Presidents and Chiefs of State

Op-Ed

Buying More Time

Author: Daniel S. Markey
The Cipher Brief

For the past several years, the Obama administration’s strategy for Afghanistan has rested on the basic assumption that although no reasonable amount of U.S. money or troops could win the war against the Taliban outright, a limited American commitment to Afghanistan’s security forces and government would enable Kabul to hold on long enough to reach a negotiated truce with insurgent leaders.

See more in Afghanistan; United States; Military Operations; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Op-Ed

A Suggestion for Obama’s American University Speech About Iran Deal

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

 A major concern of the Iran nuclear deal is that it only imposes constraints for 10 years. After that, the “breakout time” needed for Iran to build a bomb may shrink again. President Obama should say that if Iran expands its program to the full extent allowed by the agreement, the United States will consider it a threat to our security and that of our allies. The president should also add that if the threat begins to grow again, Washington is prepared to renounce the agreement—reimposing sanctions, reviewing military options, and urging other states to do the same.

See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Op-Ed

In Defeat, Erdogan Shows Respect for Democracy

Author: Ed Husain
Newsweek

The ruling party in Turkey expected to win a majority in the latest parliamentary elections. For 13 years, under the iron grip of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the AK Party has been the unstoppable force in Turkish politics.This weekend’s result was a blow to the president of Turkey, but excellent news for democracy in Turkey and beyond.

See more in Turkey; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Elections

Article

Amid Political Infighting, Malaysia's Democratic Slide Continues

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
World Politics Review

Political infighting in Malaysia, with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak resign amid a corruption scandal, is the latest sign of the country’s democratic reversal. But, Joshua Kurlantzick writes, Malaysia’s slide is part of a trend across Southeast Asia, where democratization has stalled.

See more in Malaysia; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Democratization

Op-Ed

From Putin, a New Tune on Ukraine?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine.

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Kill > Capture

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The Obama administration's stated policy since 2011 has been to capture suspected terrorists—such as U.S. citizen Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh in Pakistan—rather than target them with drone strikes. However,  as Micah Zenko points out, Al Farekh’s case is the rare exception and, since 2011,  the United States has conducted an estimated 215 drone strikes, killing 1,271 individuals.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Drones

Article

No Way Out

Author: Steven A. Cook
The American Interest

As we approach the Turkish parliamentary elections, the relationship between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is coming under intense scrutiny, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. While many believe that Davutoglu can lead a faction of the ruling party to check the president, the reality is that it is impossible to outmaneuver Erdogan.

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