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    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

    A Show of Iranian Unity

    Iranian political dissidents are notorious for their bitter factions and for not being able to work together—probably the single biggest cultural asset the Islamic Republic regime has. However, the Iran Democratic Transition Conference showed Iranians finding unity on a common purpose, bringing democracy to their home country where the longing … More

    SOTU: 1 Out of 5 On Foreign Policy

    Before the State of the Union address, Heritage Foundation scholars laid out five foreign policy and national security commitments that needed to be in the speech. The President scored about 1 out of 5. The speech did nothing to dispel concerns that the Obama Doctrine just does not make the … More

    Iran Disengages on Nuclear Talks, but Not So Much in Lebanon

    The Obama Administration’s engagement policy suffered two major defeats in recent days due to the collapse of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, which followed the collapse of Lebanon’s pro-Western government two weeks ago. The diplomatic dead end over Iran’s nuclear program has received the lion’s share of Western press attention. … More

    Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution: A Harbinger of Future Uprisings?

    The popular uprising in Tunisia that overthrew the authoritarian regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has created tremendous uncertainty in the North African Arab country and raised expectations that political instability could also engulf other countries in the region. Ben Ali, 74, ruled with an iron hand for 23 years … More

    Iraq: The Return of Al-Sadr

    The surprise return of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to Iraq on Wednesday is a sign of rising Iranian influence and diminishing American political clout in Iraq. The triumphant homecoming of the fiery anti-American leader, who incited two bloody uprisings against U.S. forces after the 2003 invasion, could also foreshadow … More

    Iran Sanctions: Close the Loopholes

    The impact of U.S. sanctions against Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism have been undermined by loopholes that allow exemptions for humanitarian, agricultural and medical exports, according to a report in The New York Times. Most of the loopholes were created by a 2000 law that created exemptions for … More

    Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Failure?

    On December 15, the Missile Defense Agency conducted an unsuccessful test of Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), a long-range ballistic missile defense system designed to protect the U.S. homeland against a missile threat from North Korea or Iran. The initial review suggests that the failure occurred because an undetermined problem with … More

    Ahmadinejad Fires Foreign Minister: A Sign of Rising Internal Tensions

    The sudden firing of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki while he was abroad on a diplomatic mission lying for his country is a sign of growing political tension within Iran’s increasingly isolated government. The abrupt sacking of Mottaki, who has served as Iran’s top diplomat since the installation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s … More