Douglas Feith a No Show

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Yesterday, former Defense Department Under Secretary Douglas Feith failed to show up at a Congressional hearing investigating abusive interrogation techniques used on combat detainees because he did not want to appear along side former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson. I happen to know that Wilkerson would have conducted himself as a courteous professional with a profoundly different view from Feith — but it is true that Wilkerson has offered some colorful comments in the past about the pro-torture…

Obama Surrogate Susan Rice Fires Back

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(Pictured Above: Dr. Susan Rice with Barack Obama) On a conference call this morning, Dr. Susan Rice, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), and Greg Craig (whose client’s have included Russian dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Elian Gonzalez’s father, Mr. Juan Miguel) defended Barack Obama against recent criticisms from Sen. McCain and other prominent Republicans about Obama’s approach to counterterrorism. The Obama camp went to great lengths to show the nuances of Obama’s counterterrorism plan. I…

Raising the Costs of Pegging to the Dollar

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Former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Martin Feldstein pens a case in today’s Financial Times for Saudi Arabia to remove its currency’s peg from the dollar to ease their inflation problem. Inflation has raised political and economic risks for the region by stretching consumers’ household budgets with rising food prices and shrinking remittances sent back home by migrant workers, particularly from South Asia. Though there may be an economic case for this, Saudi Arabia will not move on this in…

<em>Guest Post</em>: A Belated Note on McCain, Petraeus, and Civil-Military Relations

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Andrew Lebovich is a Research Intern with the New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program The Obama campaign and various surrogates jumped on comments made by Senator John McCain last week that it was “not too important” when American troops come home from Iraq, but rather what the conditions on the ground are. Yet this is not the most interesting quote from Sen. McCain’s remarks. The focus should instead be on his statement that “General Petraeus is going to tell us…

Streaming Live Tomorrow: US-Saudi Relations & Pew Global Attitudes Survey

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Pew Global Attitudes Video File can be watched here. I’m stuck in San Francisco Airport after my United Airlines flight was canceled and many of us cattle were roughed up and redirected to other possible flights home. It’s late — and I’m still battling with United Airlines — and I’m missing a great discussion meeting I was hoping to host in the morning with four visiting Saudi Majlis Al Shura members. Here is the delegation: Dr. Bandar Al-Aiban, Member of…

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

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Osama bin Laden is not the most dangerous man in the world. And while George Bush and Vice President Cheney have been reckless and imperiled America’s position in the world, they too don’t rank all that high. But A.Q. Khan does. And given what we know of this guy, why hasn’t an armed drone done to him what American and Israeli forces have done to lesser villains? In part, I’m being facetious. But seriously, if Khan was out pushing sophisticated…

Goodbye Tim Russert

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Tim Russert died today from a heart attack. He has been a giant in political news — and he resisted for the most part much of the corruption of journalist celebratization, though clearly he knew he was a celebrity. I’m very sad about this news. I remember when I was just moving to Washington and was working for the Nixon Center, I helped organize a forum with Richard Nixon at what was called “Jackson Place” — a venue off of…

<em>Guest Post by Ben Katcher</em>: Domestic or Foreign Policy Agenda Setting?

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Ben Katcher is a Program Associate with the New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program. At the Center for a New American Security “Pivot Point: New Directions for American Security” conference Wednesday, the question was raised of whether the next president is likely to invest his political capital in the domestic or the international sphere. It is clear from McCain’s lack of domestic policy proposals, his record in the Senate, and the way in which he has run his campaign, that…

Cameron Does A Bang-Up Debating Job

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Yesterday during the Prime Minister’s Questions, British Parliament debated the proposal by Gordon Brown’s Labor party to extend detention times for terrorist suspects from 28 days to 42 days. It was a type of debate we have had here in the United States, particularly around Guantanamo, military tribunals and habeas corpus but which we probably need far more of. The most powerful and eloquent words came from the fresh-faced Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who made a compelling case that…