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    The Administration’s Mixed Messages to Syria

    U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford is home following an informal and indefinite recall. The Obama Administration cited concern for Ford’s personal safety as the basis for this decision. A more likely explanation, however, is the failure of the Administration’s policy of “engagement” with Bashar al-Assad’s repressive autocratic regime. Assad’s … More

    Netanyahu Says Israel Ready to Make Painful Compromises for Peace, but Palestinians Must Too

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today addressed a joint session of Congress and proclaimed that his government is willing to make “painful compromises” for peace with the Palestinians, but he ruled out any proposal that sacrifices Israel’s security needs or its identity as a Jewish state. In a lengthy speech … More

    Obama Misses Opportunity in “Moment of Opportunity” Middle East Speech

    President Obama today delivered a lengthy speech on U.S. policy in the Middle East that promised continued American support for democratic transitions in the countries influenced by the “Arab Spring.” He outlined an overly optimistic vision of what an Israeli–Palestinian peace settlement would look like. But he missed an opportunity … More

    The U.S., UNRWA, and the Holocaust

    The United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). According the Congressional Research Service, “Since UNRWA’s inception in 1950, the United States has provided the agency with nearly $4 billion in contributions. U.S. contributions to UNRWA … More

    Middle East Security Deteriorates

    Two years of President Barak Obama’s Middle Eastern foreign policy, and especially its handling of the Egyptian revolution, earned poor marks at Israel’s flagship national security event, the Herzliya Conference. The prestigious conference attracted NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, U.K. Defense Minister Liam Fox, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander … More

    More Carter Redux in the Middle East

    From the outset of the Obama presidency and the emergence of the Obama Doctrine, the similarities between this Administration and that of Jimmy Carter have been striking. Like Obama, Carter trumpeted soft power and international institutions as the means to solve the most perplexing foreign policy problems. The programs of … More

    Obama Doctrine is Failing in the Middle East

    The Middle East was meant to be the crowning achievement of the Obama Doctrine. Once in the White House, President Obama focused laser-like on a “charm offensive” with Iran. When voices rose against the regime in Tehran in the wake of a disputed national election, Obama offered virtually no support … More

    The November Man: Once More Grappling with Hugo Chávez

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez recently returned from October encounters with some of the least savory actors on the international stage. His trip focused on cementing a new nexus or alignment in world affairs, some cleverly dubbed VIRUS. It is not a computer malfunction or a contagion but rather a shadowy network … More

    Is Obama's "Reset" Boosting Destabilizing Russian Arms Sales?

    In Washington last Friday, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced that Russia will supply P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles to Syria, confirming the rumors about the contract between the two countries that appeared in October 2009. The contract was signed in 2007 according to Moscow. A ram-jet powered Yakhont (“Ruby” or … More

    Hugo Chavez Stands in the Terrorist Vanguard

    While hosting Syria’s President-for-life Bashar al-Assad on June 25-26, Venezuela authoritarian populist and aspiring president-for-life Hugo Chavez was quick to promise ever-closer ties with Syria.  Assad’s Syria is the longest running country on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Chavez described the Syrian leader’s visit as part of a “strategic … More