The symbolism of Obama’s landmark visit to Hiroshima aside, for many, the U.S.-Japan alliance appears to be a Cold War artifact. But the strategic bargain struck during the Korean War serves a far different purpose today, as the U.S. and Japan have adjusted to new geopolitical currents in Asia.
Last weekend, a U.S. military drone killed Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, as he drove home from Iran to Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. No one thinks that killing Mansour will defeat the Taliban, but it might alter the trajectory of the conflict at least a bit.
One of President Barack Obama’s most significant measures to promote commerce with Cuba isn’t working. U.S. banks can now legally process Cuban transactions with non-U.S. parties, but banks are refusing to do it. “It turns out it’s easier to impose sanctions than it is to dismantle them,” admits a U.S. official.