America's Allies

In our increasingly globalized world, extensive international alliances have become a common means of diplomacy as well as achieving strategic goals.

This web of alliances is particularly recognizable in international organizations like the UN and NATO, which, respectively, had 192 and 28 participant nations in 2012. These organizations have helped establish new and lasting ties between various nations. In turn, as was recently seen in Georgia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, an aggression against one nation often (in terms of the collective retaliatory measures) means aggression against its allies. On one hand, this can provide a deterrent for any preemptive war or international aggression. On the other hand, if an act of war or aggression does occur, the response and retaliation is inevitably stronger and usually longer lasting. It can also draw in allies on either side of a battlefield or issue who would not have independently committed to a course of action. 

As one of the most powerful countries in the world, the United States has an established set of allies, some stronger and/or more reliable than others. But what nations can be called a true ally? Where do countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and others fall? Who are America’s strongest allies? What does being such an ally entail?

In 1946, Churchill called the U.S.-U.K. alliance the "Special Relationship". In March of 2012, President Obama called this relationship "one of the greatest alliances the world has ever known." Prime Minister David Cameron followed Obama’s remarks by saying, "Whether it is defeating the Nazis, standing up to the Soviets, defending the Korean peninsula or hunting down al-Qaida in Afghanistan, there can be no more tangible illustration of our two nations defending our values and advancing our interests." The two leaders reaffirmed this "special relationship," a relationship that in many ways began as early as the aftermath of the War of 1812.

Moving beyond the U.K., the United States was instrumental in establishing an independent Israeli state over 60 years ago. As a result, Israel is another of America's strongest and most strategic allies, though no formal treaty has been signed that officially makes the two nations allies. Currently, American foreign policy and military efforts are helping Israel maintain itself as a sovereign state in the face of its many adversaries in the Middle East. In return for continued U.S. allegiance, Israel has provided manpower and regional support for America’s Global War on Terror. 

Unlike the U.K., this alliance is much more controversial. Opponents of the alliance claim that this relationship is helping Israel become a repressive force within its own borders and beyond. They claim that Palestine has just as much right to exist as a sovereign nation as Israel does. Critics also point to Israel’s regionally superior military and weapons systems, arguing that the nation can defend itself without American military and financial aid. Many other Americans, though, believe that Israel is a crucial and unshakable U.S. ally. This contingent contends that an Israeli-U.S. alliance is key to keeping stability in the Middle East and even throughout the world. Some would also argue that the demise of a democratic Israel signals danger ahead for western democracies in general. 

With respect to the current official position of the U.S. concerning Israel and Palestine, there remains controversy between the two allies. President Obama made official remarks in May 2011 that there should be two sovereign states, based on borders previous to the Six-Day War in 1967. The Israeli response to this suggestion was unfavorable: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said "a retreat to the 1967 borders would leave segments of Israel's population outside those lines, and 'indefensible.'" 

Further possible strains in the relationship surround Iran's likely pursuit of nuclear weapons and the potential for Israel to take unilateral action against it. The leaders of Iran have stated on many occasions their desire to eliminate Israel. Recently, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei went so far as to say that Israel is a "cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut". If Israel takes unilateral action, the U.S.-Israeli relationship could be impacted negatively as the U.S. decides what actions it is willing to take. 

While Israel was geographically advantageous against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the post-war negotiations with Eastern Europe have been more critical in weakening any lingering communist influences. Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, American diplomats were quick to seek new partnerships with the freed satellite states, hoping to spread democratic ideals and more economic freedom. With their proximity to a reconstituted Russia, these nations could provide a stabilizing buffer zone for the rest of Europe.

Poland and the Czech Republic have emerged as two of the most successful and stable former-Soviet client states, and have become some of America's closest allies. For instance, President Bush negotiated with both nations regarding the construction of missile defense systems in their territory in order to further nuclear deterrence from an increasingly aggressive Russia, or a potentially nuclear Iran or Syria. Although Russia was predictably unhappy over the decision, Poland and the Czech Republic had the assurance of a strong connection and allegiance with the U.S.

However, the close relationship between the U.S and Poland as well as the Czech Republic was damaged in 2009, when President Obama scrapped the missile defense program and signed the New START agreement following pressure from Moscow. In doing so, the two young allies were left in a precarious position. While some believe that President Obama's decision was critical in maintaining an international policy of nuclear peace and deterrence, others strongly chastised the President for abandoning the Czech Republic and Poland. Obama's critics claim that no matter the President's personal beliefs regarding the issue, America made a promise to its allies and that promise should have been fulfilled.

