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NEWS
June 1, 2010
I write in reply to your editorial, "A new security plan" (May 29). You praise President Obama's security strategy that calls for diplomacy first as a triumph of common sense. You say Republicans will no doubt jump on the Obama strategy. Leaving the Republicans out, I believe President Obama, despite his grandiloquence in favor of diplomacy over war, knows little about the age old art of negotiating. He has ordered far more drone attacks in Pakistan against terrorists breeding in that country's tribal areas than his predecessor, President Bush.
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NEWS
June 26, 2014
It is telling that Matthew Van Dyke in his recent commentary fails to present a single policy recommendation while criticizing the Middle East foreign policies of the last two U.S. administrations ( "Bush's recklessness, Obama 's fecklessness make U.S. look weak as Iraq crumbles," June 17). Like many commentators, Mr. Van Dyke relies on a false dichotomy between isolationism and military intervention. Although Mr. Van Dyke is correct that the 2003 invasion of Iraq represents what may be the greatest foreign policy mistake in U.S. history, his argument - that the present administration's feckless "isolationist tendencies, exemplified by President Barack Obama's foreign policy" has led to "complete chaos in the Middle East" - fails to acknowledge core realities which have been illuminated by George W. Bush's misadventures.
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NEWS
March 24, 2014
In the 21st century there is no need for geographic borders to separate nations. According to United Nations resolutions, people have a human right to nationality, and in Crimea the majority want to be Russian. The world needs to accept that reality. But what do you do with those who want to be Ukrainian in Crimea? Lessons should be learned from past failures, and the India-Pakistan disaster in 1947 comes to mind. In Northern Ireland, some want to be British and others want to be Irish.
NEWS
June 25, 2014
In a little-heralded announcement earlier this week, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons declared that the Syrian government of Bashar Assad had handed over the last 1,300 tons of its declared chemical weapons stockpile to international inspectors. News reports indicate the Syrian stocks of nerve gas and other chemical agents were loaded aboard U.S. ships that will transport them out to sea where they will be destroyed. At a time when the world's attention has been focused on the escalating sectarian conflict spilling across Syria's border into Iraq, the news was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise grim situation.
NEWS
November 17, 2004
CONDOLEEZZA RICE will take control of the State Department for an administration that has never included diplomacy among its strong suits -- and that's not likely to change during her tenure. She has little patience for the bureaucratic rhythms of a large and far-flung department, she would reportedly rather be over at the Pentagon, and up to now she has been more comfortable delivering the president's message than engaging in the give-and-take that are inherent in actual diplomacy. It's clear that President Bush trusts her implicitly, and doubtless valued the advice she gave him as national security adviser.
NEWS
September 5, 2013
It's arguable that there should be a response to the chemical attack that took place last week, ("Punishing Syria," Aug. 26). The perpetrators of this atrocity must be apprehended and brought to justice internationally. However, it is stretching credulity to believe that a U.S. strike on an alleged chemical weapons facility will save more lives as opposed to continued tough diplomacy. In addition, it would be difficult to justify a military strike as a legitimate response when there is no imminent threat to the United States, nor can a retaliatory war of this kind be said to be a war of last resort.
NEWS
May 18, 2006
For the pariah state of Libya and its maximum leader, Muammar el Kadafi, the path to rehabilitation and restoration of full U.S. relations has been long, circuitous and, at times, strange. But it shows that sanctions and diplomacy - as opposed to pre-emption - can work, if Washington's patience is firm enough. Libya's human rights situation is a nightmare. Its economy is riddled with corruption. And its political life remains under the control of Mr. Kadafi, who from time to time still pops off in unpredictable and threatening ways.
NEWS
By Trudy Rubin | February 6, 2007
PHILADELPHIA -- Senators who want America to change course in Iraq should stop wasting their time on opposing the president's troop buildup. Whether or not we deploy a few thousand new troops to Baghdad won't make much difference. The only hope for creating decent conditions for a troop exit is shrewd regional diplomacy that prods Iraq's neighbors to help stabilize Baghdad. Thus far, the White House has rejected the diplomatic track - the main recommendation of the Iraq Study Group. Instead, the Bush team is intensifying its rhetoric against Iran, raising fears it will open a new military front against Tehran to distract from its troubles in Baghdad.
NEWS
June 26, 2014
It is telling that Matthew Van Dyke in his recent commentary fails to present a single policy recommendation while criticizing the Middle East foreign policies of the last two U.S. administrations ( "Bush's recklessness, Obama 's fecklessness make U.S. look weak as Iraq crumbles," June 17). Like many commentators, Mr. Van Dyke relies on a false dichotomy between isolationism and military intervention. Although Mr. Van Dyke is correct that the 2003 invasion of Iraq represents what may be the greatest foreign policy mistake in U.S. history, his argument - that the present administration's feckless "isolationist tendencies, exemplified by President Barack Obama's foreign policy" has led to "complete chaos in the Middle East" - fails to acknowledge core realities which have been illuminated by George W. Bush's misadventures.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | March 7, 2014
To hear some American hawks talk about President Obama's reaction to the Russian move into Crimea, you'd think he's grabbed Neville Chamberlain's umbrella of appeasement and rushed off to Munich. But Mr. Obama's response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's power move in Crimea can hardly be compared to the British prime minister's fateful surrender to Adolf Hitler's blatant theft of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938. Chamberlain was an open advocate of appeasement before it became a dirty word.
