FROM David Ignatius
Can ISIS Be Destroyed by the West? In the aftermath of the latest bombings in Europe, US officials say progress is being made toward destroying the Islamic State. But even as they're being taken out, ISIS leaders are quickly replaced, and ISIS reportedly trains 1000 potential terrorists every month. Is it time to re-think Western reliance on military action, which appears to intensify Islamic resentment and anger? Will the danger continue until Muslim societies first recognize and then address the grievances only they can resolve?
The Last Debate: Foreign Policy The debates are over and it's on to the swing states in a presidential campaign that's almost over. Is last night's debate on foreign policy likely to make a difference?
The Last Debate: Foreign Policy, with Just Two Weeks Remaining In last night's final debate , it wasn't the challenger who went on the offensive as much as the incumbent. President Obama called Mitt Romney "wrong and reckless," and tried to associate him with policies of the past. Romney said US influence is "receding" around the world, but blamed the economy. On foreign affairs, he was all about peace, in both style and content, but he did not offer policies much different from those of Obama. Was he intimidated, inexperienced or reassuring voters he would not be a warmonger? Was Obama aggressive out of desperation? Did the world learn much last night about how the US might deal with crucial issues over the next four years?
Iraq's Future: The Battle Continues There's more political uncertainty in Iraq today with the death of Abdul Aziz Hakim, a powerful political figure who succumbed to cancer. In the aftermath of the US invasion, Hakim gained enough power to be a visitor at the Bush White House, but he also had close ties with Iran.
Bombs and Politics in Iraq Last week two massive truck bombs killed 100 people in downtown Baghdad and wounded 1000 more, a serious blow to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He'd been dismantling blast walls and claiming that Iraqi forces could maintain security now that US troops have pulled out of the cities. The death of rival leader Abdul Aziz Hakim, who today succumbed to cancer, has increased political uncertainty. In the aftermath of the US invasion, Hakim gained enough power to be a visitor at the Bush White House, but also had close ties with Iran. Is the time ripe for another Sunni insurgency? Will the Kurds start a civil war? Iran and the US are competing for influence in Iraq. Will American troops be dragged back in or are US interests best served by continuing to withdraw?
Will Afghanistan Be President Obama's Vietnam? President Obama is putting his stamp on the war in Afghanistan. General David McKiernan has now been replaced by Lt. General Stanley McChrystal, "a rising superstar" who'll be leading “an all-star team.”
Will Afghanistan Be President Obama's Vietnam? The President is sending is more soldiers and changing commanders in Afghanistan. General David McKiernan has now been replaced by Lt. General Stanley McChrystal , “a rising superstar” who’ll be leading “an all-star team.” Some conservatives praise him for starting to nation-build. But powerful Democrats want to know if he’s making an open-ended commitment that can’t be sustained, like previous Presidents in Vietnam. Obama says the real issue is the threat from al Qaeda, but even General David Petraeus says al Qaeda’s now totally in Pakistan . Is the war still legal? Will more violence be counterproductive, especially with increased civilian casualties?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?