Stories written by Daniel Luban
Daniel Luban is a doctoral student in political science at the University of Chicago and a former IPS correspondent in the Washington, D.C. bureau. He continues to write for

BOOKS: Was Bush Doctrine Just a Little Bit of History Repeating?

Was the foreign policy of George W. Bush an aberration in U.S. history, a turn away from the traditional guiding principles of U.S. foreign policy towards messianic ambitions of permanent supremacy and universal democracy?

POLITICS-US: Afghanistan Pressures Beget Dubious Alliances

Central Asia is shaping up to be an early test of Barack Obama's foreign policy, as the increased demands of the war in Afghanistan force his administration to decide how far to accommodate or to pressure the region's autocratic governments.

RIGHTS: ICC Investigating Israel War Crimes Charges

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague announced a preliminary analysis Tuesday into whether Israel committed war crimes during the recent Gaza war, following the Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) move to recognise the ICC's authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

MIDEAST: Peace Recedes as Israeli Settlements Expand

Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank increased sharply in 2008, despite Israel's pledge at the beginning of the year to freeze all construction, according to a new report by an Israeli non-governmental organisation.

POLITICS: Gaza Tensions Shadow U.N. Holocaust Ceremony

The president of the United Nations General Assembly was a last-minute no-show at the U.N.'s annual ceremony commemorating the Holocaust, following an intense lobbying campaign by pro-Israel organisations to have him removed from the programme.

POLITICS-US: Obama and the Zelig Effect

President Barack Obama's inaugural address was in many respects an echo of his campaign rhetoric, offering nods to each side of the political divide in a way that elicited respectful praise from both sides but also deep uncertainty as to the speech's practical implications.

MIDEAST: U.S. Jewish Peace Lobby Isolated on Gaza

The three-week-old war in Gaza - halted Saturday by an Israeli ceasefire - has had a polarising effect on the U.S. Jewish community, resulting in a deeper and at times acrimonious split between dovish groups that are sceptical of the Israeli military campaign, and centrist and hawkish groups that have been broadly supportive of it.

POLITICS-US: Olmert’s Claims Revive Spectre of “Israel Lobby”

The U.S. State Department fiercely denied claims made by Ehud Olmert about his influence over President George W. Bush, in an incident that has stirred up old debates about the role of the Israeli government and the so-called "Israel lobby" in formulating Middle East policy in Washington.

POLITICS: In Washington, All Roads Lead to Tehran

As the war in Gaza approaches its third week, a chorus of influential voices in the U.S. media has cast the conflict as a proxy war in which the real enemy is not Hamas but Iran.

POLITICS: Obama Enigmatic on Mideast Crisis

As U.S. President-elect Barack Obama settles into Washington and meets with congressional leaders about his stimulus plan, he and his incoming administration remain silent about the intensifying crisis in the Gaza Strip.

BOOKS-US: Dick Cheney, Master Bureaucrat

While lazier caricatures have always cast Vice-President Dick Cheney as the puppet-master pulling George W. Bush’s strings, it is the image of Cheney as master bureaucrat that provides the real key to understanding his power.

BOOKS: Is the Sun Setting on U.S. Empire?

The unlikely political journey of Andrew J. Bacevich has been one of the most potent symbols of the transformation in foreign policy debates wrought by the George W. Bush years.

US/PAKISTAN: Raid May Herald More Confrontational Policy

An apparent raid into Pakistani territory by U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan has prompted angry denunciations from Pakistani officials and renewed questions about the future of the war against the Taliban in the region.

POLITICS-US: The Return of the Return of History

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Georgia last month, many commentators have been quick to proclaim that the war signals "the return of history". But attentive observers could be forgiven for responding to these pronouncements with a sense of déjà vu.

POLITICS: U.S. Debates Putin’s Ambitions

Just days after the outbreak of war between Russia and Georgia, the debate in Washington over how to view the crisis historically has become nearly as contentious as the debate over how to respond politically.

BOOKS: ‘Descent Into Chaos’

News coming out of Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent months has unsettled many assumptions about the U.S. war on terror. To most casual observers of the war on terror, Afghanistan served until recently as a reassuring contrast to the grim and bewildering conflict in Iraq - - the "good war" as opposed to the "bad war".

POLITICS-US: Neocon Flap Highlights Jewish Divide

A mushrooming media controversy pitting neoconservatives against a prominent Jewish-American political commentator could mark a new stage in the growing battle over who speaks for the U.S. Jewish community on foreign policy issues, particularly regarding the Middle East.

POLITICS-US: Doves Outnumber Hawks in Jewish Community

A new poll suggests that U.S. Jews hold views about the Middle East that are considerably more dovish than frequently acknowledged, with large majorities favouring diplomacy with Iran, supporting a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine, and advocating U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

BOOKS-US: G.I. Joe&#39s Midlife Crisis

When George W. Bush made an instantly-famous speech last month that used the legacy of Vietnam to justify a continued U.S. presence in Iraq, it marked the completion of a rhetorical journey that few would have anticipated six years earlier.

U.S.-IRAQ: Blackwater Banned After Deadly Firefight

The Iraqi government announced Monday that it had revoked the license of one of the most prominent private U.S. security firms operating in Iraq, a decision that is expected to cause friction with U.S. occupying forces, which have increasingly come to rely on private contractors to meet their logistical and security needs.

POLITICS-US: Grim GAO Iraq Report Belies Official Optimism

As the U.S. Congress prepares for a critical September assessment of progress in Iraq, a draft of an upcoming report by Congress's nonpartisan investigative arm states that Iraq has met only three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for progress, in contrast to an earlier White House report which claimed "satisfactory" progress on eight of the benchmarks.

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