David Rohde

Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea is good — for HBO

By David Rohde
February 26, 2013

Retired NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea, yes, North Korea, on Tuesday in the latest of a series of visits by American citizens to the Stalinist state. Rodman and three members of the Harlem Globetrotters will engage in “basketball diplomacy,” according to this exclusive Associated Press story on Rodman’s trip.  The retired Chicago Bulls star and five-time NBA champion will play an exhibition game with North Korea’s top basketball stars and conduct a basketball camp for children.

Syria demands a new policy

By David Rohde
February 21, 2013

Typhoid and hepatitis outbreaks are spreading. An estimated 70,000 people are dead, and another 850,000 are refugees. After covering the battle for Damascus for a month, my colleague – photographer Goran Tomasevic – declared the situation a “bloody stalemate” this week.

Political courage – and risk – in Tunisia

By David Rohde
February 20, 2013

Keeping his promise to the people of Tunisia, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned yesterday after his own party rejected his call for the creation of an apolitical government of technocrats to ease the country’s rising political tensions. My colleague Tarek Amara reported this morning that the ongoing political instability is slowing economic growth in Tunisia just as the country’s economy was showing its first signs of life since the 2011 revolution.

Obama’s ‘war on inequality’

By David Rohde
February 14, 2013

He quoted Jack Kennedy but sounded more like Lyndon Johnson.

In an audacious State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama made sweeping proposals to reduce poverty, revive the middle class and increase taxes on the “well off.” While careful to not declare it outright, an emboldened second-term president laid out an agenda that could be called a “war on inequality.”

A troubled homecoming for Bin Laden “shooter”

By David Rohde
February 11, 2013

Update at 12:20 pm EST on 2/13/13:

The Veterans Administration weighed in Tuesday on the dispute between Esquire magazine and Stars and Stripes over the benefits available to the retired Navy SEAL who reportedly killed Osama Bin Laden. In an email, a Veterans Administration spokesperson laid out the benefits available to combat veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Obama’s legacy of secrecy

By David Rohde
February 8, 2013

John Brennan’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday was a microcosm of the Obama administration’s approach to counterterrorism: The right assurances, with little transparency.

Assassination casts pall on Arab Spring’s best hope

By David Rohde
February 8, 2013

At a faster rate than many expected, the post-Arab Spring’s Islamist governments are stumbling.

The ‘trust me’ administration

By David Rohde
February 6, 2013

In a bold second inaugural address, one line was my favorite.

“We will defend our people and uphold our values,” President Barack Obama declared, “through strength of arms and rule of law.”

Make allies, not kill lists

By David Rohde
January 31, 2013

Viewers of Thursday’s  confirmation hearing of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel can be forgiven for thinking they were watching a years-old C-SPAN rerun. The importance of America’s intercontinental ballistic missiles dominated initial questioning. Then the war in Iraq was debated. In the end, the issue that most concerned senators from both parties was Hagel’s loyalty to Israel.

The Hillary doctrine?

By David Rohde
January 24, 2013

The partisan political theater, of course, was top-notch. Rand Paul’s declaration that he would have fired Hillary Clinton; her angry rebuttal of Ron Johnson’s insistence that the administration misled the American people about the Benghazi attack; John McCain’s continued – and legitimate – outrage at the slapdash security the State Department provided for its employees.