The UN Foundation’s 10th

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Tonight, I’m going to a big bash celebrating the UN Foundation’s 10th Anniversary at the brand spanking new Newseum. Ted Turner chairs, Tim Wirth and Kathy Calvin run it, and John Bolton complains. (sort of like that old adage: Washington reigned, Hamilton ruled, and Jefferson complained. . .) Tonight, they will be honoring Kofi Annan. Should be fun. Congrats to all at the UN Foundation and the Better World Campaign. — Steve Clemons

Thanks to Prince of Petworth

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(photo credit: Prince of Petworth) In the last few hours, I have received three emails from friends telling me my house was featured as “house of the day” on a local blog with which I don’t think I have any connection. It’s gratifying that someone liked a house I’ve been working on — but it’s even more interesting that three people who don’t know each other all randomly ran across this local blog. It’s yet another confirmation that blogs are…

Grand Strategy vs. Crisis Management and Incrementalism

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My colleague Patrick Doherty just posted this fascinating review of the major Center for a New American Security Conference titled “Pivot Point: New Directions for American Security.” In it, he captures something former State Department Policy Planning Staff Chief Mitchell Reiss said: So in calling for the next president to hold another Solarium, Flournoy is calling for a high-level, official debate about U.S. grand strategy in the next administration. This is essential, even if CNAS, by its own admission, has…

A Note to Jimmy Carter

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Yesterday, I met with some Americans who have just returned from traveling to Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, and Libya. They met a number of high ranking state officials in these governments but also met with representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah. What they report back about the Carter mission to meet with Hamas is that there has been no follow up, no communications or ongoing dialogue since the high profile meeting. I’m only hearing from Americans who were reporting what…

True Friends of Israel?

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Michael Desch in an oped today suggests that during election season, everyone wants to be a true friend of Israel which they incorrectly think means tilting substantially one direction in Israel’s ongoing struggle for security and acceptance within a very tough neighborhood. But I agree with him that Israel doesn’t need and (from my discussions with Israeli government officials) doesn’t want lopsidedness from the US or from the diaspora Jewish community in America. They need smart thinking and support for…

John McCain’s Strategy

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Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, sent out this link today to a McCain strategy briefing. It’s fascinating as Davis recognizes the terrible political environment (for Republicans) they have to operate in. He also recognizes that the economy and the war in Iraq are the two biggest issues in the campaign. This is important to watch to get an understanding of why McCain remains a compelling and competitive candidate. — Steve Clemons

STREAMING LIVE: Is Liberal Internationalism Dead?

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I’m about to host a debate and discussion between DANIEL DEUDNEY (Johns Hopkins University), G. JOHN IKENBERRY (Princeton University), CHARLES KUPCHAN (Georgetown University) and PETER TRUBOWITZ (University of Texas at Austin) on the subject ot whether liberal internationalism is on the ropes or not in the context of the presidential election. Essentially, Kupchan and Trubowitz will argue that liberal internationalism’s days are over, building of an important artcle recently published titled Dead Center: The Demise of Liberal Internationalism in the…

Another Take on Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Agenda

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Congressman Markey is known to be one of the leading policy wonks in the US House of Representatives. His reputation for employing one of the largest numbers of PhD’s per capita on staff speaks to his interest in plumbing the intellectual depths of US policymaking, particularly US national security and nuclear policy. (It’s part of the reason he’s considered one of the leading candidates to eventually succeed Sen. Ted Kennedy). While I have a great deal of respect for the…

Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Intentions?

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I was a bit surprised to read this morning’s Edward Markey authored oped in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why is Bush Helping Saudi Arabia Build Nukes?” With all due respect to Congressman Markey who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, the article is laced with a hubris about American power that is out of sync with reality. The piece seems to suggest that America can dictate to the Saudis what energy systems they will build…