America's long-term blueprint for advancing national interests is in total disarray. Some blame this indecisiveness on a lack of resolve at the White House, but the real reason lies deeper. It lurks in a disagreement among foreign policy elites over whether Russia or China constitutes America's principal great-power adversary.
The world today is a supremely dangerous place for the United States and it's friends. And it's likely to get worse before it gets worse. But to end as I began: the United States has much to celebrate on the domestic front.
After years of negotiations, the Islamic Republic and the six world powers, known as the P5+1; China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany, are only a few days away from the June 30 deadline to seal a final nuclear deal.
In a frank discussion of international affairs, racism and gun violence at home, and the wide-ranging global work of the Carter Center, former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn offered an intimate glimpse into their personal, professional and political lives, while doling out sharp criticism of the way some issues are being handled today.
The specter of foreign powers and their lobbyists distorting America's democratic system may worry ordinary Americans, but it seems that few inside the Beltway share their concerns.
Through the magic of the Internet and sophisticated audiovisual technology, I chatted for 20 minutes with a young man in Tehran about the mood in society in anticipation of a historic nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other nations.
With less than two weeks remaining before the nuclear deadline of June 30th, the progress between the six world powers (known as the p5+1; the United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, plus Germany) and the Islamic Republic appears to be on the rise and auspicious for the involved parties.
For more than a decade and at very considerable expense, the United States has been attempting to create an Iraqi government that governs and an Iraqi army that fights; the results of those efforts speak for themselves: they have failed abysmally.
As these examples illustrate, if our laws and policies continue to focus on one or the other sector, the government will continue to use the private sector to run around the limitations imposed on the public sector's activities and powers.
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Although the 2016 election is a year-and-a-half away, the verdict is already in on the continuation of post-World War II interventionism as the policy of choice.
The truth about the U.S. military base on the British-controlled Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia is often hard to believe. It would be easy enough to confuse the real story with fictional accounts of the island found in the Transformers movies, on the television series 24, and in Internet conspiracy theories about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
In an unprecedented move, Iranian leaders have welcomed American oil companies to enter Iran, upon the condition that sanctions are lifted. This move suggests that the Islamic Republic is putting its economic interests ahead of its revolutionary ideological interests.
Washington's determination to defend much of the globe has made the U.S. an international sucker, especially vulnerable to manipulation by supposed friends.
By strategically moving into the non-violent field, Palestinians are in a much stronger position to make an impact in their decades-long struggle.
Since assuming power, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has spoken of China and the United States developing a "new kind of great power politics" that avoids the damaging and costly patterns of competition and conflict that have marked great power relations through history.