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Foreign Policy

And Now, Only One Senior al Qaeda Leader Left

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
June 6, 2012 |

The news that Abu Yahya al-Libi, the No.2 leader of al Qaeda, is now confirmed to have been killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan's tribal region along the border with Afghanistan further underlines that the terrorist group that launched the 9/11 attacks is now more or less out of business.

Under President Barack Obama, CIA drone strikes have killed 15 of the most important players in al Qaeda, according to a count maintained by the New America Foundation (a nonpartisan think tank where I am a director).

EU Diplomacy on Israel/Palestine Shifts Up a Gear

  • By
  • Daniel Levy,
  • New America Foundation
June 4, 2012 |

Few issues of diplomatic conversation today have quite the same ability to generate a rolling of the eyes and turning of the page as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Stuck is an understatement.

Israel’s government argues with its Supreme Court over re-locating a few dozen families from an illegal outpost to an illegal settlement, ignoring the bigger picture, whereby one in ten Jewish Israelis now reside in the Occupied Palestinian territories.

A Split Syria

  • By
  • Elizabeth Weingarten,
  • Leila Hilal,
  • New America Foundation
June 1, 2012 |

On May 25, gangs of primarily government-affiliated gunmen killed more than 100 people – including 49 children- in the Syrian town of Houla, The massacre ignited global outrage: Diplomats this week have demanded that Syrian President Bashar al Assad halt the violence that has plagued the country since last spring, and pressed him to implement the U.N. Security Council cease-fire plan that was supposed to take effect on April 12.

Lebanon’s Dangerous Sunni-Shiite Divide Widens

  • By
  • Randa Slim,
  • New America Foundation
May 26, 2012 |

The main fault line in Lebanese politics is the division between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Years in the making, this divide must be overcome soon or it could plunge Lebanon into another civil war.

Recent sectarian clashes in north Lebanon and Beirut are but a symptom of this growing divide. At the political-leadership level, Hezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the Future Movement’s Saad Hariri — the Shiite and Sunni de facto leaders — are not on speaking terms. At the grassroots level, a wall of fear and mistrust separates Lebanon’s two largest communities.

Humanitarian Intervention Again and Again

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
May 30, 2012 |

Every time I hear about a massacre like last Friday’s in Houla, Syria, I think back to Srebrenica, the July 1995 Bosnian massacre that helped turn me—and many other post-Vietnam era journalists and policy types—into liberal hawks. Since then, humanitarian intervention has become a recurring feature of American foreign policy debates. After the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan (no, they weren’t humanitarian interventions but they have sapped America’s capacity and stomach for war), I’d have thought discussions of humanitarian intervention might go the way of the dodo bird. They haven’t.

Programs:

What the Hell Should We Do About Syria?

  • By
  • Randa Slim,
  • New America Foundation
May 31, 2012 |

The massacre in al-Houla, where Syrian military forces and allied militiamen massacred more than 100 civilians in cold blood, leaves no doubt about the intentions of President Bashar al-Assad's regime: survival at any cost and through any means. Assad does not have a Plan B.

The Big Mac Theory of Development

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
May 29, 2012 |

It’s a question richer people have about their poorer neighbors: Why are they poor? Is it circumstances, or is it some kind of moral or intellectual failing? Is it that they never had a chance to cross from the wrong side to the right side of the tracks, or that they never had the motivation to cross? The subject colors thinking about international development as well. Is poverty in Africa and Asia the result of something about individual Kenyans or Pakistanis, or is it instead something about Kenya or Pakistan? Is it about the people, or the place?

The Sidebar: Two Global Conferences

May 24, 2012
The implications of two global summits, the NATO Conference in Chicago and the Iranian nuclear talks in Baghdad are explored this week as Jennifer Rowland and Tom Kutsch join host Elizabeth Weingarten.

Obama’s Plan to Announce Afghanistan Withdrawal at NATO Summit Is Shrewd Politics

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
May 21, 2012 |

There’s a feel-good myth that governs much American punditry: that good policy and good politics go hand in hand. Often, sadly, it’s not true. Take President Obama and Afghanistan: On no other major issue has Obama been so cynical. And on no other issue has his cynicism proved so politically shrewd.

Programs:

Russian Roulette

  • By
  • Brian Fishman,
  • New America Foundation
May 18, 2012

The strategic partnership agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that was signed by Presidents Barack Obama and Hamid Karzai on May 1, 2012 did not address several critical questions, the most important of which is whether, and to what degree, the international community will continue to fund the Afghan government after 2014. Addressing the Afghan government’s budget needs is to be a major focus of the upcoming Chicago summit.

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