The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Obama: plus ça change?


Robin Shepherd is a senior research fellow at Chatham House in London. The opinions expressed are his own.

robinshepherd-cropped1Which part of the word “change” did Barack Obama not understand? A year from now it is a question that many outside America will be asking about his foreign policy.

American forces will still be in Afghanistan; the handover in Iraq will continue, with some  troops coming home as they would have under President Bush; U.S. support for Israel will remain unchanged, while the Annapolis process begun under Obama’s predecessor continues to take its course.

The "war on terror", though repackaged under a different name, will have shown no signs of abating. The world will still be sleep-walking its way towards a nuclear armed Iran, with America unable to rally China and Russia to participate in meaningful sanctions. Tensions with a neo-authoritarian Russia will have shown no signs of abating as commitments to NATO allies and partners, particularly on Russia’s periphery, take precedence over temptations to appease the Kremlin.

from The Great Debate:

Obama must redefine success in Afghanistan


Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Barack Obama says he will make Afghanistan the central front in his fight against terrorism but the incoming U.S. president will have to scale back the war aims he inherits from George W. Bush and redefine success.

Bush ordered the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 to oust a Taliban government that was harboring al Qaeda militants blamed for the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.