The Bigger Threat

The Obama administration has concluded that ISIS is a much bigger threat to U.S. interests than is Bashar al-Assad. ISIS puts the American investment of blood, treasure, and prestige in Iraq at risk. This ultra-violent terrorist group also incorporates many foreign fighters with passports, including Americans. The worry is that they are capable of spreading terror to our citizens and property here and abroad. Assad, in contrast, is embattled, occupied at home, and fighting for his life and rule.November 28, 2014


Non-ISIS Syrian rebels regretfully see U.S. bombing of the terrorist group as, in effect, showing Obama’s support for Assad. Furthermore, degrading ISIS is a long-term endeavor. This tests the patience of Washington hawks, mainly Republicans, their media boosters, and increasingly the Pentagon brass, who want more combat versus Assad and ISIS. However, Obama wants to keep the costs down, to avoid fighting Iraq’s war, and to spread U.S. foreign policy attention to a broader field. November 28, 2014

Problems with the Iran Negotiations

November 27, 2014

The impasse in the Iran nuclear talks reflects a series of roadblocks. Iran’s domestic political situation of seeing its revolutionary legacy imperiled by concessions over the issue restricts the moderate government of Hassan Rouhani from granting the compromises necessary for “getting to yes.  ...more

What Next for the Iran Talks: Reykjavic Redux?

November 28, 2014

November 24 will not enter the annals of history as a fateful turning point in Iran’s relations with the West. Twelve months of intense nuclear talks, rather than ending a twelve-year standoff, evolved instead into a seven-month extension. Disappointed observers were quick to draw parallels with the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks....more

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