US Opinion and Commentary

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Where New Cooperation Could Lead

Posted October 20th, 2015 at 10:16 am (UTC-4)
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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?

Our Unused Strength

Posted October 19th, 2015 at 8:08 am (UTC-4)
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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.

The US is Losing the Social Media Wars

Posted October 16th, 2015 at 9:40 am (UTC-4)
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The use of social media and the Internet is rapidly becoming a powerful weapon for information warfare and changing the nature of conflict worldwide. Because of misaligned U.S. policies and laws, we continue to largely rely on only conventional warfare techniques, which puts us at a severe disadvantage.

Obama Rethinks Afghanistan

Posted October 15th, 2015 at 1:32 pm (UTC-4)
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In what can only be seen as a dramatic reversal in policy, President Barack Obama has decided to delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, keeping the current force of nearly 10,000 in place past the end of his presidency, when they will shrink to 5,500. When Obama ran for the presidency in 2008, he pledged to end U.S. involvement in two costly wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. But with the Taliban’s brief but bold takeover of Kunduz province and the ongoing threat posed by the Islamic State, the president was forced to reconsider his initial plan to finally put an end to America’s longest war. While some say it’s too little too late, others are praising him for acting against his strong belief that the United States must not march into what he calls “open-ended military conflicts.”

Is it Putin or Rasputin?

Posted October 14th, 2015 at 3:37 pm (UTC-4)
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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.

12 Nation Trans-Pacific Partnership Aims to Rebalance Global Economic Power

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 4:39 pm (UTC-4)
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Amid the din of news about Russia’s air strikes in Syria and the deadly – but mistaken – U.S. bombing of a charity hospital in Afghanistan came a quieter, but no less significant, change in the global landscape. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is touted by President Obama as a “21st century trade agreement” that brings together 12 nations, including the U.S. and Japan, in a far-reaching free trade deal. Central to the debate over its merits is China. Should China have been included? Or was it the right call to keep Beijing out?

Afghanistan: Is Taliban Siege on Kunduz Déjà Vu All Over Again?

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 1:54 pm (UTC-4)
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It is not only the Middle East where one can see the results of President Barack Obama’s strong belief in keeping the U.S. military out of far-flung conflicts. A year after the bulk of U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, the Taliban made a bold — if short-lived — move on the northern city of Kunduz. With a strong U.S. military assist, Afghan forces were able to retake control after four days. But the episode was ominous. Is Afghanistan ready to defend itself against a committed Taliban movement with only 9,800 U.S. soldiers on hand? Obama is making good on his campaign promise to end both U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But by doing so, Americans are now forced to examine what is left behind.

Heading for Failure on Syria at the UN

Posted September 30th, 2015 at 11:07 am (UTC-4)
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When you don’t agree on the root of the problem, you can’t agree on a solution.

Obama and Putin Struggle to Find a Way Forward on Syria

Posted September 29th, 2015 at 12:09 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin (New York) — More than a year after their last uncomfortable encounter, the presidents of the United States and Russia have managed to conduct a lengthy and civil discussion about the issue dominating this year’s U.N. General Assembly – the multisided, devastating civil war in Syria. Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin spoke […]

Cracks in Catholic Doctrine Debated as U.S. Faithful Await Historic Visit of Pope Francis

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 4:54 pm (UTC-4)
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The American president who made “Hope” a campaign slogan greeted the man who embodies hope for millions of those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, symbolizing cleansing, renewal, love — and hope. In the two years since his election, Pope Francis’ tolerant tone has created the space for debate over rigid church doctrine. And for American Catholics, that space is enough for many to hold out hope for change.

China-U.S. Trade Soars, Benefitting Both Nations

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 12:06 pm (UTC-4)
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As President Xi Jinping visits the United States this week, history tells us that Sino-U.S. economic cooperation is win-win. For more than 30 years, our bilateral trade and investment has brought real benefits to our peoples and contributed to great development in both countries.

Like it or Not, America and Russia Need to Cooperate in Syria

Posted September 17th, 2015 at 11:43 am (UTC-4)
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The expansion of Russia’s military role in Syria has real risks. Both Russian political and military leaders and the Russian people still remember Afghanistan … Another risk is a potential collision with the United States and its allies, who have long been striking IS targets in Syria and who can also bomb Assad’s forces

Iran Deal Is Win-Win

Posted August 31st, 2015 at 10:06 am (UTC-4)
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By zeroing in on the nuclear issue, the Obama administration took on the most dangerous threat posed by the Iranian regime and brought together the international community around the issue that most united it in opposition to Tehran.

Why I’m Going to Havana

Posted August 14th, 2015 at 2:40 pm (UTC-4)
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My visit to Havana, the first by a U.S. Secretary of State in 70 years, comes nine months after President Obama announced a new approach to relations with Cuba. It is an approach based on the ties that bind our people…

AS US Raises Flag Over Embassy in Cuba, New Challenges Emerge

Posted August 14th, 2015 at 12:07 pm (UTC-4)
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The fruits of the Obama’s administration’s new policy towards Cuba paid off Friday, when Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Havana to reopen the new US embassy there. Of his Cuba policy, President Obama has said he is not interested in refighting battles that started “before I was born.” Today, the United States and Cuba now friends. But much of the real work of undoing more than 50 years of hostility remains.