If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium -- the title of a 1969 romantic comedy -- could now fit two intertwined phenomena: the madcap global travels of Secretary of State John Kerry and the nonstop journey of the latest revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In his nine months in office, Kerry's State Department has one striking accomplishment to its name. He and his errant statements have become global punch lines, but is he truly to blame for his performance?
This week saw proof that the so-called "Snowden Effect" is still... in effect. The term refers to the increase of public knowledge and debate set in motion by Edward Snowden's leaks. The latest disclosure being that the NSA tapped Yahoo's and Google's international data centers. Last week it was the tapping of German Chancellor Merkel's cell phone. On Monday, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein said not only was she unaware of this, but so was President Obama. On Thursday, Secretary of State Kerry said the NSA had gone "too far" and was operating on "automatic pilot." So not only is the "Snowden Effect" letting the public know what the NSA is doing, it's also informing the White House. The president says he welcomes debate with the public on the NSA. But how many more "Snowden Effect" revelations will it take before we can have a real debate on what is acceptable and what is not?
After nation-building debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan one would think the international community would be reluctant to enforce top-down regime chang...
Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki comes to the White House on November 1 to warn President Obama that Syria's bitter civil war is not just "a humanitarian tragedy" but "an immediate threat to the security of our own country."
The red line illustrated by Prime Minister Netanyahu during his now famous speech to the United Nations foreshadowed his present pattern of behavior.
So are you smart and up-to-date?! Do you know the answers to these questions? Who's in the World Series? How many members of Congress are there? Who is Kim Kardashian engaged to?
Cancelation of the passport wasn't just an effort to prevent the whistleblower from getting to a country that might grant political asylum. It was also a declaration that the U.S. government can nullify the right to travel just as surely as it can nullify the right to privacy.
What's needed is an inclusive, political settlement -- with all stakeholders included -- that ends the fighting and stops the region from meddling, something we missed the mark on years ago. Until we do that, any Afghan security deal will remain elusive.
History is change. Unless the United States does something radically different or unless the Chinese miracle of operating a booming economy in a repressive society implodes, the question is when China will surpass us economically. Not whether.
Immunity for U.S. troops post-2014 isn't going to happen. It's a political non-starter. No Afghan presidential candidate, queuing for the April 2014 elections, can support it, nor do the Afghan people want immunity for foreign troops.
While Hagel clearly has his views of the world informed in part by a lifetime as a card-carrying Republican, he has shown himself to be the 'quiet do-er,' just getting things done.
Last weekend, in the midst of all the tumult over the debacle that is the federal government shutdown, came word of these two dramatic US special operations forces raids against jihadist leaders in Libya and Somalia.
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As the government shutdown continues, President Obama has decided to ignore House and Senate Republicans and focus his energy on bringing an end to the much more pressing battle between singers Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor.