Monday June 17, 2013
Even though he chided Iran for irregularities in its presidential election over the weekend, White House spokesman Jay Carney congratulated Iranians for participating in the voting process and electing a new president.
Carney also said the US accepted the election of Hojjatoleslam Doctor Hassan Rouhani as president. He will replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Rouhani is styled as a moderate, which may mean that Iran is bending to the pressure of sanctions that the US and the West have leveled at the country to thwart its nuclear program.
Or, it may mean nothing. Read here for more.
Friday June 14, 2013
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes never said the words "lethal aid," just that, after confirming that forces of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad had used chemical weapons on Syrian rebels, the US was going to "increase the scope and scale of assistance that we provide to the opposition, including direct support to the SMC [the opposition's Supreme Military Council]."
The US has been providing non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels for a while now. Things like humanitarian, medical, and organizational aid. It doesn't take much to figure out that if we're going beyond non-lethal aid, well, it will probably be lethal aid.
That marks a decided change in President Barack Obama's foreign policy re: Syria. That could just reflect changes on the Syrian battlefield, or it could also be part of changes in Obama's foreign policy team. Read here for more.
Sunday June 9, 2013
President Barack Obama made some pretty big news this week -- and shook up a bunch of Republicans -- by appointing Susan Rice to become his new national security adviser. Rice, of course, is currently the US ambassador to the UN. Republicans are incensed over what they call her involvement in an Obama administration cover-up of particulars about the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice, with no need for Senate confirmation, will replace Tom Donilon as national security adviser. So just what is the National Security Council and how does it relate to the president, State Department, and even the National Security Agency (NSA)? Read here to find out.
Friday June 7, 2013
This is one of those photos I love -- President Obama and part of his foreign policy team walking toward the Oval Office after a major foreign policy announcement June 5, 2013. It really shows Obama and his team on the move, as it were.
Just minutes before the photo, Obama announced that his longtime National Security Adviser Tom Donilon (left) was retiring; that UN Ambassador Susan Rice (second from right) was taking his place; and that Samantha Power (right) was moving into Rice's UN job.
While Obama's team looks pretty happy about it all, you can bet Republicans are steaming. Read more here.
Photo By Alex Wong/Getty Images