In Iraq some are also questioning America's abandoned promise. Becoming a strategic ally just several years after being one of America’s most serious enemies, the U.S.-Iraqi relationship is one of the most interesting and heavily debated. After capturing, jailing, and executing Iraq’s former-dictator, Saddam Hussein, U.S. troops remained in Iraq until December 2011 in order to help foster the development of a stable, pro-western, democratic Iraq. As concern over Iran looms, the American alliance with Iraq becomes increasingly strategic. Critics of continued U.S. involvement in Iraq, however, have said that the financial and military burden of the war on the United States must be the main concern. Therefore, they argue, the decision to pull out of Iraq was the right one. Others have claimed that the troop withdrawal was inopportune and leaves Iraq in a vulnerable position, while also compromising U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Lastly, for the purposes of this overview, are Taiwan and South Korea. 

A nation founded by anti-communist, Chinese dissidents following Mao's political victory and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the nature and extent of Taiwan's independence from China is still questioned. The United States has been a staunch ally of Taiwan, most notably by signing the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979. That act stipulates that the United States will, amongst other things, supply Taiwan with military equipment for self-defense, protect it against economic embargoes, and work to preserve its peaceful existence. As China's power continues to grow, some fear that it will attempt to reunify China by annexing Taiwan. Despite the threat, many in America believe that maintaining an alliance with an independent Taiwan is critical to both nation's diplomatic interests.

The small nation of South Korea, which lies between Japan and China on the Korean peninsula and borders North Korea, has been a strong American ally since the end of WWII when the U.S. came to the nation's defense following North Korea's invasion. In 1953, the Korean War ended in a stalemate after China intervened on the side of the Soviet-supported North Korea. Since then, America has maintained a significant military presence in South Korea, with nearly 30,000 troops stationed there in 2012. Much like the Iraq dilemma, there has been a lot of discussion over the extent of influence the U.S. should have in the country. Because of the ongoing threat from the volatile and strongly anti-American North Korea, some believe that the American presence in South Korea is the main factor deterring North Korean aggression. Due to diminishing South Korean support for U.S. military aid and a struggling American economy however, others have pushed for a full or partial troop withdrawal from the peninsula.

America's relationship with each of these allies is extremely nuanced. Moreover, the United States enjoys numerous other alliances across the globe, some of which will be discussed throughout this topic. While the world continues to grow smaller and more interdependent, international alliances will only become more complex and, perhaps, more confusing, and thus definitely a more critical factor in foreign policy. Having a background of our current relationships and our history with other nations is important in order to gain a greater, overall understanding of U.S. foreign affairs.

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"Just another tidbit of Easter European reaction to President Obama's missile defense decision, to drop Bush-era plans for a missile shield with radar based in the Czech Republic and missiles based in Poland: a news headline (not an op-ed) on page 1 of major Czech newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes today read 'There Will Not Be Radar. Russia Won.'"

"If Washington continues on its present course, the result may well be spectacular policy failure that manages both to weaken America's only strategic ally in the Middle East even as it worsens Arab-Israeli tensions."

"The ramifications of dumping the third site deployment will reach far beyond Warsaw and Prague. The Heritage Foundation's Sally McNamara notes: this is 'a decision on which the future of the transatlantic security alliance itself rests. If the United States chooses to abandon its Central and Eastern European allies as well as its obligations to NATO, it will hand the European Union a blank...

"Arab recognition of Israel's Jewish nature must have top diplomatic priority. Until the Palestinians formally accept Zionism, then follow up by ceasing all their various strategies to eliminate Israel, negotiations should be halted and not restarted. Until then, there is nothing to talk about."

"President Barack Obama's decision to drop plans to deploy a ballistic-missile defense shield in Central Europe -- drawing immediate cheers in Moscow and criticism elsewhere -- is a gamble by the U.S. that scaling back its defense ambitions will improve security in the long run.

The U.S. explained the reversal by saying it would lead to a more effective defense because the system that...

"The front-page headline on the September 18 edition of Poland's Fakt newspaper said it all: 'Betrayal! The U.S. sold us to Russia and stabbed us in the back.'

'No Radar. Russia won,' cried Mlada Fronta Dnes, the largest Czech daily, on its front page.

This was how these American allies responded to the Obama administration's announcement on September 17 that it would scrap plans...

"American leaders seem to be in denial about what is happening in various allied countries. How clueless Washington has become was apparent when the Obama administration issued its first National Security Strategy document last May. The United States, the NSS stressed, cannot afford to be the world's sole policeman; it needs partners who are willing and able to meet security challenges.

...

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned home without receiving an American endorsement for an Israeli attack on Iran. Neither did he find much support for the Israeli government's assertion that the window to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is about to slam shut. In fact, the U.S. military and intelligence community did not budge from its unified conclusion that Iran...

"Over the past 60 years, the United States has accumulated a remarkable number of alliances. Today, nearly all of Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and a range of other nations peer out at the world from behind America's skirts. America's allies bring a multitude of liabilities and few assets to the table, however, and it is unclear how today's global archipelago of alliances...

"President Barack Obama's rollback of the European-based ballistic missile defense system is a strategic blunder that will incentivize Russian intransigence at the negotiating table, erode relations with loyal U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and ultimately place the American homeland at greater risk."

"'To mark the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Koran War, a resolution to further strengthen the bilateral alliance between South Korea and the U.S. was submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives last week,' reported an April 22 editorial of the Korean Dong-A Ilbo daily (US Congress Resolution on the Korean War). Of course, 'the resolution got bipartisan support.'

Americans,...

Convinced that the Obama administration is preparing to retreat from the Middle East, Iran's Khomeinist regime is intensifying its goal of regional domination.

"Interior ministry order is latest effort to counter anti-government uprising in which 50 people have died since early last year."

"Gulf state's decision expected to raise pressure on Shia Muslim organisations engaged in organising opposition marches."

"Bahrain has banned all protests and gatherings to ensure 'security is maintained' after a series of violent clashes between Shiite-led demonstrators and Sunni government forces."

"The government has called on Bahrain to respect the right to peaceful protest. The move follows claims that families of students studying in Britain, who were photographed attending a peaceful protest in Manchester in solidarity with the country's pro-democracy movement, had been targeted."

"Bahrain's government is often accused of human rights abuses but responds by invoking legitimate security concerns about maintaining law and order."

"Bahrain is facing a stark choice between the rule of law, or sliding into a downward spiral of repression and instability, Amnesty International warned in a new briefing today."

"Bahraini authorities have failed to carry out the key recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which submitted its recommendations on accountability and other human rights issues a year ago."

"The Asia-Pacific region is now a 'top priority' of US security policy, President Barack Obama has said in a speech to the Australian parliament.

Mr Obama insisted US spending cuts would not affect the Asia-Pacific, saying the US is 'here to stay.'

His comments are seen as a challenge to China, which is striving to be the main power in the region."

"President Barack Obama has offered an apology for the Bush era, declaring that America had 'shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive' towards its allies."

"China's Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said Tuesday that Beijing is ready for 'any escalation' in the tense naval standoff with the Philippines in the South China Sea."

"Britain will stop giving financial aid to India by 2015, the government said on Friday, marking a shift in ties between the one-time imperial power and its fast-growing former colony."

"With the latest deaths caused by the war in Afghanistan, the total number of British troop fatalities during the conflict now stands at 432.

The 400 mark was passed when six British soldiers were killed in an explosion on 6 March."

"On his visit to Washington last week, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder did his best to show that he could get along with the new Bush administration. Asked to comment on this relationship, Schroeder diplomatically stressed the many areas where Germans and Americans agree, and mentioned only Bush's rejection of the 1997 Kyoto agreement, designed to curb global warming, as an area of disagreement...

"The United States and Bahrain are close allies. In fact, according to an April 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable, one of several released by WikiLeaks this week, the two countries have 'about as good a bilateral relationship as anywhere.'"

China is preparing to 'suspend, cancel or postpone' a series of military-to-military exchanges with the US to protest Washington’s decision to upgrade Taiwan’s fleet of F-16A/B aircraft.

A senior official in US President Barack Obama’s administration leaked the news on Monday night in New York.

Talking to reporters on the condition of anonymity, the official said that Chinese...

Pollack briefly compares the goals of American Constitutional Law and Jewish Law (halacha); while American law strives to give its citizens privacy and "freedom," halacha works to produce holiness in everyday actions by doing the exact opposite. 

"Many are concerned that conditions could worsen in Iraq once the US military has withdrawn its forces from the country. Troops are required to leave by the end of the year and the pullout is already well underway. Hundreds of transport vehicles are currently snaking their way south towards the Kuwaiti border. Most of the troops are likely to have left the country by Christmas. Concerns are...

