Stories written by Eli Clifton
Eli Clifton is a national security reporter for Eli holds a bachelor's degree from Bates College and a master's degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics. He previously reported on U.S. foreign policy for IPS, where he served as deputy Washington, D.C. bureau chief. His work has appeared on PBS/Frontline's Tehran Bureau, the South China Morning Post, Right Web, Asia Times,, and Website: Blog: | Web

Bill for Afghan War Could Run into the Trillions

The U.S. Senate is moving forward with a 59-billion-dollar spending bill, of which 33.5 billion dollars would be allocated for the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. Nudged Toward Closer Cooperation with ICC

The upcoming review conference of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has restarted the debate here in Washington about how the U.S. should engage with the ICC despite ongoing concerns about the prosecutorial authority and jurisdiction afforded to the court.

Changing Face of U.S. Cities a Harbinger of the Future

The majority of youth in U.S. cities are no longer white, but there is also a growing disparity in the educational background and incomes of those cities' populations, says a new report from the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

U.S. Business Groups Fault Rush to Sanctions on Iran

The U.S. Congress is moving forward with a bill to sanction companies that do business in Iran despite the White House's efforts to build international support for U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

US-Japan Airbase Spat May Have Regional Ripples

A protest of more than 90,000 Okinawans Sunday over the proposed relocation of a U.S. Marine Corps airbase in the southern Japanese prefecture has fueled speculation in Washington that the U.S.-Japanese alliance may be facing a serious test with the election of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and that such strains might have serious implications for the U.S.'s ability to balance Chinese naval power in East Asia.

Crisis Trapping Millions More in Poverty

The global economic crisis is projected to hamper progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will directly impact MDGs related to hunger, child and maternal health, gender equality, access to clean water and disease control, according to a report released Friday by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Small Farmers to Get Nearly Billion-Dollar Boost

Representatives of the governments of the United States, Canada, Spain and South Korea, along with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, joined together Thursday to launch a 900-million-dollar global trust fund to fight global food insecurity.

IMF Backs Flat Tax to Defray Bailouts

Political momentum for a levy against the world's largest banks to repay governments for the cost of bank rescue packages during the global financial crisis has gained momentum with the leak of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report which calls for a set of taxes against the financial industry.

U.S. Image Brightens Overseas

Global perceptions of the U.S. have improved over the past year but ratings of many other countries, including Britain, Japan, Canada and the European Union, have declined over the same period, according to a poll released Sunday.

Nukes Lobbying Brings Obama’s Foreign Policy into Focus

The past two weeks have been marked by major foreign policy accomplishments for U.S. President Barack Obama, including the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the signing of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and what appear to be improvements in the increasingly tense Washington-Beijing relationship.

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Credit: Eli Clifton/IPS

POLITICS: Nuclear Security Summit Boosts Disarmament Agenda

On the second and last day of the largest gathering of world leaders ever in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama connected the commitments made here on securing vulnerable nuclear materials to the broader goal of a "nuclear-free world".

DISARMAMENT: NGOs Praise U.S. Leadership on Nukes

One of the largest gatherings of world leaders ever on U.S. soil began Monday with representatives of 47 countries gathering here for the Nuclear Security Summit.

POLITICS: World Leaders to Meet on Nuclear Security

On Apr. 12 and 13, U.S. President Barack Obama will host over 40 world leaders in Washington to develop a strategy to secure nuclear materials and prevent nuclear terrorism, following up on his announcements this week that that the U.S. would significantly modify its nuclear strategy and reduce the number of nuclear warheads in its stockpile by one-third.

DISARMAMENT: Mixed Reviews for Obama’s Nuclear Strategy

U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday unveiled a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that will significantly limit the circumstances under which Washington would use nuclear weapons as part of a strategy to bolster the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other efforts to halt and reverse the spread of nuclear arms.

US-CHINA: Spring Thaw in the Air?

Springtime appears to be bringing a thaw in U.S.-China relations, with U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao holding an hour-long phone conversation Thursday in which both leaders expressed a desire to build a more positive bilateral relationship

U.S.: Obama Approves New Coastal Oil Drilling

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday his administration's plan to expand the areas off the U.S. coast which will be eligible for oil and natural gas drilling, as environmental groups condemned the plan as damaging to the oceans and coastal ecosystems.

MIDEAST: U.S. Poll Reveals Sharp Partisan Divide

Eighty-one percent of U.S. citizens say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has hurt their country's interests, according to a new poll, although a sharp partisan divide increasingly frames the issues.

US-CHINA: Google Puts Ball in Beijing’s Court

Internet users in China are reporting varying degrees of censorship on Google search results after the company moved its Chinese operation out of mainland China.

MIDEAST: Clinton Acknowledges “Daylight” Between US and Israel

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered reassurance Monday to the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee that the Barack Obama administration's "commitment to Israel's security and Israel's future is rock solid," while echoing the words of warning issued by Gen. David Petraeus and Vice-President Joe Biden.

US-CHINA: Trade War Heats Up

Relations between Beijing and Washington have been far from smooth since the beginning of the year.

POLITICS: U.S. Lifts Restrictions on Web Services

After U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's January address on the role of internet freedom in U.S. foreign policy, the Barack Obama administration appears to be taking the first steps to introduce specific legislation and policies to exploit the role of the internet in opening up those countries ruled by oppressive or authoritarian governments.

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