A European Plea to Biden

Photo credit: REUTERS/Ken Cedeno.

I admire America and feel nothing but deep respect and gratitude for it. Yes, I’m familiar with the reservations among many in Europe, ranging from Vietnam to Guantanamo, from the death penalty to the right to bear arms, from Afghanistan to the second Iraq war. My feelings for America are stronger. That’s because they are […]

America-Israel Disagreement over Gaza at a Critical Junction

US President Joe Biden meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, October 2023. Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Pool via REUTERS.

Rarely in the American special relationship with Israel has there been such a dramatic display of discord between leaders. What began as a remarkable show of American support and solidarity with Israel, in the wake of Hamas’s assault in October, came by February and March to be increasingly marred by acrimony. The White House statement […]

The Shrinking US Defense Budget: Its Washington Politics and Outlook for the Coming Year

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (center), and Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense (left), testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the proposed 2024 defense budget. Photo credit: Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Congress has never had an easy time passing defense budgets. Despite partisan bickering, however, the Congress has successfully passed 62 consecutive defense authorization acts, including for the current year.     The upcoming year’s budget appears to be a troubling exception. Sadly, the best-case scenario is for a defense budget that will be reduced for a time […]

“The Kiss of Biden” and Foreign Policy in Erdoğan’s Re-Election

Photo credit: EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

Pity Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. The Turkish opposition candidate faced an impossible challenge: running for president with American lipstick on his cheek.    Call it the kiss of Biden. In 2020, when Joe Biden was a candidate for president, he told the editorial board of the New York Times that he favored working with “elements of the Turkish […]

Israel’s Divided Government, the Palestinians, and the US

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, May 14, 2023. Photo credit: Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool via REUTERS

The November 2022 elections in Israel gave the present coalition a clear majority of 64 out of 120 members of the Knesset. The coalition intended to produce a government with a firm rightwing ideological orientation. At long last, Likud party loyalists cheered, we don’t need to compromise with centrist or left-leaning partners.  >>  Insight from […]

Israeli Sovereignty and American Intervention

Demonstrators in Tel Aviv, Israel show support for US President Biden, for not inviting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to the White House, March 30, 2023. Photo credit: REUTERS

The streets are seething. Police have clashed with demonstrators and there have been not only arrests but some violence. Hundreds of thousands and likely millions have protested proposed government actions. Unions have called for nationwide strikes. Government reactions have elicited even more fierce opposition. Israel? No, France. Most recently, protests have intensified when the government completely […]

Biden’s Measured Response to China’s Activism in the Middle East

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 8, 2022. Photo credit: REUTERS

The Biden administration does not view US–China competition in the Middle East as a zero-sum prize for one side to enjoy at the other’s expense. This measured response to China’s growing influence could change, however; outlined below are factors that could shift US policy toward great power confrontation in the region. China’s President Xi Jinping […]

When Nation Building Works

Reconstructing the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the old city of Mosul, Iraq. Photo credit: Credit: REUTERS

Nation building is a US policy for transforming post-conflict countries, a policy discredited among a broad swath of Washington because of Iraq and Afghanistan. But I question this consensus and recommend rehabilitating the policy in time to help reconstruct postwar Ukraine. >> Diplomatic Dispatches: Read more from Robert Silverman Didn’t the US role in postwar Japan […]