Somewhere in the desert of eastern Syria, a militant from the Islamic State beheaded the American journalist James Foley this week. The killer and his terrorist group are responsible for Foley’s death. They should be the focus of public anger.
The United States won a short-term diplomatic victory over Iran this week. Under intense pressure from American officials, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdrew an invitation for Iranian officials to attend the Syria peace conference.
By design or accident, it is increasingly clear that the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s second-term foreign policy is a nuclear agreement with Iran. Whether Obama can succeed, however, now depends on Congress staying out of the negotiations.
The talk about former Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ blistering new memoir “Duty” has focused on the description of President Barack Obama’s tense 2011 Situation Room meeting with his top military advisers. A frustrated Obama expresses doubts about General David Petraeus, then U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and questions whether the administration can do business with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The furious partisan debate that erupted this week after a New York Times investigation questioned the central tenet of the Republican assault on the White House regarding Benghazi was a fitting end to 2013.
In Kiev, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have taken to the streets to demand the government join the European Union, in the hopes it will spur economic growth. In Kabul, Afghan leaders overwhelmingly voted to have American troops remain for another decade, in the hopes they will maintain a “war and aid economy” that has brought them unprecedented riches.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry appear to have run the table in Middle East diplomacy. An interim nuclear agreement with Iran has been reached, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are underway and peace talks to end Syria’s civil war are slated to begin in January.