January 25, 2014 |
Five years after President Obama vowed to expand U.S. relations with the Arab world and the broader Middle East, his administration is under fire from allies worried that the United States is scaling back its historic role as a power broker and peacemaker despite growing turmoil across the region. With a bitter power struggle intensifying between Iran and Saudi Arabia and widening crises in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt, Washington's relative lack of influence and involvement has become a diplomatic problem and may be contributing to a growing threat from Islamic extremists, diplomats say. Senior officials in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel all have complained about what they view as an American retrenchment after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with some leaders already beginning to chart policies more independent of Washington than in the past.
September 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate took a crucial step Wednesday toward authorizing a punitive strike on Syria but deep reluctance was evident in the House, where lawmakers questioned whether the U.S. was in danger of being drawn into another Middle East war. President Obama, who announced Saturday that he would seek legislative backing for military action in response to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons, sought to raise the pressure on Congress as...
August 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In February 2011, when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak bowed to a popular uprising and relinquished power, President Obama welcomed the change and declared, "Egypt will never be the same. " Two and a half years after the elation of the "Arab Spring," Egypt looks much as it did under the aging autocrat, only more violently polarized. Critics say Obama has mostly watched from the sidelines. Mubarak's court-ordered release from prison Thursday in effect capped the end of Egypt's brief experiment with democracy and its return to military rule.
July 31, 2013 |
Lax U.S. gun regulations are enabling the international trafficking of high-powered weapons and fueling the spread of gun violence in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Council on Foreign Relations argues in a report urging President Obama to take action on initiatives that have foundered in Congress. More than 70% of the 99,000 weapons recovered by Mexican law enforcement since 2007 were traced to U.S. manufacturers and importers, the council report said, citing data from the eTrace program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
February 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - It didn't take long for former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to land a new job, and it's not on Wall Street, though it's in the same area code. The Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank in New York, said Wednesday that Geithner would become its newest senior fellow this month. He stepped down as Treasury secretary Jan. 25. President Obama has nominated White House Chief of Staff Jacob J. Lew to replace him. Geithner has followed this route before.
December 23, 2012 |
Both Koreas soon will be governed by the progeny of Cold War strongmen. China is in the hands of the son of one of Mao Tse-tung's revolutionary comrades. The incoming prime minister of Japan is a long-standing hawk and the grandson of one of Japan's war cabinet leaders. The future is looking uninspiringly like the past in Northeast Asia. And although few (other than doomsday theorists) are predicting another war, the alignment of new leaders seems likely to cause some bumps in the year ahead.