Neocons: They Are Alive and Itching for War!

If you thought that the American neoconservatives (aka “chicken hawks”) of the George W. Bush administration–persons who brought us the Iraqi invasion based on a mission to destroy the imaginary arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussain was hiding–you would be wrong. They are very much alive and are coming back through cyberspace and the airways trashing President Barack Obama’s handling of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.  When they are reminded of the atrocious mess originally created in Afghanistan and Iraq by Bush and these very same neocons, they deny this linkage and then quickly proceed with their warmongering rhetoric.  A factor to keep in mind about these neocons is that none has actually fought in a war.  However, their palpable penchant for war–as long as someone else’s son or daughter is going to die in it–has rightly earned them the pejorative depiction “chicken hawks.” Their proclivities are very much alive; they are itching for another war.

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The Solution to Islamist Extremism Leads to Riyadh

The Boston bombings only underscore a reality that has been quite apparent to the Obama administration: the scourge of extremism is constantly seeping into the Internet through the so-called Saudi-trained or Wahhabi-influenced “imams” who have nothing better to do but to propagate anger and hatred toward everything Western, including democracy, Islamic moderation, the Shias, the Ahmadiyas, and even Harry Potter movies!  The international dissemination centers for Islamic extremism are located in Riyadh as well as in other major cities of Saudi Arabia.  So, a global solution for stemming the tide of extremism must initiate from Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration has to prompt an acute campaign toward that end.

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Move On Pakistan, Let the Old General Go!

Watching General Pervez Musharraf’s humiliating treatment in Pakistan is a painful experience.  The vibrant Pakistani press is full of all sorts of stories.  Al Jazeera had an interesting discussion with a number of prominent Pakistanis on the subject.  I have been a long-time watcher of General Musharraf from Washington.  I find him interesting but more paradoxical than that Islamist General Zia ul-Haq.  My personal preference is that, if Pakistan were to really mature into a democracy, it needs to let the old General leave the country, with a promise not to return anytime soon.  This is a crucial time for Pakistan to move on with its business of conducting its next general election.

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Negotiating with the Taliban to Switch Sides

The current shape of the Afghan conflict is such that either the United States or the Taliban has to be decisively defeated. No other outcome is likely become a reality anytime soon.

After the death of Usama Bin Laden the Afghan conflict seems to have entered the “final phase,” at least in the minds of those Americans who during moments of candor never gave much credence  to the proposition that the United States can come out as a “winner” from that  conflict.  Bin Laden’s death has provided them the best opportunity to define victory on their own terms and make an argument for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Continue reading “Negotiating with the Taliban to Switch Sides”

The Audacity of a Declining Hegemon: Obama’s National Security Strategy

The author of a book entitled, The Audacity of Hope, has issued another audacious document in the form of his first National Security Strategy (NSS). That document will be known more for its marked departure from strategic issues, which were emphasized by George W. Bush in his NSS, than for its continuity. In doing that, it remains highly mindful and pragmatic about the emerging new order of the 21st Century in which the United States has to find its niche, either as a leader or as a declining hegemon.

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Afghanistan as Obama’s “War of Choice”

President Barack H. Obama’s announcement of his new strategy on December 1, 2009, conclusively makes the war in Afghanistan “Obama’s war of choice.” The President spoke from one of the hallowed symbols of America’s military power–the United States Military Academy at West Point. Gone is the rhetoric of the wastefulness of Bush’s war of choice in Iraq, when candidate Obama was “speaking truth to power.”
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America’s Irrational Expectations About China’s Rise

President Barack H. Obama’s recently concluded trip to East Asia has created an irrational buzz in the American media about how the declining hegemon is increasingly behaving as such, and how China seems to be exploiting that perception to further its own advantages. The second part of this buzz is not contentious, since all great and small powers operate to maximize their advantages. However, the first part of that buzz is indeed controversial. This type of analysis may not be highly conducive to Obama’s palpable desire to promote multilateralism, both regionally and globally.
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“National” and “Global” Political Islam: A Response to Hroub’s Review of Roy’s Books

Professor Khaled Hroub’s review of Olivier Roy’s three books–The Failure of Political Islam; Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah; and The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East–published in your Journal, New Global Studies (Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2009, Article 6), is interesting but leaves the reader wanting more analysis.

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The Making of a New Global Strategy



The administration of President Barack H. Obama has started the highly intricate process of developing its own strategy with a bang in different regions of the world.  Here are the ingredients of that strategy: multilateralism, looking for a fresh start–which promises to be substantially different from the preceding administration–search for common ground involving Russia, invitation of negotiations with America’s traditional adversaries like Iran and North Korea, and at least the initial hope that approaches toward Palestine, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are likely to be radically different than the one the Bush administration pursued unsuccessfully.  This is a huge agenda.  But Obama’s administration has the enormous characteristic of freshness, metaphorically as well as substantively, in the sense that it is not carrying any baggage that had so infamously bogged down George W. Bush in an ostensibly endless inertia.


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What’s in a Name?: “GWOT” Versus “OCO”

As the international community is witnessing the debate over the use of torture during the presidency of George W. Bush, another radical change has taken place over naming the United States’ campaign against terrorism.  It used to be called the “global war on terrorism” (GWOT).  President Barack H. Obama has quietly changed that name to “Overseas Contingency Operation” (OCO).  The significant development is that not only has the name been changed, but, more to the point, the actual practices of the United States dealing with its campaign against global terrorism are undergoing major transformation.

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