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Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Is Vietnam Spinning Out of China’s Orbit?

Is Vietnam Spinning Out of China’s Orbit?

Beijing’s formidable display of aggression this year is backfiring, as its neighbors scramble to beef up their military capabilities and forge defensive alliances both within and outside the region. One such notable alliance making the headlines this past week is between the U.S. and Vietnam. Vietnam, much like U.S. allies …

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GailForce: Are we or are we not still at war with Al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents (AQAA)?

GailForce: Are we or are we not still at war with Al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents (AQAA)?

The further backward you can look, the further forward you can see. – Winston Churchill
One of my pet peeves is a friend or acquaintance coming up to me and saying: “Gail, where have you been? I haven’t seen you around for a long time.” I know I’m being cranky, but …

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American leadership in the 21st century

American leadership in the 21st century

President Obama’ graduation speech at the military academy at West Point sent mix signal about the priorities of American foreign policy and American leadership (read Michael Crowley’s analysis on the address). First of all, the central point of his speech dealt with his perceived principal threat to the U.S., …

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At West Point, Obama Completed His “Pivot” Away from U.S. Unilateralism

At West Point, Obama Completed His “Pivot” Away from U.S. Unilateralism


President Barack Obama’s West Point commencement address last week was not an announcement of a new direction in American foreign policy — it was a defense of the policy path already chosen. The most significant takeaway from the speech — if not its biggest headline …

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Manila Welcomes U.S. Muscle to Counter Beijing

Manila Welcomes U.S. Muscle to Counter Beijing

After an absence of more than 20 years, American forces will return to the Philippines under a 10-year agreement reached between the two countries on Monday in conjunction with U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Manila. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation agreement seeks to broaden U.S. access to bases on …

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Does the Shoe Still Fit? U.S.-Russia Relations

Does the Shoe Still Fit? U.S.-Russia Relations

Over the weekend, the New York Times published an article titled “In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin.”
It caught my eye because it used the catchphrase – Cold War – that politicians as policymakers, journalists as conveyers and we as an audience have grown familiar with. …

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Can Beijing Remain Neutral in the Ukrainian Conflict?

Can Beijing Remain Neutral in the Ukrainian Conflict?

As the Ukrainian crisis escalates, President Barack Obama has been busy making the diplomatic rounds trying to build support against the unilateral attempts by Crimea to break away from the new government in Ukraine. President Obama said the United States is examining a series of economic and diplomatic steps to …

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Is Obama Giving the Cold Shoulder to Kerry’s Peace Initiative?

Is Obama Giving the Cold Shoulder to Kerry’s Peace Initiative?

 
Last weekend, Israeli media sources the Times of Israel and Channel 10 reported that United States President Barack Obama did not support  Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace efforts. The Times of Israel article wrote, “Citing unnamed sources close to the negotiations, Channel 10 news said that Kerry …

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Gates Sheds New Light on Obama’s Afghan Dysfunctions

Gates Sheds New Light on Obama’s Afghan Dysfunctions

My last post noted how the blockbuster memoir by Robert M. Gates reinforces the points many observers have made about the defects of the Obama administration’s national security process.  The revelations also bolster my own argument that President Obama and his team share a good deal of the responsibility for …

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Obama Should Take Bob Gates’s Criticism to Heart

Obama Should Take Bob Gates’s Criticism to Heart

In earlier posts (herehere, and here), I argued that the Obama administration’s national security process is plagued by extreme insularity, centralization and politicization.  This is a widely held criticism, regularly repeated not just by the president’s detractors but also former administration staffers and friendly commentators.  And …

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The Pentagon Flies in the Face of Beijing’s New Air Defense Zone

The Pentagon Flies in the Face of Beijing’s New Air Defense Zone

In a rare slap in the face to Beijing, last week the U.S. flew two of its unarmed B-52 bombers into China’s newly-established East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone.  The air defense zone had been recently created in order to assert Beijing’s claim to disputed territorial waters of the …

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African youth perceptions of the U.S.

African youth perceptions of the U.S.

 
Being an American professor living in Africa and teaching international relations, I have been involved in numerous debates about my country and its foreign policy. Obviously you get your mix, some pro-U.S. and some not.
To try and make better sense of the situation, I decided to embark on a little …

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Obama: Can the “Lonely Guy” Be an Effective Foreign Policy Leader?

Obama: Can the “Lonely Guy” Be an Effective Foreign Policy Leader?

In earlier posts (herehere,here and here), I’ve argued that the Obama administration’s national security process is plagued by extreme insularity, centralization and politicization.  Ultimately, however, these institutional problems are a reflection of the person sitting in the Oval Office.
The deepening Obamacare fiasco has raised …

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Nuclear Weapons in Asia Predicted to Increase

Nuclear Weapons in Asia Predicted to Increase

Expect the number of nuclear weapons in Asia to increase over the short to medium term according the latest edition of Strategic Asia 2013-14, aptly titled Asia in the Second Nuclear Age. Nuclear states across the region are all looking to further develop or enhance their …

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U.S.-India Relations: The Overshadowed Summit

U.S.-India Relations: The Overshadowed Summit

The U.S.-India relationship is enveloped these days by grand rhetoric.  But for a reality check on the state of bilateral affairs, look no further than the summit meeting between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two weeks ago.  The get-together was designed to inject new energy …

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