Medved compares the history of the United States with Israel's, and concludes that to question Israel's right to exist would be as ludicrous as questioning the same of the United States. Both are controversial republics, founded by idealistic patriots, whose people share common goal, but not a common ancestry, and must continue to defend their right to exist every...

"As America's economic recovery continues to lag, politicians and pundits are scrambling to find ways to kick-start growth. One of the oddest such proposals appeared recently in the New York Times. Paul V. Kane, a Marine and former international security fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, argued that the United States should agree to 'terminate the United States-Taiwan defense arrangement...

"For years, the United States and its allies have accused Iran of being a major nuclear threat because it has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Ironically, the real violators of the NNPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] are the same nations accusing Iran. The U.S. and its allies have never been able to confirm their accusations with concrete proof since they are based entirely...

"Finally, we’re hearing concrete talk about withdrawal from Iraq. Probably this has something to do with public opinion: in a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent supported leaving Iraq in a year or less.

Most public discussions of the actual mechanics of withdrawal have emphasized how difficult it will be. Army sources, many of them, estimate that it will take time. Most reports say 12 to 20...

"Education is a fundamental human right which should be directed to the full development of the human personality. ... Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the second Education for All (EFA) goal, the Government of Iraq is committed to ensuring that, by 2015, children everywhere in Iraq, all boys and girls alike, are able to complete...

"When the political party representing El Salvador's former Soviet-backed guerrillas won the presidency in 2009, some of its opponents took comfort in the separation of powers dictated by the Salvadoran constitution. Despite the Marxist roots of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), and the uncertainty about what it might do with its new power, there was an independent...

"After two decades of sometimes fervent Atlanticism in the ex-communist world, disillusionment (some would call it realism) is growing. At its height the bond between eastern Europe and America was based, like the best marriages, on a mixture of emotion and mutual support. The romance dates from the cold war: when western Europe was sometimes squishy in dealing with the Soviet empire, America...

"Colombian voters on Sunday overwhelmingly elected as their new president an American-educated former defense minister who oversaw a forceful counterinsurgency against the country's rebel groups."

These scenarios are on the forefront of the debate on when and how to leave Iraq. This article examines a few of the possible consequences of leaving Iraq prematurely.

Barry R. Posen lists and describes the various reasons why it is important for us to leave Iraq. He does this not on an ideological ground but rather emphasizes the inability for the Iraqi people to gather motivation to protect themselves when the United States is doing it for them.

Michael Novak retells stories from early American history to highlight the importance of religion and the influence of both Judaism and Christianity on the formation of American government. He stresses the emphasis on Old Testament language and values in order to keep the various Christian denominations united.

"Europeans have spent lots of airtime and ink on Hurricane Sandy--but so far, very few euros."

This is an interview conducted by Katie Couric with General Odierno answering questions related to withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq.

"Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has asserted that his recent visit to the United States raised US-Georgian strategic ties to a 'new level.' American officials have been much more reticent on bilateral defense issues, raising questions about what exactly was discussed in Washington."

"Honduras is becoming notorious. The country now has the highest murder rate in the world. In 2011, more people were killed per capita in the industrial center of San Pedro Sula than in Mexico's Ciudad Juárez, where the drug war rages on the U.S. border. It has also become one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist: At least 23 have been killed in the past three years. And according to the World Bank, 60 percent of the population lives in poverty, a statistic outmatched in the Western Hemisphere only by Haiti."

"Military rule, corruption, a huge wealth gap, crime and natural disasters have rendered Honduras one of the least developed and least secure countries in Central America."

"A violent death every 74 minutes has earned Honduras the dubious title of 'murder capital of the world', with the government unable to control powerful cocaine cartels in parts of the country."

"The United Nations human rights chief today called on Honduras to take urgent steps to combat impunity for crimes against lawyers and journalists, stressing that recent killings reflect the 'chronic insecurity' that these professions are subject to in the country."

O'Hanlon and Gildroy discuss the policies of McCain and Obama on Iraq, and argue that a combination of the two policies would be most effective.

"The Iraq war has become one of the most polarizing issues in American politics. Most Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), want large, early troop cuts; most Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), want U.S. troops to stay until Iraq's stability is guaranteed. Years of bad news from the front have hardened these divisions along partisan lines and embittered many on...

