David Rohde

Iran’s offer is genuine — and fleeting

By David Rohde
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

By David Rohde
September 16, 2013

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

Dictators never looked so good

By David Rohde
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

By David Rohde
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

By David Rohde
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.

Has Iraq shackled American power?

By David Rohde
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.

What failed in Pakistan won’t work in Egypt

By David Rohde
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.

Obama’s ‘best bad choice’ in Syria

By David Rohde
June 14, 2013

Damaged buildings and debris in Deir al-Zor, June 13, 2013.Picture taken June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The ‘secrecy industrial complex’

By David Rohde
June 11, 2013

An undated photo of National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. REUTERS/NSA/Handout via Reuters

Obama’s overdue reckoning on secrecy

By David Rohde
June 7, 2013

President Barack Obama on the White House South Lawn in Washington, June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing