Seth McLaughlin

Articles written by Seth McLaughlin

China as Rival, Competitor and Partner

China figures into virtually every major U.S. foreign policy objective -- from North Korea and Iran to economic recovery and climate change -- and plays the role of U.S. rival, competitor and partner all at the same time. Managing this complex relationship is a major policy priority for the Obama administration.

UNSC Resolution Highlights Obama's U.N. Diplomacy

UNITED NATIONS -- President Barack Obama sprinted through three days of international diplomacy at the United Nations General Assembly, vowing to re-engage the world body and pushing through a Security Council resolution that inched him closer to his dream of a nuclear weapons-free world -- all the while warning he would never apologize for defending America's interests. more

Engaging Iran: An Interview with R. Nicholas Burns

R. Nicholas Burns, the former under secretary of state for political affairs, says it is unlikely that Iran will make a serious effort to work with the United States in curbing its nuclear program, but that President Barack Obama's push for diplomatic talks is a necessary step in building international support for harsher sanctions and, in a worst-case scenario, military force. more

Honduras: When is a Coup not a Coup?

WASHINGTON -- The State Department's reluctance to define  the military ouster of Honduras President Manuel Zelaya as a "coup" is fueling a political and legal debate over the definition of "coup," and whether the de facto Honduran government is legal. It is also testing President Barack Obama's desire to improve relations with Latin America and its leaders. more

U.S. Army Expands Use of Video Games for Training

A newly issued U.S. Army field manual has put people on notice: Video games are serious training tools. In its first revision since 9/11, the U.S. Army field manual for training mentions gaming 32 times, describing it as as a key ingredient in replicating "an actual operational environment." The new doctrine is another reminder of how gaming is rapidly redefining military recruitment and training. more

Summit of the Americas: A New Regional Narrative

The effort to reinstate Cuba to the Organization of American States is a prominent storyline heading into the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, where 34 leaders from the hemisphere will meet to discuss economic, energy and security issues. But the meeting's narrative also includes an opportunity for President Barack Obama to redefine U.S.-Latin American relations. more

Palestinian Divisions Obstacle to Peace Talks

The results of Israel's recent elections have led many to wonder about the future of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. But determining who, between the more secular Fatah leaders in the West Bank and the Islamist Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, represents the Palestinian people is another significant obstacle to any future peace deals between Israelis and Palestinians. more

The Pakistan Problem: Adviser's Views Provide Clues to Obama Approach

Ten years ago, Bruce Riedel sent a memo to his boss, then-President Bill Clinton. In it, he called Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world. Armed with nuclear weapons, Pakistan sponsored terrorists, was awash in drugs and consistently teetered on the verge of wars with neighboring India, its nuclear rival. Today, little has changed and Riedel, reportedly tapped as President-elect Barack Obama's Pakistan adviser, continues to bristle at the possible problems the nation of 165 million people poses for the United States. more

Turkey's Diplomacy Wins UNSC Seat

The election of five new non-permanent members to the United Nations Security Council sent starkly different messages to two neighboring Muslim nations in the Middle East. Turkey, which has been actively engaged in settling regional disputes and lobbied hard in the months leading up to the election, easily won a seat. Iran, which has fought U.N. sanctions over its disputed nuclear program and defied UNSC resolutions to freeze its uranium enrichment, saw its hopes of holding a seat for the first time since 1956 crushed.

Next U.S. President Likely Will Have More Use for the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS -- In his farewell speech to the United Nations this week, U.S. President George W. Bush assessed the utility of the world body in a way that represents a significant departure from his administration's earlier policy. Bush told members of the U.N. General Assembly, "a clear lesson has emerged: The United Nations and other multilateral organizations are needed more urgently than ever." His Sept. 23 speech also fueled speculation here about the next U.S. president's policy toward the body. more