Middle East

Iran nuclear talks coming to a head

Washington - Prussian King Frederick the Great offered this rebuke to those who refused to allow any concessions: "If you try to hold everything, you hold nothing." President Obama might make a similar retort to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attack on the alleged "bad deal" the U.S. is contemplating with Iran... weiter




Arab opposition

Jordan takes the lead

Amman, Jordan - One of the weaknesses of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State is that America isn’t trusted as a messenger in much of the Arab world. So it is important that Jordan’s King Abdullah II seems ready to play an unusually visible role in organizing Arab opposition to the extremists... weiter




Nuclear talks

On Iran, wait and see

Munich - Sitting next to Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday as he said that another extension of the nuclear talks isn’t "in the interests of anybody," it seemed clear that this particular can isn’t going to get kicked down the road much farther. The likelihood that the Iran negotiations are reaching a make-or-break point was reinforced by President... weiter





Saudi Arabia

Reshuffling the House of Saud

Washington - Saudi Arabia, which often confounds outsiders with its slow and opaque governance, has moved surprisingly quickly under King Salman, its new monarch, to streamline government and purge officials who were seen as underperformers. The architect of the government shakeup has been Mohammed bin Salman, the king's aggressive... weiter




Counterterrorism

The lesson from Yemen

Washington - What went wrong for the U.S.-backed government in Yemen and what are the consequences for counterterrorism operations there against al-Qaeda's most dangerous affiliate? Both questions have disturbing answers. President Obama touted Yemen just last September as a country where the U.S. "successfully" was "taking out terrorists who... weiter




What comes next?

Foreign policy's post-Obama pivot

Washington - President Obama has been chafing for months at the notion that he's a lame-duck president. That's one reason he took the offensive in the run-up to the State of the Union address. His aides insist that Obama plays his best in the fourth quarter of the game, and they want him to finish strong... weiter




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