Author Archive

Note to Obama: Puffery and Pandering on Israel and Iran Are Not Strategy »

The President sounded emotionally ‘needy’, …      [W]hat Obama seems not to understand in the well-meaning description of his attempted Iran strategy is that he is actually creating a railroad track to disaster. He conveys … a disinterest in containment, suggesting that Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon changes the world and triggers a rampant and dangerous [...]

America Next: End of the World As We Knew It »

Reprinted from The Atlantic with the express permission of author Steve Clemons, “the new Washington Editor at Large of The Atlantic and Editor in Chief of the growing, high sizzle events business of the publication called Atlantic LIVE,” continuing as Senior Fellow and Founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation (NAF). [...]

The Hindery Memo on Jobs: The Real Unemployment Picture Shows US Economy Short 20 Million Jobs »

Editor’s Note: From Steve Clemons’ fascinating blog, The Washington Note … While growing up on US military bases, one of the perennial radio personalities that the Department of Defense would transmit to us wayward DoD dependents was Paul Harvey and his show, The Rest of the Story. I liked the set up of the program [...]

Libya When Prisoners Had to Sing Tributes to the Dictator »

I took this video clip in March 2010 when I visited Tripoli, Libya and was interested in counter-terrorism activities of the Libyan government. When I was there, we were taken to a prison where hundreds of prisoners — most of whom were either Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) members or other young jihadists who wanted [...]

Hillary Clinton Watch »

Editor’s Note: From Steve Clemons’ blog, “The Washington Note.” This rich array of the latest on Hillary’s moves includes this thoughtful observation on Steve’s POV: KELEMEN: Clemons says she’s spent much of the first two years on the job trying to wrestle the State Department back into relevance and to elevate issues that she cares [...]

Time-Sensitive! On DADT – Some Things to Think About on the Day of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Vote »

* Bumped Up (the repeal has passed in the Senate!) * Editor’s Note: We posted the Senate’s phone number last night, via “CALL YOUR SENATORS AT (202) 224-3121 RIGHT NOW.” From Steve Clemons of, who has also just posted “Carl Levin’s Floor Statement on DADT (powerful) at his blog: One of those [gay [...]

Not Ready for Richard Holbrooke to Go »

From my blog, Washington Note. [NQ Editor's Note: SoS Hillary Clinton has been twice to the hospital, yesterday and today.] ……………………………………………. Richard Holbrooke has been one of my most important touch points in Washington and has been a close friend, adviser, and in recent years — a partner in sorting through and discussing in private [...]

Obama Takes Down (the Wrong) Prime Minister »

Editor’s Note: Reprinted with the express permission of Steve Clemons. Originally printed at Huffington Post and Steve Clemons’ blog, The Washington Note. Japan Prime Minister and Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama, whose amazing electoral victory last year unseating the long dominant Liberal Democratic Party, has announced that he is stepping down from his [...]

Core Chicago Team Sinking Obama Presidency »

* Bumped Up * From my blog, The Washington Note. ————————————————— (Obama’s Core Team at press conference on Obama administration’s 100th day; photo credit: Bill O’leary, Washington Post) Financial Times Washington Bureau Chief Edward Luce has written a granularly informed insider account about those who hold the keys to the inner most sanctum of Obama [...]

New America Foundation Banned Organization In Iran — TWICE »

Editor’s Note: Reprinted with the express permission of Steve Clemons, The Washington Note blog; Senior Fellow & Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation; and Director of the Japan Policy Research Institute. Now, this has to be one of the strangest round-ups of organizations I have seen in a long time — organizations considered by [...]

The Yemen Brief: Expanding Scope of US Military Engagement Exactly What Bin Laden Wants »

Editor’s Note: Reprinted from his blog, published December 28, 2009, with the express permission of Steve Clemons, The Washington Note blog; Senior Fellow & Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation; and Director of the Japan Policy Research Institute. Abubakr Al-Qirbi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen, addresses the general debate of [...]

The Right Speech Barack Obama Won’t Give on Afghanistan »

Reprinted from my blog, The Washington Note. The White House Office of the Press Secretary A New Way Forward: The President’s Address to the American People on Afghan Strategy Oval Office For Immediate Release — December 2nd8:01 P.M. EDT My fellow Americans, On March 28th, I outlined what I called a “comprehensive, new strategy for [...]

The Assassination of Greg Craig »

Editor’s Note: Reprinted from The Daily Beast with the express permission of Steve Clemons, whose excellent blog is Washington Note. Steve is Director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, and you’ll often see his seminars on C-Span. This article has been featured at ………………………………………………….. The White House counsel was done [...]

Do Obama’s Private Promises on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Matter? »

Second Lietenant Sandy Tsao is being discharged from the military for informing her chain of command that she is gay. She wrote in a letter to President Obama that she could not live according to one of the “seven army values” of personal integrity and not be truthful about the issue — even though a [...]

Surge in Pakistan Violence: U.S. Central Command Warns Patrick Cronin to Stay Home »

Published at The Washington Note. ___________________________________________ Quite a number of serious and informed observers predict a spike in mass casualty violence hitting this week in Pakistan. President Obama is about to have both collective and separate meetings with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari — and many believe that Taliban insurgents [...]

Bush Administration’s Dark Side: Torturing a Clerk »

Joseph Margulies in the Los Angeles Times offers anyone who wants to defend the Bush administration’s embrace of torture a chilling retort. His bottom line: the administration sold out the values Americans cherish most to torture not a kingpin in the al Qaeda network, but a clerk. Margulies writes:

Will Obama’s Foreign Policy Legacy Be Built on Rock or Sand? »

Joe Klein has written one of the best 100 day nutshell reviews of the Obama administration’s performance I have read. Klein’s take squares almost perfectly with a piece I have coming out in the next few days in World Politics Review — not there yet though. One of the portfolio downside risks that Obama currently [...]

Doing the the Doha Scene »

Universities, think tanks, defense contractors, insurgent groups and new media operations all seem to be leaning towards Doha. Part of George Patton’s own 3rd Army Division is based near Doha. Al Jazeera is headquartered in Doha. Until recently, there was an Israeli trade mission open in Doha and there is even an Israeli Embassy in [...]

The Brits Tortured Too »

Barack Obama’s press conference last night punctuating the ritualistic 100-day review of new presidencies showed this President at his best I think — thoughtful, human, willing to take quite a roster of questions, and well . . . wonky. But Guardian US editor at large Michael Tomasky found a pretty significant error in Obama’s commentary [...]

America’s Cuba Policy is the “Edsel” of the US Foreign Policy Portfolio »

Latin America policy uber diva Julia Sweig chaired a news-making gathering at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington yesterday morning. It was excellent, and the CFR has audio of the entire event here.