David Rohde

Iran’s offer is genuine — and fleeting

September 19, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday is not expected to generate much excitement. Battered by his uneven handling of Syria, no bold foreign policy initiatives are likely.

From Cairo to Geneva, Obama steps back from Mideast

September 16, 2013

It started as “a new beginning” and ended as “America is not the world’s policeman.”

Dictators never looked so good

September 12, 2013

Dictators have never looked so good.

Vladimir Putin is saving the United States from another Mideast military intervention. Bashar al-Assad promises to ‘thin the herd’ of jihadists and hold Syria together. And Egypt’s new strongman, General Abdal Fattah el Sisi, says he is sorting out the Muslim Brotherhood. With each passing month in the Middle East, it seems, authoritarianism grows more attractive.

A Syria gift Obama must use wisely

September 10, 2013

In a sober, narrowly framed speech Tuesday night,  President Barack Obama argued that deterring chemical weapons use – not regime change – remained the goal of any American military strike in Syria. Ob ama said he would delay a vote in Congress on the issue, seek a UN resolution requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and explore Russia’s surprising – and probably  – offer to help secure Syria’s chemical weapons.

For Obama, a contradiction too many

September 6, 2013

President Barack Obama will have to deliver one of the finest speeches of his presidency next Tuesday if he hopes to win Congressional support for a strike against Syria. Out of nowhere, the Syria vote has emerged as one of the defining moments of Obama’s second term.

The debate we should be having on Syria

September 3, 2013

On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama boarded Air Force One, departed for Sweden and left behind a looming political disaster. Despite the endorsement of Republican and Democratic House leaders, many members of Congress remain deeply skeptical about the president’s proposal to carry out cruise missile strikes in Syria. And they should be.

Has Iraq shackled American power?

August 29, 2013

In an extraordinary series of disclosures this week, Obama administration officials said that the United States will launch only cruise missile strikes in Syria. The attacks will last roughly two or three days. And the administration’s goal will be to punish President Bashar al-Assad, not remove him from power.

A moment of truth in Damascus and Washington

August 22, 2013

The images emerging from Syria — from this hysterical young girl to these rows of corpses — should be a turning point in a conflict that has killed 100,000 people. The deaths, if proven, demonstrate either the depravity of Bashar al-Assad — or the rebels fighting him.

A feckless response to Egypt’s avoidable massacre

August 15, 2013

Tepid rationalizations that the United States has “limited leverage” in Egypt or that the Arab Spring is “failing” do not change a basic fact: a U.S.-funded “ally” has carried out one of the largest massacres of protesters since the 1989 assault on Tiananmen Square.

What failed in Pakistan won’t work in Egypt

August 2, 2013

 

As the Egyptian army continued its violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood this week, White House officials said that the United States can’t cut off its $1.3 billion a year in aid to Egypt. To do so would cause Washington to lose “influence” with the country’s generals. Vital American security interests are at stake, they argued, and keeping the torrent of American aid flowing gives Washington leverage.