1. Abdullah, Ghani Likely to Square Off in Second Afghan Vote

    Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani look likely to enter a second round of voting in what has so far been a largely peaceful election.

    Nearly two weeks after more than seven million Afghans ventured to the polls to participate in the country's presidential election, the Afghan…
  1. Former Defense Secretary Calls for Tougher Action Against Russia

    Robert Gates, President Barack Obama’s first defense secretary, urges more a more forceful response from the West.

    It has been nearly a month since Russian president Vladimir Putin, in response to the overthrow of Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovich,…
  1. Obama Talks Middle East Peace Amid Crimea Crisis

    The president welcomes Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to the White House while Russia moves to annex the Crimea.

    Washington's attention may be focused on events in the Crimea but the rest of the world is not standing still.¬†Indeed, on the very day Russian officials moved to formally annex…
  1. Congress, Pentagon Tussle Over Defense Spending Priorities

    Republicans in Congress are critical of defense cuts but they themselves imposed limitations on the military’s budget.

    Defense secretary Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, America's military chief, faced skeptical lawmakers last week after they had unveiled their department's spending plans for the next year. Yet those…
  1. Military Spending Cuts Meet Resistance from Lawmakers, Interest Groups

    Defense secretary Chuck Hagel warns Congress that further cuts will degrade the armed forces.

    Lawmakers and interest groups criticized the spending cuts defense secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Monday as part of a budget to put the United States military off its war footing. "This is a time for…
  1. Report Warns Afghanistan Security Force Must Not Shrink

    If Afghan forces are to provide security once NATO troops pull out, they must be sustained at their current levels.

    Over the past several months, discussions over the war in Afghanistan have tended to center on whether President Hamid Karzai will sign the Bilateral Security Agreement that he agreed…
  1. Syrian Factions Fight Proxy War in Neighboring Lebanon

    Radical Sunni groups target Hezbollah, which supports the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, in Beirut.

    If one needed any evidence that the violence engulfing Syria was seriously affecting its neighbors, Wednesday's double suicide attack in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, would be enough to support the theory. The small country meshed between Israel, Syria and the Mediterranean…
  1. Prisoner Exchanges with Taliban Hoped to Revive Peace Talks

    The discussion about exchanging prisoners of war comes as foreign troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year.

    Is the United States trying to rescue a struggling peace process in Afghanistan? The answer, according to The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan, is yes.¬†And just as previous attempts to reach out to senior Taliban officials began with a discussion over prisoner exchanges,…