Little Optimism for Iran Talks, But Lots of Advice

On the eve of a third round of critical talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – on Tehran's nuclear programme, optimism about a breakthrough is hard to come by.

U.S.: Obama Resists Growing Pressure to Intervene in Syria

While reports of two mass killings in Syria by pro-regime forces in the past week have increased pressure on President Barack Obama to intervene more directly in support of the opposition, his administration appears determined to avoid any military involvement.

U.S. Neo-Conservatives Assail Possible Compromise on Iran Talks

As at least two days of talks on the future of Iran's nuclear programme got underway in Baghdad Wednesday, neo-conservatives and other hawks escalated their campaign against any compromise agreement, particularly one that would permit Tehran to continue enriching uranium on its territory.

U.S.: Bomb-Iran Week Turns Syrious

This week was supposed to be all about Iran – at least, that's how Israel and its powerful U.S. lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), had planned it - and why the U.S. should prepare to bomb it very, very soon if its leadership doesn't cave into Western demands to abandon its nuclear programme.

U.S.: To Arm or Not to Arm Syrian Rebels, That Is the Question

Just days before the opening meeting of the new international "Friends of Syria" in Tunis Friday, the debate over whether the United States should provide more support – including weapons – to opposition forces is gathering steam.

Renewed Push in U.S. to Arm Syrian Rebels

What with rumours from Israel of war on Iran, a major showdown with the Egyptian military over the indictments of government- funded U.S. activists in Cairo, and continuing political paralysis in Iraq, you would think President Barack Obama has enough Middle East crises to deal with.

Early End to U.S. Combat Role in Afghanistan Draws Cheers, Jeers, Confusion

U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta's surprise announcement Wednesday that U.S. troops will phase out their combat role in Afghanistan by mid-2013 is drawing mixed reactions, as well as a fair bit of confusion, from both critics and supporters of the 11-year-old war here.

U.S.: Growing Elite Opposition to Military Option Against Iran

Like the imminent prospect of one's hanging, to paraphrase the 18th century British essayist Dr. (Samuel) Johnson, the suddenly looming possibility of war can concentrate the mind wonderfully.

Less Counter-Insurgency, More Asia in New U.S. Strategy

Capping a major eight-month review, President Barack Obama unveiled a new defence strategy here Thursday that places more emphasis on U.S. military capabilities in Asia and the Pacific and much less on counter-insurgency and nation-building operations in poorer and conflict-plagued countries.

U.S.: Anti-Neo-Con Candidate Getting Serious Look

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who 24 years ago performed dismally as the standard-bearer of the Libertarian Party, has begun making waves in the 2012 presidential campaign, to the extreme discomfort of neo-conservatives and aggressive nationalists who dominate the foreign policy rosters of most of his Republican rivals.

The highly controversial U.S. war in Iraq officially ended on Thursday. Above, a U.S. soldier and Iraqi woman in Al Thobat, Iraq, in 2007. Credit: U.S. Army/ CC by 2.0

U.S.: Iraq Intervention Ends with Scarcely a Whimper

When the United States formally ended its eight-and-a-half year military adventure in Iraq on Thursday with a flag-lowering ceremony presided over by Defence Secretary Leon Panetta Baghdad, hardly anyone here seemed to notice, let alone mark the occasion in a special manner.

U.S.: Former Top Aide Offers Insight on Mideast and Iran

In his first public address since departing from the White House, Dennis Ross, former top Middle East aide to U.S. President Barack Obama, called for increased sanctions on Iran, a careful approach to new Arab regimes and a low-key approach to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Dennis Ross in the White House (far right), with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama in the background. Credit: White House Photo by Pete Souza

U.S.: “Israel’s Advocate” to Leave White House for Pro-Israel Think Tank

Dennis Ross, President Barack Obama's top Middle East aide who has attracted criticism for his allegedly strong pro-Israel sympathies, will leave his post at the end of this month, the White House announced here Thursday.

U.S. Army soldiers examine their CH-47 Chinook helicopter before an aircraft turnover mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Credit: DoD photo

“Who Lost Iraq” Debate Fails to Get Traction

Two weeks after President Barack Obama announced the withdrawal of all remaining U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of next month, a familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks and prominent Republicans are blaming the president for "losing" the Middle Eastern country to its neighbour and long-time Washington nemesis, Iran.

Obama talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during a secure video teleconference in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 21, 2011. Credit: White House Photo by Pete Souza

U.S.-IRAQ: Obama Confirms Full Withdrawal by Christmas

In a decision promptly denounced by Republicans, President Barack Obama announced here Friday that all U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the Christmas holidays in late December.

U.S.-LIBYA: Obama Claims Vindication

The death of former Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi was hailed here Thursday by both the administration of President Barack Obama and some of his Republican foes as the latest in a series of victories for U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. Hawks Behind Iraq War Rally for Strikes Against Iran

Key neo-conservatives and other right-wing hawks who championed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq are calling for military strikes against Iran in retaliation for its purported murder-for-hire plot against the Saudi ambassador here.

Alleged Plot Weakens Claims of Iran’s Sway in Latin America

Claims by neo-conservative and right-wingers that Iranian influence in Latin America poses a growing security threat to the United States seem exaggerated, at best, with recent allegations that Tehran sought the help of an Iranian- American used-car salesman in a high-profile assassination plot.

Iranians Charged in Alleged Plot to Kill Saudi Envoy

In a move certain to escalate tensions on a number of fronts, the U.S. Justice Department Tuesday charged a dual Iranian- American national and an alleged member of the Islamic Republic's special operations unit of conspiring to assassinate the Saudi ambassador here.

U.S.: Republican Frontrunner Touts Neo-Conservative Foreign Policy

In his first major foreign policy address of the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney Friday presented a largely neo-conservative platform similar to that pursued by George W. Bush, although he never mentioned the former president by name.

U.S.: Iraq Intelligence Failures Cast Shadow Over Iran Assessment

As the George W. Bush administration built the case for war with Iraq in the early 2000s, press accounts picked up bits of leaked intelligence that described a weapons of mass destruction threat from then president Saddam Hussein. But once the U.S. military entered Iraq, they found nothing.

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