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Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Snowden in the Greater Scheme of U.S.-Russian Relations

Snowden in the Greater Scheme of U.S.-Russian Relations

On Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, Russia granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, permitting him to leave the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport for the first time in nearly six weeks. The Obama administration immediately expressed its disappointment with the Russian decision, and some members of Congress have called for retaliatory measures against Russia. While President […]

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Putin’s Deadliest Catch: Snowden Joins Navalny in Moscow

Putin’s Deadliest Catch: Snowden Joins Navalny in Moscow

As Edward Snowden slipped into Moscow this afternoon, asylum documents in hand, he joined another recently freed man: Alexey Navalny. Russia now has two famous cyber-whistleblowers on its hands, and hasn’t yet figured out what to do with either. One thing is for sure, Putin’s planned meeting Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit […]

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Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans will go to the polls on Wednesday to participate in an election that will be closely monitored by hundreds of foreign observers, mostly from around Africa. One country that will be watching despite Western observer missions not being invited is the United States of America. Relations between Washington and Harare are definitely nowhere near the […]

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Obama visits Africa, welcomes competition on the continent

Obama visits Africa, welcomes competition on the continent

Obama’s recent visit to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania has some arguing “too little, too late”.  They argue that while the U.S. was resting on its laurels, China has stolen a march over the United States with its narrow commercial approach, eschewing the Western goals of social and political development.   To back their argument, they […]

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Obama and Syria: Red Lines Redeemed?

Obama and Syria: Red Lines Redeemed?

I’ve contended in previous posts (here, here and here) that President Obama’s failure to enforce his numerous threats against the use of chemical weapons by the Bashir al-Assad regime in Damascus is a significant reason to doubt the credibility of his repeated vows to use military force to stop Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.  So is my argument undermined now […]

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Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

  As Barack Obama is about to embark on his historic tour of Africa, many South Africans are asking why it should matter to them. There are numerous reasons why a visit from the President of the United States is an historic occasion. First, the U.S. helps save South African lives. Since 2004, Washington has […]

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Obama’s NDU Speech: Implications for Tehran

Obama’s NDU Speech: Implications for Tehran

The major speech on counter-terrorism policy President Obama delivered last week at the National Defense University has generated a great deal of commentary about its implications for drone strikes and Guantanamo detainees. Little noticed, however, is the underlying message it sends to Iran’s leaders. Mr. Obama has made it a habit of talking tough to […]

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President Thein Sein of Myanmar Comes to Washington, D.C.

President Thein Sein of Myanmar Comes to Washington, D.C.

President U Thein Sein of Myanmar visited Washington, D.C. last week and met with President Barack Obama in what was billed by many in the media as “an historic event,” taking into account that President Sein is the first president of Myanmar—also known as Burma—to come to the United States in almost fifty years. US-Myanmar […]

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Obama in the Middle East: Fading Red Lines and Eroding Credibility

Obama in the Middle East: Fading Red Lines and Eroding Credibility

A post last month argued that President Obama was fast approaching a defining moment for his foreign policy in view of the mounting evidence that the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria used sarin, a lethal nerve gas, in violation of Mr. Obama’s numerous warnings not to do so.  The day of reckoning has now arrived […]

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Cameron Visits U.S. in High Wire Act on Europe, Syria

Cameron Visits U.S. in High Wire Act on Europe, Syria

The gesture itself was subtle, but as the collection of briefing notes were set to one side, so with it went a thin layer of pulped political barricade.  What remained were two government leaders seated across a table, a Russian president asking a British prime minister to state his case.  David Cameron traveled to Sochi […]

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Opening Up to the BRICS Generation

Opening Up to the BRICS Generation

When French politician Pascal Lamy set the process in motion to replace himself as the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), it was an interesting outcome that the two last candidates for the position were both from Latin America and were both from economies either from BRICS nations or that are considered as pre-BRICS […]

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Red Lines, Syria, and Rhetoric

Red Lines, Syria, and Rhetoric

“Kennan believed that language helped make policy and that vague, expansive language would lead to vague, expansive policy,” writes author Nicholas Thompson in a 2012 Foreign Affairs article about Cold War strategist George Kennan. As the humanitarian situation in Syria gets even worse, as questions over the use of chemical weapons loom larger, and as the […]

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Time For Some American Shock and Awe in Syria

Time For Some American Shock and Awe in Syria

By Sarwar Kashmeri United States’ intelligence agencies and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are still not certain the Syrian government of President Assad has used chemical weapons against its opposition. Nothing has yet emerged from France, Germany or Britain to unequivocally confirm this charge either. But the clamor among the hawkish segment of Washington lawmakers to get […]

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Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

A defining moment for Mr. Obama’s foreign policy legacy is fast approaching From the Levant and the Persian Gulf to the Korean peninsula, events in recent weeks have offered a clinic in the difficulty of enforcing red lines on rogue regimes and their weapons of mass destruction, as well as how U.S. credibility suffers when […]

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The Iraq Endgame and the Lessons for Afghanistan: An Update

The Iraq Endgame and the Lessons for Afghanistan: An Update

Washington is in a rush and everyone knows it The U.S. commentariat spent much of last month ruminating over the lessons of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Left unexamined were the important lessons relating to the U.S. endgame in that country and how they should be applied to the accelerating withdrawal from Afghanistan.*  I […]

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