US Opinion and Commentary

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The History and Meaning of Veterans Day

Posted November 11th, 2015 at 2:57 pm (UTC-5)
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Our veterans are stationed around the globe, providing disaster relief, defending democratic institutions, fighting ISIS and enhancing security in Afghanistan. On this day, and every day, let us be thankful for their service and pray for their safety and eventual return home.

Diplomacy, Not US ‘Boots on the Ground,’ Is Still the Best Option in Syria

Posted November 9th, 2015 at 8:16 am (UTC-5)
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Of the two initiatives, the attempt to pursue a diplomatic solution deserves priority, even if an accord doesn’t lead to the immediate resignation of Assad.

Syria Talks Open As US Unveils Plan to Send Special Forces

Posted October 30th, 2015 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
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An odd coalition of players assembled in Vienna Friday to talk Syria. Among them: Iran. Many Syria watchers have argued Iran is necessary to a negotiated settlement, if one can be had in Syria. Another strange bedfellow is Russia, which, by marching into the quagmire so boldly, sparked a new U.S. strategy. Just hours after the Vienna talks began, we learned that President Barack Obama’s new take on Syria involves less than 50 Special Forces. While the White House spokesman won’t use the word “combat” to describe the Special Forces troops, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said “we’re in combat” earlier this week. Indeed we are — standing uncomfortably next to some of America’s most historic foes.

5 Times Obama Said There Would Be No Ground Troops or No Combat Mission in Syria

Posted October 30th, 2015 at 2:21 pm (UTC-5)
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As we’ve written before, it’s generally a bad idea for presidents, or would-be presidents, to make iron-clad promises about foreign policy. And President Obama has been stymied repeatedly when it comes to this.

Why This Budget Deal Won’t Save Us

Posted October 30th, 2015 at 10:31 am (UTC-5)
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The Freedom Caucus will be waiting to provoke another crisis in 2017.

Obama Just Fell for a Classic Russian Ruse

Posted October 27th, 2015 at 11:02 am (UTC-5)
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Putin’s offers of “cooperation” are aimed at weakening Western resistance to Russia’s rising influence in the region and more broadly. Russia’s increasing confidence is also reflected in its worldwide interest in critical undersea communications cables, implicitly threatening their destruction in time of war.

Russia, Kurdish Aspirations and Brutal Enemy Call for Deft US Moves in Syria

Posted October 23rd, 2015 at 12:09 pm (UTC-5)
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Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Syria, a messy situation that has helped fuel the growth of the Isamic State – and appears to be creating a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia. The Obama administration is implementing its new “Syria First” policy, which relies on arming certain Kurdish factions to take the fight to the Islamic State coupled with U.S. air support. Add Russian President Vladimir Putin’s entry into the fray and his open support of Syria President Bashir al-Assad – who U.S. officials hold responsible for most of the misery – and the cocktail has become a lot more combustible. To make even modest progress, Syria requires the United States to avoid any number of policy and military landmines.

Where New Cooperation Could Lead

Posted October 20th, 2015 at 10:16 am (UTC-5)
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One of the ironies of our time is that the people of Iran are among the most pro-American in the greater Middle East…. At the political level, however, the history of the two countries is full of bitter memories…. Could that ugly history ever give way to a sunnier view?

Obama’s Dangerous “No War, No Peace” Strategy in Syria

Posted October 19th, 2015 at 3:44 pm (UTC-5)
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It is unfortunate, if predictable, that much of Washington’s foreign policy elite would line up behind a confrontation with Russia over Syria. Americans perceive Russian President Vladimir Putin as an autocrat and a bully and are frustrated that he appears to have outmaneuvered the Obama administration.

Our Unused Strength

Posted October 19th, 2015 at 8:08 am (UTC-5)
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In many ways, and contrary to whatever Donald Trump may say, the next president will inherit an America in better shape — better positioned for world leadership — than the nation that George Bush bequeathed to Barack Obama.

US Shifts Strategy Again. This Time in Syria

Posted October 16th, 2015 at 1:35 pm (UTC-5)
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The Obama administration is pursuing a new tactic to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The shift to a “Syria First” strategy came after the United States ended its plan to train so-called “moderate Syrians,” an expensive strategy that produced few results. The idea goes something like this: by shifting America’s focus from Iraq to Syria first, Washington can battle IS independently of Iran, and hopefully set the stage for a post-Assad Syria. But there’s a hitch: Russia. President Vladimir Putin, a vocal supporter of the Syrian president, has made his presence known, complicating an already very complicated scenario for the United States.

A Grim Decision on Afghanistan

Posted October 16th, 2015 at 11:58 am (UTC-5)
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The key to ending the Afghan war remains a negotiated truce between the government and the leading factions of the Taliban, which has entered into talks with the Kabul government in recent years, but has not been persuaded to join the political process.

Obama Just Signed a Blank Check for Endless War in Afghanistan

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 7:24 pm (UTC-5)
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While Obama suggested that the Afghan military is “fully responsible for securing their country,” his decision to maintain US troops levels effectively guarantees that the United States will remain deeply involved in Afghanistan until after the president leaves office in early 2017.

Is it Putin or Rasputin?

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 3:37 pm (UTC-5)
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When President George W. Bush was in power, Mr. Putin realized the president was firm in his national security decision-making…. And Russia responded with an absence of military malice in the world. With Mr. Obama, however, Mr. Putin has not only sensed weakness but an absolute disinclination to exert any military influence whatsoever on Russia’s aggression.

What’s Obama’s Next Move on Israel?

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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The question for the White House now is how to seize back the initiative on the world stage in a manner better suited to President Obama’s sensibilities. The recent surge of Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis may provide the answer.