Cordesman’s Survey of Options for Iraq: A Bleak yet Still Too Optimistic Picture



I will be on the “Sam Seder Show” on Air America Radio at 10:30 am EST today — chatting with Sam about all things foreign policy here from Vienna, Austria. But on a less optimistic note, take everything that the normally unsentimental, cold-eyed Anthony Cordesman writes below and worsen it by an order of magnitude….

Why Zelikow Departure is Really Bad



I’m rushing, but I wanted to share this email I scribbled out this morning. It’s a bit blunt, says more than I perhaps should at this point — but Philip Zelikow‘s departure as Condi Rice’s Counselor is very bad for those hoping for a more enlightened Bush administration foreign policy course.

On Sunday, Iraq War Longer than World War II



Edward Luce and Demetri Sevastopulo have a thoughtful piece in the Financial Times anticipating the impact of the Iraq War narrative on the American psyche, particularly as of Sunday when the “Iraq War will enter its 1,347th day, thus overtaking the US’s involvement in the second world war.” Some key excerpts.

Misdiagnosing an Evolved Realism in US Foreign Policy?



The Financial Times‘ Philip Stephens published a very useful and interesting take on he rise of realism and fall of democracy-focused international idealism in U.S. foreign policy. Regrettably the article, “Democracy Falls Victim to Foreign Policy Realism,” is not available without registering and/or subscribing — but I still want to link it.

Israel-Palestine: Ignoring Opportunities When They Emerge



This is a fascinating, sober piece by Harvard University’s Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou on Israel-Palestine problems that looks at Hamas as an evolving, “astute” political player that needs to be engaged one way or another in any new effort at regional deal-making in the Middle East.

Democracy at Gunpoint Turbo-Charges Grievances in Middle East



Here is a decent UPI article capturing the essential themes of a program I participated in on Monday at the Hudson Institute titled “Is Democracy Good for the Middle East?” (audio version available here/MP3 download) I said a number of things which can be seen on C-Span’s coverage of the program, and which has been…