1. Afghanistan Finally Signs Security Agreement with United States

    On the first day of his government, Afghanistan’s new president ratifies a long term security accord with America.

    Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, has managed to be more productive in one day than his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, was for months. After nearly a year of stalling by Karzai's administration over concerns about excessive civilian…
  1. Israel Retaliates After Gaza Rocket Strikes, Escalation Seems Unlikely

    Israel’s latest air war in Gaza will probably end just like the previous two did: in a tenuous ceasefire.

    In November 2012, the last time the Israeli Defense Forces had to conduct a massive military operation in the Gaza Strip, the campaign against the militant group Hamas lasted eight long days. When all was said and done, over one hundred Palestinians were dead, Gaza's already…
  1. Islamist Militants Take Mosul, Discrediting Iraq’s Government

    Hundreds of militants sweep into Mosul, capturing police stations and military checkpoints as Iraqi troops flee their positions.

    Even before the Tuesday morning assault into Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, by hundreds of militants affiliated to Al Qaeda, the Iraqi security forces were stretched thin across the country. Last week,…
  1. Iraqi Election Unlikely to Effect Major Political Change

    Nouri al-Maliki is almost certain to remain in power, even if it takes months of political bickering and coalition building.

    For the first time since American troops withdrew from Iraq, the country voted on Wednesday to elect a new parliament. With an estimated twenty million Iraqis registered to vote, millions were expected…
  1. Mere Thousands of Troops Could Be Left Behind in Afghanistan

    A report suggests the Obama Administration is thinking about deploying fewer than ten thousand troops to Afghanistan next year.

    With Afghan election workers continuing to count the ballots of the country's most important presidential election since 2001, the Obama Administration is once again reopening the debate about how many…
  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…