The Great Debate

On U.S.-Iran deal, devil is in the details

By Michael Adler
September 23, 2013

The feel-good mood engendered by promising overtures from Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama has raised hopes for a settlement in the Iranian nuclear crisis. But the devil — especially in this case — is in the details.

from 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.

Yellen: An economic tonic for the sluggish recovery

By Robert Kuttner
September 18, 2013

The money markets rejoiced when Larry Summers pulled out of the race to be Federal Reserve chairman. The reason was simple, self-serving and not necessarily wholesome: A different chairwoman — most likely Janet Yellen — would be more inclined to continue the Fed’s program of large-scale bond purchases and low interest rates.

A potential turning point for Syria

By Mona Yacoubian
September 11, 2013

In the dizzying debate over U.S. military intervention in Syria, one key point of consensus stands out: Both the Obama administration and Congress recognize that the resolution to Syria’s conflict must come through a negotiated settlement. Key international actors share the same conclusion.

Is this why Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize?

By L. Douglas Wilder
September 11, 2013

In December 2009 the world was treated to the unexpected news that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Among those most surprised was Obama himself. Not many sitting American presidents have won the award. In fact, Obama was only the third.

Making frenemies with Putin

By Elizabeth A. Cobbs
September 10, 2013

Anyone who ever worried that Barack Obama might not be Made in the USA should take comfort from his quintessentially American response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to give temporary asylum to Edward Snowden: pouting.

from David Rohde:

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.

The politics of Syria

By Bill Schneider
September 4, 2013

Congressional Democrats are in a bind. If they vote to authorize a military strike on Syria, they could be putting the country on a slippery slope to war. But if they vote no, they will deliver a crushing defeat to their president.

Obama’s flawed case for a Syria strike

By Ari Melber
September 3, 2013

We should not bomb Syria without a vital national security interest and a precise foreign policy objective.

Syria: What happened to diplomacy?

By Trita Parsi
September 3, 2013

There is a bizarre quality to the U.S. public debate about bombing Syria. Much time and effort has been spent analyzing President Barack Obama’s decision to finally call for a vote in Congress: whether this was a wise choice; what the repercussions of an attack may be; the (il)legality of acting without a United Nations Security Council mandate; the moral case for bombing, and the strategic case for restraint.