"As President Obama prepares to pull all U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of next year, the recent news coverage of America’s longest war is depressingly violent and familiar."
"Some secular Jordanians worried that the kingdom’s role in the air war would provoke ISIS retaliation. Still others—such as the prominent columnist Lamis Andoni—contended that Jordan had been blackmailed by the United States, the kingdom’s leading donor, into participating. The campaign, she wrote on December 30, represented a “complete subordination to Washington’s policies and wishes.”
"Today, the only foreign-policy initiatives the president can cite as “progress” are dubious at best. Engaging with dictatorial, human-rights-abusing regimes like Cuba and Iran is a sad spectacle for the world’s leading democracy — one that many look to as a beacon of freedom."
"Both views, however, miss the larger drama. There is indeed a fundamental divide within the Iranian regime—with Rouhani leading one side—but it has less to do with Iran’s nuclear program or regional strategy than with the more basic question of how best to preserve the regime itself."
"Wednesday’s news that the Kingdom was prepared to trade a terrorist involved in the worst terrorist attack in Jordanian history to free one of its pilots captured by ISIL after his F-16 crashed in December, represents a new chapter in Jordan’s perpetual struggle against the militants on its borders."
"His State of the Union address presented plenty of new ideas to invest in nondefense domestic programs, but the Pentagon’s budget got zero mention—even as the specter of sequestration looms again for fiscal 2016."