July 7, 2012 by John Lyman
Rarely does foreign policy swing a U.S. presidential election one way or another. And with foreign policy taking a back seat to Obama’s handling of the economy, the Romney campaign should be overjoyed. To the Romney campaign’s chagrin, despite some obvious missteps, Obama enjoys higher poll numbers on his handling of foreign policy than his economic stewardship according to national polls. A debate over foreign policy is something that the Obama campaign would relish.
According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in May, voters approved of Obama handling of foreign policy 47 percent to 43 percent. That poll complies with an ABC News/Washington Post poll released at about the same time. On Iran, an issue that confounded Obama’s predecessor, Obama fairs reasonably well with voters. 49 percent of voters were “somewhat confident” that Obama could prevent the Iranians from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to a Fox News poll conducted in February.
July 7, 2012 by William Eger
There is a fundamental problem with American foreign and military policy concerning terrorism. American military strategists and policymakers fail to acknowledge the true strategic and tactical nature of terrorist groups and insurgencies. Many in the upper echelons of the U.S. government attempted to address the insurgency in Iraq and al Qaeda as if they were conventional forces. This resulted in abysmal returns.
The last two American Presidents have highlighted this fundamental misunderstanding by the Executive Branch of U.S. government. On May 1, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush touted mission accomplished on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Nine years later, his successor Barack Obama heralded the “light of a new day”, in Afghanistan.
July 7, 2012 by Sudhanshu Tripathi
The decision by Pakistan’s Surpeme Court to disqualify and remove former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani from office has many speculating whether Pakistan’s Supreme Court usurped its power in what amounts to a “judicial dictatorship”.
While potentially problematic in the long-term, the ongoing battle between the government and the civilian courts highlights how far Pakistan has come. Further, the dramatic turn of events, the dismissal of Gilani, didn’t arouse any large scale protests despite the fact that the cabinet was also nulified. Instead, as The Economist points out, “No one came out in support of Mr. Gilani. Rather, the day of the ruling was marked by continuing violent protests across Punjab, the most heavily populated province, over the crippling shortages of electricity that are the most obvious failure of the government to deal with issues that matter. Parliament, however, remains intact, and Mr. Zardari has the means to form a new government led by his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).”
At the heart of the case is the fact that Gilani had been found guilty of contempt of court for not investigating fraud alegations against President Asif Ali Zardari. Having been found guilty of contempt, Iftikhar Chaudhry, Pakistan’s top judge ruled that because he was essentially a convict he was disqualified from serving as Pakistan’s prime minister.