"If the world sniggered to see Kim Jong Un, with his fat-faced boyishness, thrust forward as the dictator-to-be of North Korea, it is not laughing now. A 65-minute-long artillery barrage on November 23rd rained down upon the tiny South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, marking the first time since the war of 1950-53 that the North has fired shells at civilian targets on land.

Four South...

"In the midst of heated debate over nuclear proliferation, missile defense and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Rendall strongly criticizes U.S. policy on the issue as well as several mainstream publications for their bias in blindly backing Washington's policies."

"ON the morning of May 6, 1783, Guy Carleton, the British commander charged with winding down the occupation of America, boarded the Perseverance and sailed up the Hudson River to meet George Washington and discuss the British withdrawal. Washington was furious to learn that Carleton had sent ships to Canada filled with Americans, including freed slaves, who had sided with Britain during the...

"The head of US intelligence has warned that there is an increasing likelihood that Iran could carry out attacks in America or against US and allied targets around the world.

The warning from the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, reflects rapidly rising tensions over Iran's nuclear programme after the US and EU announced embargoes on the Iranian oil trade in the past few...

"Iraq would be drastically affected should Iran block the Hormuz Strait. Most of the oil Iraq produces is exported via the Strait. The scenario is seeing Iraq, distinct because of its good relations with both the US and Iran, practice its new diplomacy again."

Abdell investigates the different factors that may become problematic in a post-war Iraq, including:

- "Reemergence of the quasi-defeated extremist groups, namely, AQI, Jaysh al-Islami, the Promised Day Brigade, Kata’ib Hizbollah, and Asaeb Ahl al-Haq."

- "Rekindling of sectarian violence and lawlessness that engulfed Iraq before (05-07)."

- "Precipitating the war...

"Poland’s decision to join the 'coalition of the willing' has left the military stretched beyond capacity, the society in serious mistrust of their leaders and perception of a joint effort for a good cause seriously damaged. It took 25 lives 5 years and 3 governments to rethink and withdraw.

With more than 15,000 troops in 10 tours of duty so far Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) remains...

John Paul Rossi describes the similarities between the Iraq and Vietnam wars. Rossi writes, "Although the final chapter on the Iraq War is yet to be written, the Vietnam experience suggests that exiting the Iraq quagmire poses serious challenges."

Nevertheless, let us hope that Iraqis take advantage of the opportunity they now enjoy. It will take enormous statesmanship and restraint to accommodate those of different faiths and ethnicities, forgive past crimes committed by Sunni and Shia forces, eschew violence for retaliation and revenge, resolve even bitter disagreements peacefully, and accept political defeat without resort to arms.

"Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., argues that Israel is first-tier strategic ally of the United States, and he criticizes the so-called foreign policy realists who have intermittently dominated Washington, in a piece in Foreign Policy:

'(Israel's) prominence on the eastern Mediterranean littoral, at the nexus of North Africa and Southwest Asia, has enabled the...

"Which is the less trustworthy ally, the United States (vis-à-vis Taiwan), or China (vis-à-vis North Korea)? My answer: the United States.

Geography is a big part of the reason why. The Korean Peninsula is a half-island appended to the Asian mainland not far from the Chinese capital city, it shares a frontier with China, and it overshadows sea lanes connecting north China with the...

"Israel's attack on Gaza rests on an assumption that it can suppress Hamas and thereby remove an obstacle to a negotiated deal with the Palestinians. That assumption in turn requires the conflict to remain limited."

"There has been very little work by orthodox Jewish scholars on the relationship among socialism, capitalism, and Judaism. Careful reading of the relevant literature, however, suggests that it is possible to posit five basic axioms of Jewish economic theory from which many economic policy implications can be deduced. Although not exhaustive, our five axioms...

Rabbi Spiro provides a brief history of the impact of Judaism on the American Founding as well as the treatment of Jews in early America.

"What does Judaism require in the political realm? Except for a few liberal rabbis, whose understanding of and commitment to Judaism is commensurate with the dedication of the National Council of Churches to Christianity, the subject will be ignored. In an effort to rectify this lack of critical analysis, I would offer some observations on the essential...

Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger analyzes the potential options for exiting Iraq and the some of the consequences of each. He does so by comparing the current situation in Iraq to the situation the U.S. faced in Vietnam.

"The record of past U.S. experience in democratic nation building is daunting. The low rate of success is a sobering reminder that these are among the most difficult foreign policy ventures for the United States. Of the sixteen such efforts during the past century, democracy was sustained in only four cases ten years after the departure of U.S. forces. Two of these followed the total defeat...

