The Skeptics

Administration Bait and Switch in Afghanistan?

U.S. combat troops are leaving Afghanistan in 2014. That was the consistent message which I received on my NATO-organized visit two months ago to a country now defined by war. The American and European governments have promised to provide long-term financial assistance and combat training, but they plan on shifting the actual fighting to Kabul’s hands.

Obama’s Win-Win on Iraq

The end of the Iraq war is a rare win-win situation for President Obama. So far, he has played his hand skillfully. And it is a fair bet that he will continue to do so. Indeed, it might be one of the only policy areas that won’t cost him votes come next year.

Foreign Policy on Hold?

Marc Lynch blogged a couple of months ago about how little attention Yemen has received compared to events this year in Libya, Syria, Egypt and other places. Lynch argued persuasively that this inattention made the task of getting Saleh to leave power more difficult and that the costs of international inattention were high for Yemen’s opposition. It is true that Yemen received relatively little attention in the U.S. media compared to other Arab Spring uprisings.