March 9, 2014 |
When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, one of his selling points was the promise of a more modest foreign policy than that of his predecessor. And when Obama won reelection 16 months ago, he renewed that pledge. Drone strikes against Al Qaeda would continue, and Navy visits to the South China Sea would increase, but the U.S. footprint around the world was being resolutely downsized. Mitt Romney warned at the time that Obama wasn't being tough enough on Vladimir Putin, but the president scoffed at the idea that Russia was a serious geopolitical threat.
March 7, 2014 |
OXON HILL, Md. - For many of the 2016 presidential contenders who tested their messages at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursion into Ukraine offered the perfect opening to pound President Obama's approach to foreign policy as weak and feckless - a sign of dimming U.S. influence around the world. But Rand Paul, whose non-interventionist foreign policy views have often been out of step with his rivals, did not mention Russia at all. And yet he blew the doors off Friday, drawing the most excited response of any potential contender as he blistered the Obama administration for its expansive surveillance of Americans and accused the president of trampling on civil liberties.
March 2, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - When President Obama surveyed foreign priorities in his State of the Union speech, Iran topped the list, along with Mideast peace and the administration's shift of attention to East Asia. Europe got only glancing mention, with nothing about threats to its security. Suddenly, Russian troop movements in Ukraine, which U.S. officials now are calling an invasion, have shuffled the president's foreign policy priorities and set up what Nicholas Burns, a former undersecretary of state, called “the most difficult international crisis of his presidency.” “This goes directly to vital American interests,” said Burns, who has worked for presidents of both parties.
February 16, 2014 |
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. " But, like other rights enshrined in that declaration, religious freedom is widely violated around the world. Is that any of the business of the United States? President Obama thinks so, and he's right. Before the most receptive audience imaginable - a National Prayer Breakfast - Obama recently insisted that "promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.
January 27, 2014 |
Israel has many well-wishers in Congress, and on some matters - such as how best to pressure Iran not to develop nuclear weapons - those U.S. legislators are closer to Israel's position than to the Obama administration's. Another example: Congress passed a law ordering the State Department to allow U.S. citizens born in Israel to list their birthplace on their passports as “Jerusalem, Israel,” even though successive U.S. presidents have refused to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, believing that the status of the city must be decided in negotiations.
November 20, 2013 |
It could be many years before history will judge the decisions former President George W. Bush made in the White House, the 43rd president told Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" Tuesday night. For now, though, he'll paint. In a rare TV appearance, the former president shared his new hobby with the late-night personality, even presenting Leno with a portrait of himself. In the past, Bush has painted everything from cats and dogs to a scene of himself taking a shower . Bush, 67, explained to Leno that the artistic streak began after reading "Painting as a Pastime," an essay by Winston Churchill, who himself produced several portraits and landscape pieces.