Would Romney Prosperity Pacts Work in Palestine?

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Reuters/Lucas Jackson After President Obama’s moving UN General Assembly speech that started with a story of who US Ambassador Christopher Stevens had been in terms of his life’s passion for the Middle East and North Africa, the Romney camp issued a statement from former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky: In his speech, President Obama listed the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, Syria, and Iran as major challenges facing the international community.  But those are three vital issues on…

In Defense of Civil Protest

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This is a guest note by Emma Green who works for The Atlantic and is a 2012 graduate of Georgetown University. In Defense of Civil Protest The gray rain that shrouded Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention was pouring as I walked through the dark parking lot of El Siloe Church toward a deceptively cheerful-looking blue Greyhound bus. It took a few shouts to get the attention of the people sitting inside, but after a moment, I was greeted by…

Does Romney Know Anything About Nukes?

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Joe Cirincione, one of the nation’s sharpest minds on nuclear weapons policy, just highlighted in Foreign Policy yet another big gulp moment in the viral video of Mitt Romney triggering shock and awe (wrong kind of awe though) across the political world.  Cirincione speculates, based on the recording, that Mitt knows little of nukes and even less of dirty bombs.  And the difference matters, big time. Cirincione picks up something few others did in this clip from the Romney fundraiser:…

Cool Stuff That Deserves Mention

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First of all, Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner has turned 10 and is in fantastic shape. On other fronts, a bunch of readers have been saying, “Where are you Steve?? Why is The Washington Note stuck on Paul Ryan stuff from weeks ago??” The truth is that I’ve been uber-busy and basically building a new strategy around how I would manage the content on this blog balanced that which I have on my “Voices” page at The Atlantic. Some of the…

Better Off than Four Years Ago?

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Reuters Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan has accomplished something quite important. At both conventions, in the corner rooms of Charlotte and Tampa organized by media groups and political activist outfits, serious discussions unfolded about the real state of the economy and the different policy approaches Americans needed to consider. Paul Ryan is the most ideologically severe vice-presidential candidate in a century, a commentator said at a National Journal/Atlantic economic policy dinner done on a not-for-attribution basis. But nearly everyone credits…

No Way Out? Fear of Dying Among Afghanistan’s Professional Class

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Reuters I thought President Obama’s decision to surge troop levels in Afghanistan was a strategic mistake and only deepened the black hole of costs in blood and treasure that the US had already invested and raised expectations in Afghanistan of an equilibrium in their lives that that would tilt more toward jobs and hope than toward despair and political disappointment. That said, I think that the other tools of statecraft — ranging from development aid to people-to-people exchanges, digital diplomacy…