The Iraq War was one of the key issues in the 2008 presidential election. In this article, McCain argues that the U.S. cannot abandon the mission in Iraq. To do so would be costly, both for the United States and for Iraq.

"The U.S. and its Middle East allies are bracing for the potential that a catastrophic fracture of Syria along sectarian lines could spread chaos into neighboring countries."

"The rejection of the proposed extension of the Philippines-United States (PH-US) Military Base Agreement (MBA) in 1991 that saw the closure of the sprawling US military bases – Clark Air Force Base and the Subic naval base – was a short-sighted decision by the Philippine Senate."

"The situation in Bahrain continues to boil. Every week brings new reports of protests and police abuses, and the gap between the Sunni royal family and the mostly Shia population is by all accounts widening."

Iraqi security forces have made great strides in improving their effectiveness and are increasingly confident that they can shoulder the bulk of the security burden.

"President Obama has decided to sell a new arms package to Taiwan that will likely include weapons and equipment to upgrade the island’s F-16 jets, according to administration and congressional officials.

Congress will be briefed Friday on the arms package, worth an estimated $4.2 billion, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A formal announcement is expected soon."...

"President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the United States will take an expanded role in shaping the Asian Pacific region, with an increased military presence one step of that policy.

'Our enduring interests in the region demand our enduring presence in this region,' Obama said in a speech to the Australian Parliament. 'The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay...

"US President Barack Obama has shelved plans for controversial bases in Poland and the Czech Republic in a major overhaul of missile defence in Europe.

The bases are to be scrapped after a review of the threat from Iran."

"During an exclusive campaign fundraiser on New York’s Upper East Side tonight, President Obama offered reassurances to some of his most loyal Jewish supporters about the administration’s commitment to Israel.

Speaking about the 'enormous tumult' in the Middle East brought by the Arab Spring, Obama said the U.S. stands 'on the side of democracy' but remains unwavering in its support for...

"The Obama administration is not known for its pro-British track record, but this is by far the strongest indication yet that the current White House has little regard for the Special Relationship and its unique role in modern American history. During a White House photo-op with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Obama had this to say:

'We don’t have a stronger friend and...

"One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey released Wednesday.

The findings highlight a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they...

"Pakistan's spymaster has postponed a trip to the United States in the latest sign of the dire state of relations between two supposed allies in the war against Islamist extremists."

"After Kim Jong-il’s death, U.S. defense officials have consulted with their South Korean counterparts as they monitor the ongoing developments in North Korea.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little says that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called South Korean Defense Minister Gen. Kim Kwan-jin Monday morning to reaffirm America’s 'strong commitment' to stability on the Korean...

"The president of the Philippines made a direct pitch to the White House Friday to help bolster his country's relatively weak defenses as the island nation increasingly finds itself tangled in territorial conflicts with China."

"Poland seeks to develop relations with Russia further, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said at the President's Palace on Wednesday evening during a meeting with the diplomatic corps.

'Poland has made efforts for normalizing relations and reconciliation with Russia,' he said. 'We have seen and continue to see in this our contribution to the rapprochement of the peoples of Europe...

"The president’s decision to reverse Bush-era foreign policy in Eastern Europe by scrapping plans to build a missile defense shield and radar system in Poland and the Czech Republic resulted in disparate and polarized responses last week.

Seventy years ago to the day that the Red Army invaded Poland, the Obama administration announced the major foreign policy shift to cries of 'betrayal...

"More Americans consider Great Britain, rather than Canada, to be the United States' top ally, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

The telephone survey of 1,023 adults found that although Canada is the United States' most important trading partner, 36 per cent of respondents believe Great Britain to be their country's 'most valuable ally.'

Canada ranked second, earning top spot...

Religion and Liberty interviews Meir Tamari on what, in her opinion, Judaism actually stresses in regards to morality, focusing particularly on the accumulation of wealth and treatment of the poor.

"Russia fears Israel will push the United States into a military conflict with Iran which could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Gulf, a confidant of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

'There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans,' Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin's Security Council, told Interfax news...

"It was an extraordinary scene: President Barack Obama, sitting impassively in the Oval Office in May as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lectured him, at considerable length and at times condescendingly, on Jewish history, Arab perfidy and the existential challenges facing his country.

What was extraordinary wasn’t the message -- it was not an untypical Netanyahu sermon. What...

This article discusses the legitimacy given to the new democratic government in Iraq by the international community and surrounding issues.

