With just six weeks left until Egyptians go to the polls, the race for the presidency has entered a new level of acrimony, intrigue and speculation. The biggest shock came Sunday, when the country’s most powerful political organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, blatantly broke its promise not to seek the presidency. Its newly announced candidate, Khairat el-Shater, automatically took the lead in the campaign for the top job. El-Shater, the Brotherhood’s main financier, top strategist and deputy supreme leader, announced he was giving up his position in order to start campaigning for president. With that, he became the front-runner in a […]

Since at least 2003, Americans have overestimated our influence in Iraq. Although the U.S. invasion and overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime paved the way for both a bloody civil war and a new form of government, the key actors in Iraq were and remain the Iraqi people themselves. Most recently, GOP critics of the Obama administration have been quick to fault the White House for withdrawing U.S. troops at the end of 2011. But the incessant, myopic focus of many Republicans on America’s military means is wrong-headed and ignores where the administration has actually fallen short in Iraq. The […]

The civil war in Syria is now more than a year old, with estimates putting the civilian death toll at the hands of the Syrian army at 9,000 people in the past 13 months. As the slaughter continues, President Barack Obama has offered little more than promises of nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition and intonations about establishing “a process” to transition to a “legitimate government.” Inaction in the face of such butchery is easy to criticize, of course, and America cannot intervene everywhere. Nonetheless, Obama’s inaction in the face of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutality is especially glaring in […]

With Mofaz as New Leader, Kadima is ‘Waiting to Pounce’

Kadima, the main opposition party in Israel, elected former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz as its chairman in primary elections last week. Tzipi Livni, the incumbent, lost by a wide margin, stepping down at the end of what was widely regarded as an ineffective term. Though Kadima is the largest party in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, it is losing popular support. And analysts say its future will depend on whether Mofaz can accomplish what Livni could not: unifying the party, expanding its political base and ensuring that it provides a real alternative to the governing party, Likud. Daniel C. Kurtzer, the […]

Given this administration’s resurging plans for regional missile defense schemes in both Europe and Asia, President Barack Obama’s recent open-mike admission to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have more freedom in his national security decision-making once he wins re-election is not a comforting thought. For a guy who promises “a world without nuclear weapons,” Obama seems awfully intent on incentivizing both Russia and China to field some more. With regard to Europe, America’s case for even limited missile defense is weak. We are told it is all about Iran and has nothing to do with Russia. But if […]

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