NEWS
March 24, 2014
In the 21st century there is no need for geographic borders to separate nations. According to United Nations resolutions, people have a human right to nationality, and in Crimea the majority want to be Russian. The world needs to accept that reality. But what do you do with those who want to be Ukrainian in Crimea? Lessons should be learned from past failures, and the India-Pakistan disaster in 1947 comes to mind. In Northern Ireland, some want to be British and others want to be Irish.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | March 7, 2014
To hear some American hawks talk about President Obama's reaction to the Russian move into Crimea, you'd think he's grabbed Neville Chamberlain's umbrella of appeasement and rushed off to Munich. But Mr. Obama's response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's power move in Crimea can hardly be compared to the British prime minister's fateful surrender to Adolf Hitler's blatant theft of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia in 1938. Chamberlain was an open advocate of appeasement before it became a dirty word.
NEWS
By Patrick W. Quirk | January 6, 2014
The United States is developing its second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) - a broad assessment of the State Department and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and their effectiveness in furthering the country's foreign-policy objectives amid a changing world of rising powers. The first QDDR, completed in 2010, outlined an expansive framework for augmenting and leveraging U.S. "civilian power" to advance core American interests in a changing world of new threats and rising powers.
NEWS
September 13, 2013
When it comes to Syria, we live in an Alice-In-Wonderland world. John Kerry, once the young, defiant pacifist, has morphed into a hawk, and President Obama, who opposed the Iraq intervention, has done a similar turnaround ( "Putin's dubious offer," Sept. 10). So as I understand it, we're supposed to show them we can kill better and thus teach them not to kill - at least with gas? Where are the other residents of the neighborhood? Don't Syria's neighbors feel any moral obligation to intervene, even minimally, to express their disapproval and concern?
NEWS
By Matthew VanDyke | September 9, 2013
When President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, even he was surprised. Mr. Obama's winning of the prize was rightly controversial - after nine months in office it was difficult to determine what exactly had warranted it - but he wasn't the first U.S. president to win the award nor was he the first for whom the honor struck many as odd. Theodore Roosevelt, swaggering Rough Rider, big game hunter and jungle explorer - a man who...
NEWS
September 5, 2013
It's arguable that there should be a response to the chemical attack that took place last week, ("Punishing Syria," Aug. 26). The perpetrators of this atrocity must be apprehended and brought to justice internationally. However, it is stretching credulity to believe that a U.S. strike on an alleged chemical weapons facility will save more lives as opposed to continued tough diplomacy. In addition, it would be difficult to justify a military strike as a legitimate response when there is no imminent threat to the United States, nor can a retaliatory war of this kind be said to be a war of last resort.
NEWS
By DEREK CHOLLET | December 12, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's trip to Europe last week was consumed by the controversy over CIA "black sites" and questions about what to do next in Iraq. But these bitter debates obscure a surprising fact: The U.S. approach toward many of the world's toughest challenges has undergone a dramatic, if quiet, transformation. After five years in office, the Bush team belatedly has discovered what it once derided - the art of diplomacy. Examples abound. For one, the administration was reluctant to get sucked into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
NEWS
By Jeff Jacoby | April 23, 1997
BOSTON -- It was a cold diplomatic insult, calculated to sting. Washington's dispute with one of the world's great powers could have been settled amicably, but the secretary of state delivered a slap in the face instead. He wanted to make it unforgettably clear that America's first loyalty is always to those who struggle for freedom -- never to the despots whom they struggle against.The year was 1850. Daniel Webster, recalled to the State Department by President Fillmore, was nearing the end of a long, illustrious career.
NEWS
By Steve Phillips | June 10, 2013
Since President Richard Nixon's visit to China in February 1972, American presidents have hoped that building personal rapport with Chinese leaders would strengthen bilateral ties and win political points at home. While Nixon's trip was a diplomatic triumph, later presidents have not been so successful. They usually discover that this type of Sino-American interaction has little impact on the relationship. President Barack Obama's recent effort to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping fits this pattern.
NEWS
May 29, 2013
Syrian President Bashar Assad's brutal war against his domestic opponents has taken some 70,000 lives so far and reduced much of the country to rubble, yet there's no sign either side has gained a decisive advantage in the two-year-old conflict. The European Union's decision this week to lift its ban against arming the Syrian rebels is ostensibly aimed at prodding the combatants into a negotiated settlement, but the effect could be just the opposite if it encourages both sides to dig in their heels even deeper.
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