"American troops have been in Iraq for several years now. Although the defeat of Saddam and the Iraq military was relatively easy, the stabilization of the country in the aftermath has been anything but easy. Thousands of American troops have died, and Iraqi civilians continue to get caught in terrorist and cross-cultural attacks on a daily basis. The U.S. continues to progress in its attempt...

"Those who blame Israel and its Jewish supporters for U.S. policies they do not support are wrong. They are wrong because, to begin with, support for Israel is in our best interests. They are also wrong because Israel and its supporters have the right to try to influence U.S. policy. And they are wrong because the U.S. government is responsible for the policies it...

"The first of September, symbolic as the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, also marked the end of an era of special closeness between Poland and the United States.

The dignitaries jostling for space near the Gdansk memorial where the opening shots of WWII were fired included Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The U.S. was...

"Over the Past Five Years, Iraq has become one of the most divisive and polarizing issues in modern American history. It is now a subject on which Republicans and Democrats tend to disagree fundamentally about the past (the reasons for going to war), the present (the impact of the 'surge' in American forces), and the future of American policy (how quickly, and in what way, American forces...

"Japan and Turkey form an alliance to attack the US. Poland becomes America's closest ally. Mexico makes a bid for global supremacy, and a third world war takes place in space. Sounds strange? It could all happen."

"Washington cannot make a deal for the Israelis and the Palestinians, but it can and should help them do so themselves. At the very least, it should not make matters worse by allowing itself to be distracted yet again from the main task at hand. If anything, successful U.S. efforts to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians would make it...

"The British were in town last week. President and Mrs. Obama hosted Prime Minister David Cameron and Mrs. Cameron for an official visit, a state dinner and an NCAA tournament basketball game.

This visit marks the beginning of a series of meetings during the next several months where Cameron and Obama will have an opportunity to interact with each other. Although much will be debated...

"The world's interest in all things United States is showing Tuesday in foreign media and social media coverage of Hurricane Sandy's impact on the East Coast."

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday warned Israel should 'take another look at its relations with its neighbors' if it wants to maintain ties with Turkey in the future.

'Israel should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future,' Erodegan told Euronews, regarding his thoughts on the recent tensions between the two...

"Uganda's escalating crackdown on its gays, lesbians and transgenders has the U.S. indicating that it might just cut off that military aid."

"David Cameron was warned last night by America that damaging secrets of the ‘special relationship’ are about to be laid bare.

The U.S. ambassador to London made an unprecedented personal visit to Downing Street to warn that whistleblower website WikiLeaks is about to publish secret assessments of what Washington really thinks of Britain."

"The UK is to end financial aid to India by 2015, international development secretary Justine Greening has said."

"British aid to India is to be brought to an end in 2015 in recognition of the booming sub-continent's 'changing place in the world'."

"A United Nations assessment team will head to Bahrain in early December, at the invitation of the Government, to discuss the judicial system and accountability for present and past human rights abuses, it was announced Friday."

"The United States and its British and Canadian allies are preparing to roll out a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran on Monday amid growing concern that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, sources tell ABC News.

U.S. officials familiar with the plans say they target Iran’s nuclear sector as well as plugging key gaps that have allowed Iran to work around existing sanctions on...

"Iraq’s postelection process of forming a new government has been troubled and drawn-out. Now, American officials are openly questioning the impact on US-Iraq relations."

"With America’s push for democracy in the Arab states, groups with radical Islamic links are lining up to fill the power vacuums which are emerging. Amid the current instability, the ramifications for America's closest Middle East ally could be huge.

Israel is keeping quiet during the current chaos in the Middle East and North Africa, while Hamas gunmen are upping the stakes just that...

"According to polls, Americans remain wary of supporting the idea of either Israel or the United States – or both together – attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Perhaps one reason for this hesitancy is the fact that Israel, in a historic choice to rely on itself for defense, has never become an official US ally.

America has no treaty obligation to come to Israel’s defense as it...

In one of the biggest national security reversals of his young presidency, Mr. Obama canceled former President George W. Bush’s plans to station a radar facility in the Czech Republic and 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland. Instead, he plans to deploy smaller SM-3 interceptors by 2011, first aboard ships and later in Europe, possibly even in Poland or the Czech Republic.

"This week Andrew Mitchell, the secretary of state for international development (DfID), announced that UK aid to India is going to be maintained at about £280m per year for the next few years."

"For some time now, Republican hawks like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon have been saying that our military budget is inadequate for the threats we face. They like to gripe that President Barack Obama is orchestrating the decline of American power.

