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.
October 11, 2012 |
The mortar rounds coming from just across the border in Syria troubled Omar Timucin sufficiently that he advised his family to stay indoors for their own safety. Not long after, a projectile scored a direct hit on his home in this usually quiet Turkish border town, killing his wife, three of his daughters and his sister-in-law. "They were preparing dinner," a shattered Timucin said Wednesday in a mourning tent on the outskirts of Akcakale. The attack that took away his family a week ago, and which Turkish officials called a Syrian military shelling, sparked retaliatory Turkish artillery volleys into Syria as relations between the two neighboring states seemed to teeter on the edge of outright war. Turkish fighter jets roar overhead and news reports are filled with images of missile batteries, artillery units and troops converging on the border.