National Security Network

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Iraq

Iraq Withdrawal Ahead of Schedule

Report 30 July 2009

Yesterday Secretary Gates said the handover of security to Iraqi forces was going smoothly and that the withdrawal of U.S. forces could potentially be accelerated. Gates’ comments indicate that the U.S. is well on its way to removing its combat forces in accordance with the 19 month timeline outlined by President Obama and the Status of Forces Agreement signed by President Bush.It is now up to Iraq’s political leaders to do theirs. A strategy that progressives have promoted for more than four years – and which have come to have broad bipartisan support – is quietly moving forward
More »
Iran

U.S. Pursues Prudent Course, as Iran Remains in Flux

Report 29 July 2009
A month and a half since Iranians went to the polls, the political situation in Iran remains in flux. Despite a tremendous crackdown by the Iranian regime, the opposition has not gone away. Reports of prison abuse, leading to the deaths of jailed protestors, have led to renewed outrage at the regime. There are also signs of a split amongst regime hardliners. Many have criticized the regime's response to the protests, and some, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have rebuked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his initial choice of vice-president.
More »
Iraq

Withdrawal from Iraq is On Track

Report 23 July 2009
Yesterday Prime Minister Maliki and President Obama confirmed that the United States was on track to withdraw all of its combat forces by August 2010. The meeting between the two comes in the wake of the successful withdrawal of American forces from Iraqi cities. The transition of responsibility for security from U.S. to Iraqi forces has been relatively smooth. However, the situation in Iraq remains volatile, as bouts of sectarian violence have reemerged. But ultimately it is up to Iraqis to determine their own future. Therefore it is imperative that the withdrawal of U.S. forces continue along the timeline announced by President Obama in February, as outlined in the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement signed by President Bush.
More »
Diplomacy

Clinton Articulates A Progressive Vision for U.S. Foreign Policy

Report 16 July 2009
Yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out the progressive vision for U.S. foreign policy. Many in the press sought to portray the event as a re-do of the 2008 primary, but the speech demonstrated the opposite – a Secretary in sync with President Obama’s vision, embracing the foreign policy legacies of FDR, Truman, and Kennedy, and applying those legacies to the new realities of the 21st century. After eight years in which non-military tools of foreign policy were neglected, Clinton’s speech marks a shift back to a foreign policy that utilizes all the tools in the tool kit, including diplomacy and development.
More »
Diplomacy

Obama's to-do list grows after overseas trip

News Washington Times 14 July 2009
Diplomacy

In Response to Obama’s Successful Trip – Conservatives Flail About

Report 13 July 2009
Upon returning from Moscow, the G-8 summit, and Africa, President Obama – and almost anyone closely following the trip – will be surprised to learn from conservatives that nothing was accomplished. At the G-8, leading economic powers made new commitments on food aid for the world’s poorest and manifested a new unity against Iran’s repression at home and nuclear ambitions abroad – both achievements showcasing US diplomacy and Obama’s personal leadership. The formulaic nature of conservative criticism in response was perhaps best summed up by Oliver North in an op-ed in the Washington Times, which said that “the trip to Chad... produced no serious risks to our future.” Obama’s trip to Chad did produce little – because he never went to Chad.
More »
Iran

G-8 Issues Strong Statement on Iran – Signalling Greater International Convergence

Report 10 July 2009
The G-8 summit issued a joint communiqué strongly condemning the post-election crackdown in Iran today. This is reflective of a growing convergence of international opinion on Iran – forged both by the diplomatic efforts of the Obama administration and by the appalling actions of the Iranian regime. The Obama administration is clearly demonstrating that it understands – unlike its predecessor – the role of international cooperation in effectively dealing with Iran.
More »
Energy

U.S. Must Lead: Climate Change Poses Direct Threat to American Security

Report 9 July 2009
National security experts and retired military officials are in agreement that climate change poses a threat to our way of life, to the global order, and even to how we keep ourselves secure. This week’s G-8 summit, which sought to advance climate negotiations prior to meetings in Copenhagen in December, saw developing countries reject binding emission targets out of fear that it would stifle their development, as well as out of a sense that rich developed countries – the principal culprits of global warming – weren’t doing enough. Emerging economies are right that rich developed countries – especially the United States which is the largest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases – have not done enough. The House of Representatives recently took a hugely important step in passing climate change legislation, but the legislation now looks to be bogged down in the Senate. If the impact on our way of life and the generations that follow us isn’t enough, Senators should recognize that their inaction has important consequences for our diplomacy and security.
More »
Russia

Mr. Obama Goes to Moscow

News The Roots 6 July 2009
Military

Obama Issues Veto Threat on Defense Budget – Telling Defense Industry, Congress Cold War is Over

Report 26 June 2009
The White House issued its first veto threat yesterday, telling members of Congress that the president would not approve a defense budget containing wasteful Cold War-era weapons. President Obama and Secretary Gates are attempting to move the Pentagon in a direction that better prepares and equips our forces for both the challenges they are in and the 21st century challenges they are most likely to confront. After eight years of the Bush administration not making any tough choices, the Obama administration has laid out a strategy, set its priorities, and is making the tough tradeoffs.
More »