US Opinion and Commentary

“VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion and opinion on these policies.” — VOA Charter

Showing Archived Posts

U.S. Foreign Policy Under Donald Trump

Posted November 16th, 2016 at 4:10 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Before handing the keys to the White House to Donald Trump, Barack Obama is taking a final, presidential lap around the world.

Obama started his three country trip in the birthplace of democracy, Greece. Then it’s on to Berlin to thank Chancellor Angela Merkel for her support during his term. The pair will also meet with the leaders of Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain. Afterward, Obama flies to Peru for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

In each stop, American allies, and perhaps some foes, will seek reassurance from Obama about the future under a Trump presidency.

With names like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob Corker and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley floated as possible choices for Trump’s Secretary of State, there is no shortage of foreign policy speculation and suggestions.

Who Will Remember My Father, Gui Minhai?

Posted October 17th, 2016 at 9:45 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

It’s a strange thing to mourn someone who has disappeared. You talk about the person and catch yourself saying that he was, instead of he is….You send email upon email just to say hi but never receive a response….But really, mourning is neither enough, nor allowed, when the Chinese state decides to have a person disappear.

Baghdad’s Political Battle and the War Against ISIS

Posted May 2nd, 2016 at 1:57 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Turmoil in Baghdad is a phrase too often seen and heard in the media since 2003. This weekend was no different, when anti-government protesters stormed the Iraqi parliament building Saturday, sending lawmakers fleeing for safety. While the protesters have retreated, their demands for good governance has not. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Baghdad Thursday to demonstrate support for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his attempt to form a new cabinet. It was 10 years ago, almost to the day, when then Senator Joe Biden suggested partitioning Iraq into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish autonomous regions, with a central government in charge of common interests. The partition did not happen, but the political turmoil has continued. Ripples from the current political crisis in Baghdad are felt hundreds of miles north in Mosul, where the Iraqi army, Kurdish peshmerga and U.S. military forces among others are planning an offensive to free the city from Islamic State rule. But without a political solution in Baghdad, military success in Mosul seems less and less likely.

Washington Made it Easy for Iran to Fire its Ballistic Missiles

Posted March 17th, 2016 at 1:55 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

[I]n exchange for Iran’s signature on the landmark nuclear accord, the United States granted Tehran greater wiggle room to advance its ballistic missile program…. There’s just one problem: The updated measures are neither legally binding nor as restrictive than the measures in place at the time of the nuclear pact.

The Real GOP Divide

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 8:32 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

It’s often cast, accurately enough, as a choice between “outsiders” and “insiders.” But another party division may be more profound — between Republicans who still view the country’s future hopefully and those deeply gloomy about its prospects.

The Heroes Hidden Among Us

Posted October 5th, 2015 at 2:08 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

This is the heart of modern heroism. In its most extreme form, it is a supreme act of generosity—risking and perhaps losing your life for the sake of others, often strangers.

9/11 in 2015

Posted September 11th, 2015 at 3:12 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Cloudless blue skies with a hint of the coming autumn temperatures greeted Washingtonians Friday morning, delivering an eerie familiarity of how the day began Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Among the big news stories expected that day, Michael Jordan’s announcement he was coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards. That and much more was rendered insignificant as the day’s events unfolded. Everything changed after the four-pronged attack on New York and Washington, killing nearly 3,000 people and leaving physical and emotional scars on countless more. The United States waged a war on the terrorists who launched these attacks, a war that endures 14 years later, with no end in sight. On this day of service and remembrance, some ask when the war will end while others find new ways to keep alive the memories of those who died for future generations.

Trump Proves Ignorance Doesn’t Matter Much

Posted September 10th, 2015 at 10:06 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Since when did running for president become a reality show? How does Mr. Trump or anyone else figure that a presidential candidate should not be asked hard questions? And what does it say about us that fundamental ignorance about things a president should know does not automatically disqualify you from credibly contending for that office?

Iran Deal Features Defense Backstop

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 11:21 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

By US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter   Today, the Iran deal provides the opportunity to address an even greater nuclear threat. Congress should support it because, once implemented, the deal will remove a critical source of risk and uncertainty in a vitally important but tumultuous region.

Is Donald Trump Just a Summer Fling?

Posted August 27th, 2015 at 2:27 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

There are significant differences between the billionaire’s political ascendancy and those of other flash in the pan candidates.

Syria’s Assad Doubles Down on War Crimes

Posted August 18th, 2015 at 2:53 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

By Barbara Slavin Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may hobble on in office for a while, but his place in history is already indelibly fixed as one of the most brutal and incompetent leaders of his era. Now in control of at most a third of Syria after four years of failing to quell a multi-sided […]

In Iran Nuke Deal, Partisan Interests Trump Security

Posted August 12th, 2015 at 3:14 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

By Barbara Slavin A week after President Barack Obama passionately defended the Iran deal in a speech at American University, the political ripples keep spreading. Many commentators have complained about Obama’s tough tone and his equation of  Republican opponents of the deal with Iranian hardliners who chant “Death to America” at staged government rallies. Others […]

The Afghan War and the Quarterly Report on Freedom’s Sentinel

Posted August 10th, 2015 at 9:33 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

As for the military content, the report serves no known purpose and has almost no meaningful content. The Lead Inspector General for Overseas Contingency Operations does not come close to dealing with any of the issues and problems raised in the Department of Defense’s semi-annual report on the war    

Why the Iran Deal’s Critics Will Probably Lose

Posted August 5th, 2015 at 12:50 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

None of them, from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “historic mistake” Netanyahu to U.S. Senator Lindsey “it’s a declaration of war on Israel” Graham, has yet risen to the challenge of offering a better real-world alternative      

Israel’s Netanyahu Keeps Up Attacks on Iran Nuke Deal

Posted August 5th, 2015 at 10:42 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

By Barbara Slavin The speech started late and the live feed from Jerusalem was full of glitches, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s message came through loud and clear. “Oppose this bad deal,” Netanyahu exhorted the more than 16,000 people who signed up to hear a webcast Tuesday sponsored by prominent U.S. Jewish organizations about the […]