Abbas Visit Comes as US-Israeli Tensions Mount

U.S. President Barack Obama’s first meeting on Thursday with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas was less remarkable for the actual talks between the two leaders than it was for the changed Washington political climate in which it took place. The meeting between Obama and Abbas seemed to contain no real surprises, as both leaders … Continue reading “Abbas Visit Comes as US-Israeli Tensions Mount”

Lobbies Gear Up Ahead of Bibi-Barack Meet

In the months since U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have taken office, there has been lots of noise made about the relationship between the two men and their respective countries. But all that has just been speculation, fueled by subtle back-and-forth exchanges in the media by key figures in both … Continue reading “Lobbies Gear Up Ahead of Bibi-Barack Meet”

US Thaw With Syria Stalls

U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement on May 8 calling for the renewal of sanctions on Syria, which were set to expire on Monday. The declaration came at the end of a busy week in which both high-level U.S. officials and the Iranian president visited the Syrian capital, Damascus. Though Syria has recently sought … Continue reading “US Thaw With Syria Stalls”

Af-Pak Troubles Coming to a Head

Despite an overhaul of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, it appears that the U.S. strategy there is running into obstacles as varied as the U.S. Congress and the leaders of those countries, who are both visiting Washington this week. Before their arrival, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan were … Continue reading “Af-Pak Troubles Coming to a Head”

Hawks Look for New Ways to Package Iran Views

As the White House prepares the ground for direct diplomacy with Iran on a handful of issues, a group of Iran hawks gathered in Washington to discuss their views on how to handle what they describe as a "series of provocative actions" by Tehran beyond its ongoing nuclear development. Some of their comments revealed a … Continue reading “Hawks Look for New Ways to Package Iran Views”

A Kinder, Gentler Iran Policy?

After an initial period of putting policy-makers in place, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is slowly rolling out its strategy for dealing with Iran. But the process is a work in progress, said several experts at a policy conference here, happy to dole out advice for what the administration’s next moves should be. … Continue reading “A Kinder, Gentler Iran Policy?”

Perils Seen in Obama’s Afghan Strategy

With official announcements about a new strategy for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan expected in the coming weeks, details of the plan are starting to emerge in press accounts which describe a renewed focus on the war-torn Central Asian country and its volatile neighbor, Pakistan. According to a series of interviews with administration officials, the … Continue reading “Perils Seen in Obama’s Afghan Strategy”

Afghan Civilian Casualties May Surge as Well

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he is sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan, marking the start of what many believe will be an escalation that will ultimately see the U.S. forces there double. There are some 36,000 U.S. troops already in Afghanistan, and the additional 17,000 alone represent a nearly 50 percent … Continue reading “Afghan Civilian Casualties May Surge as Well”