FROM Gregory Gause
Is the Great Satan a Big Blunderer? Polls show that vast numbers of Middle Easterners believe the US wants to divide their region, take over their oil and replace Islam with Christianity. Al Jazeera TV, newspapers and magazines promote the idea of a grand conspiracy by an invincible Superpower. Conspiracy theories about western imperialism have a rich history in the Middle East. While recently, it's the United States that gets the blame—or the credit—for events that might otherwise be inexplicable, the chaos of the Iraq occupation appears to be changing public opinion. Is America incompetent after all? Can it be defeated? With public opinion changing, where does that leave the governments supported by the US? What will it mean for American interests in a volatile region?
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?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.