Rolling Eyes and Stronger Legs

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's agreement to another three-month-long settlement freeze has some bloggers hopeful and others rolling their eyes. (You can find the thoughts of TNI's own Paul Pillar and Jacob Heilbrunn—neither of whom fit neatly into these two categories—here and here.)

It's even sparked some (very mild) contentiousness over at Contentions, where J. E. Dwyer calls "the Obama deal" "destabilizing" and "a very ill-advised" move; but blog colleague Jonathan Tobin at least gives Netanyahu (if not Obama or Secretary of State Clinton) credit for choosing "the lesser of two evils."

And the Lexington Notebook, of Economist fame, thinks it may eventually prove that American aid to Israel is no longer "unconditional" and "the Obama peace push in Palestine has stronger legs than jaded onlookers have realised."

Aaron David Miller tempers his enthusiasm for the "minor breakthrough" by noting that "the upcoming challenges will severely test" the administration.

Other highlights in cyberspace include Spencer Ackerman on the ever-distant date for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan; COIN skeptic Col. Gian P. Gentile (via Tom Ricks's blog) offers suggestions for rewriting the counterinsurgency manual; and Peter Feaver belatedly assesses President Obama's visit to Asia.