US Opinion and Commentary

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Obama’s Final Pitch

Posted January 11th, 2016 at 2:24 pm (UTC-4)
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The White House has already hinted at the tone and focus of President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union address. Positive. Forward looking. And, most of all, the president is expected to counter Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s decidedly negative, and often time offensive, narrative of the country. While these annual speeches often come off as ceremonial and full of unfulfilled promises, this one — Obama’s eighth — is a marker. After he utters his final words “…and God bless America,” the race to replace him will have officially begun.

Obama’s Second Term Could Be The Most Consequential In Recent Memory

Posted January 4th, 2016 at 9:59 am (UTC-4)
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…The question today is not whether Obama has made real progress since 2012. The question is how much of that progress will last beyond 2017, when somebody else is in the White House.

How Should Washington Respond to Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests?

Posted December 22nd, 2015 at 12:12 pm (UTC-4)
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Rather than pursuing additional unilateral sanctions at this time or taking the draconian step of suspending the sanctions relief as outlined in the July 14 P5+1 and Iran nuclear agreement, the United States, our allies and partners should consider other effective means to curb Iran’s missile development.

Iran Nuclear Agreement Faces ‘Significant Turbulence’

Posted December 21st, 2015 at 1:43 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin Eager to see relief of punishing economic sanctions, Iran is moving swiftly to implement the landmark nuclear deal it reached with the international community in July. But other actions in Tehran and Washington are souring the climate for compliance. Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for the agreement, faced tough questioning […]

Israel: The West’s Strategic Asset

Posted December 4th, 2015 at 3:06 pm (UTC-4)
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Israel’s primary goal in taking military action is always to protect itself. But in protecting itself, it often ends up protecting the West, and in failing to protect itself, it often puts the rest of the West at risk.

Netanyahu Offers Soothing Words, But No Clear Plan for Peace

Posted November 11th, 2015 at 11:23 am (UTC-4)
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My late editor at The Economist, Peter David, once inserted into an article this reporter had written about Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu the words “too mellifluous” before his name. At several appearances during Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week, the four-term prime minister lived up to that description as he defended Israeli policies in dulcet […]

Rouhani Wins on Nuclear Deal. Struggles on Human Rights

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 2:53 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin With Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about to arrive in New York, hopes are fading for the release of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian during this year’s U.N. General Assembly. In the past, Iranian officials have freed political prisoners before the annual diplomatic gabfest. But this could well be the second General Assembly […]

What Dick Cheney Has Learned From History

Posted September 9th, 2015 at 6:00 pm (UTC-4)
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Obama has been vilified for suggesting that opponents of the nuclear deal are putting the United States on the road to war. But at the end of his AEI speech, Cheney all but proposes war.

Using Financial Sticks to Control Iran

Posted August 28th, 2015 at 9:28 am (UTC-4)
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Congress should put in place a new strategy, preserving and strengthening our ability to confront Iran’s rogue activity through the use of financial power. The strategy will succeed if focused on underlying Iranian conduct and accepted international principles.

Iran’s Moderates Used Nuclear Deal to Save the Revolution

Posted August 27th, 2015 at 1:04 pm (UTC-4)
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Since Iran agreed to the nuclear deal, America’s closest allies are taking precautions against Iranian aggression. Egyptian authorities last week, according to the Times of Israel, kidnapped four would-be Hamas commandos en route to Iran for training. al-Arabiya reports that Kuwaiti authorities have arrested a sleeper cell of Hezbollah operatives, a group sponsored by Iran.

Congress, Don’t Isolate America Again Over Iran

Posted August 27th, 2015 at 10:20 am (UTC-4)
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Our efforts to reach this deal have affirmed the view of the United States as a tough but principled leader; rejecting it would be read in many quarters as a superpower intent on inflicting pain for its own sake.

It’s Not Too Late to Save Iraq and Syria

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 12:25 pm (UTC-4)
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To enable military success against the Islamic State, we must first have in place a political strategy to mobilize significant Sunni Arab opposition to this terrorist group, both within Syria and Iraq and in the broader region. The biggest impediment to such a strategy is the administration’s ill-considered and unreciprocated outreach to Iran.

President Obama’s op-ed on Iran

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 12:19 pm (UTC-4)
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“From the time I first ran for president, I have said that we need to end the mindset in American politics that prioritizes military action over diplomacy and that rushes into conflict. That mindset is what led us to go to war in Iraq, and we are still dealing with the consequences of that decision more than a decade later. As commander-in-chief, I have not hesitated to use force when necessary. If Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we won’t have any other choice than to act militarily. However, we cannot in good conscience justify a march toward war before we’ve exhausted diplomacy.”

In Iran Nuke Deal, Partisan Interests Trump Security

Posted August 12th, 2015 at 3:14 pm (UTC-4)
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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 […]

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