Happy New Year: Revving up TWN in 2014


2014 is upon us, and I’m using this semicolon between years to rev up The Washington Note again. As editor in chief of The Atlantic‘s events division as well as Washington Editor at Large of The Atlantic, I just have not had the time I had hoped to offer the regular commentary here I would have liked…

Biden Maneuvers Through High Stakes Nuances in Asia Trip


Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden spent five and a half hours with Chinese President Xi Xinping.  They met in three formats — one a restricted meeting with a small handful of advisers, the second a larger meeting with many more advisers, and the third a small working dinner

Romney Code Name for Chris Christie: Pufferfish


A juicy TIME staff-written teaser from Mark Halperin’s and John Heilemann’s new book, Double Down: Game Change 2012, on the elections fiascos last round: Codenamed “Pufferfish,” in the aquatic-themed parlance of the campaign’s vetting team, Christie was a constant  thorn in the side of the Romney campaign, going back to a 2011 demand that the…

Remembering When Power Was Unconstrained


As I witness from the far-off vantage point of India this week the collapse of American authority and gravitas around the world because of the debt ceiling debacle still in play in Washington, I ran across a clip about the one-hundred year rise to global power and ferocity of the Mongol tribes at a great…

Sergeant Hagel Still: Talking with the Secretary of Defense


Recently, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a 904-page book to Egyptian Army Commander-in-Chief Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, with whom he has had over twenty conversations since assuming his Pentagon role.  The book, Washington: A Life, won for its author Ron Chernow the Pulitzer Prize

US-Iran Initiative: Big Consequences if it Fails



My quote in today’s Financial Times article by Geoff Dyer on the latest in US-Iran relations: It is not getting carried away to say this is an extraordinary moment because rapprochement with Iran would be the biggest positive shift in global affairs since the end of the Cold War and the normalisation of relations with…

When Everyone Knew the Horror of Chemical Weapons



In these times, it may be useful to some to go back and read the poems of Rupert Brooke, Ezra Pound, Wilfred Owen and others who captured and froze in time the horrors of chemical weapons in the world’s first great war. Wilfred Owen died in November 1918, the last week of World War I….

Bezos Might Also Like. . .



My Atlantic colleague Marc Ambinder tweeted an Amazon like set of options for Jeff Bezos, who is making a wow wow wow purchase of the Washington Post: Marc Ambinder ‏@marcambinder Based on your previous purchases, Jeff Bezos, you might also like: — The Los Angeles Times — The Orlando Sentinel — Newsweek Based on your…