FROM Mustafa Alani
Suing Saudi Arabia: What could go wrong? Fifteen years after the attacks of September 11, the families of victims still want authorization to sue Saudi Arabia -- even though there's no "smoking gun." In this election year, they got what they wanted when bipartisan majorities of Congress yesterday overrode a veto by President Obama. But almost before the voting was over, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan was among those openly voicing second thoughts. Was the President right after all, warning of unintended consequences for Americans overseas? Can the new law be changed — once the election is over?
US, Regional Perspectives on Egypt's Upheaval Hours after the announcement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had turned over power to the country's military, the party was still going on. But many questions remain. Can the military be trusted to institute democracy? What will be the role of the US? What's the reaction in the rest of the Arab world, where dictatorships still hold power? We hear what the Obama Administration says the US will expect from Egypt's interim government and get perspective on what's next for Egypt and the region.
A Shaky Start for the New Way Forward Another hanging has gone awry, the civilian death toll is higher than anyone thought before and Iraq’s government may not be on board. All this as Secretary of State Rice visits Iraq's Arab neighbors , trying to sell the President's plan for more troops to avoid total chaos. Meantime, the New York Times quotes a US official in Iraq as saying, "We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem," adding, "we are being played like a pawn." Does America's war in Iraq make for tension between the Arab governments and their own people? How worried are the regimes about the rising influence of Iran? Will talks between Israel and the Palestinians make a difference? We get perspective from journalists in Iraq and Europe, experts on international security and Middle East policy.
After the Bush-Maliki Iraq Summit, is Anyone in Control? Today's New York Times quotes sources it says were part of the Iraq Study Group 's deliberations on what to do next in Iraq. The bipartisan group will report its unanimous conclusions to President Bush next week. The Times says it will call for aggressive regional diplomacy, including direct talks with Syria and Iran. Rather than set a timetable for withdrawal of American troops, it will call for a gradual pullback. After his meeting today with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki , the President seemed to reject a "graceful withdrawal" in advance. Meantime, al-Maliki faces the breakup of his political coalition. Former allies say they won't return to the government until he sets a firm date for US withdrawal. Is Maliki still running the country, or is anti-American Muqtada al-Sadr taking control? What should the US do?
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?