Some of this is pure partisanship. Republicans criticize Democrats just as Democrats criticized President George W. Bush...

"For a town entangled in a national controversy, Waegwan's streets give off an eerie languor. Ask residents in this South Korean burg about Agent Orange — the code name for a poisonous blend of herbicides that three U.S. Army veterans allege they buried near there in 1978 — and nearly all sigh wearily. The accusation isn't surprising, bemoans Chang Jung-hun, a 69-year-old melon farmer. He says...

"The alliance system was started by Bismarck, the German Chancellor from 1871 to 1890. After the Franco-Prussian War, Bismarck held that Germany was a 'satiated state' which should give up ideas of further conquest. Thus Bismarck organized a system of alliances designed to maintain Germany's hegemony on the European continent. France was determined to challenge the hegemony of Germany because...

Chart or Graph

"Research has found that the rate at which British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan is almost four times that of their US counterparts, and double the rate which is officially classified as 'major combat'."

The number of deaths per month nationwide is down to January 2006 levels, at about 600 per month. The numbers peaked in December 2006, with about 3,000 deaths per month.

"The war in Iraq has cost the US $823.2bn since 2003 - and in 2011 cost $49.3bn, only $4bn less than 2003 when the invasion happened."

"The following graphic lists the ten most/least corrupt countries based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. The Corruption Perception Index assigns countries and territories with scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean)."

"As of September 30, 2011, $182.27 billion had been made available for the relief and reconstruction of Iraq through three main sources...."

This poll taken just prior to U.S. withdrawal from Iraq shows bipartisan support for President Obama's decision.

"The United States has appropriated or otherwise made available $61.83 billion for Iraq reconstruction efforts since 2003, primarily through five major funds.... Figure 1.2 shows current and requested funds that may be used for new projects from the five major funds."

"In total, about 30 countries have sought nuclear weapons, and ten are known to have succeeded."

"Figure 4.2 provides a status of funding and descriptions of major completed and ongoing activities for these [Iraqi] programs."

In a Spring 2012 Dartmouth poll, 48% of respondents ranked Great Britain as America's most important foreign ally. Israel and Canada ranked second and third respectively.

"For a timeline of U.S. troop withdrawal, see Figure 4.5."

"The CBI reported a rise in foreign currency reserves to $58 billion this quarter, an increase of 26% from the beginning of 2011. For trends of key economic indicators, see Figure 4.10."

"In August 2007, the Bush Administration agreed to increase U.S. military assistance to Israel by $6 billion over the following decade."

"As of September 30, 2011, $182.27 billion had been made available for the relief and reconstruction of Iraq through three main sources...."

"Here is a summary chart of United States Foreign Aid payments. Data is listed by major recipients, for the 6 years from 2001 to 2006."

Analysis Report White Paper

"The purpose of this paper is to trace the way in which Deuteronomy seeks to create the civic community that undergirds institutions of collective governance: how does Deuteronomy call forth unity within the society; how does it mediate the relationships between different parts of the society.  Most importantly, what are the competencies of citizenship, or...

This survey, administered by YouGov (formerly Polimetrix) from April 26 - May 2, 2012, examines public attitudes on U.S. foreign policy, especially U.S. alliances and security commitments in regions such as East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

"President Lee Myung-bak’s October trip to the US represents an ostensible high point in the US-ROK alliance.

But there are cracks in the relationship, primarily on the American side.

Despite Lee’s speech before Congress, Americans know little about Korea compared to allies like Canada, Britain, or Israel. Americans usually see Korea’s geopolitics through the prism of North Korea...

There are periods when the international system undergoes radical shifts in a short time. The last such period was 1989-1991. During that time, the Soviet empire collapsed. The Japanese economic miracle ended. The Maastricht Treaty creating contemporary Europe was signed. Tiananmen Square defined China as a market economy dominated by an unchallenged Communist Party, and so on.

U.S.-Tajik relations have developed considerably since September 11, 2001. The two countries now have a broad-based relationship, cooperating in such areas as counter-narcotics, counterterrorism, non-proliferation, and regional growth and stability.

"In early 2002 rumors circulated that Saudi Arabia was considering asking the United States to withdraw its troops from the gulf kingdom. Outraged denials arose in both Washington and Riyadh. But even before the September 11, 2001, terrorist assaults, Saudi Arabia was among Washington’s more dubious allies."

Cato handbook on how Congress should wean South Korea off dependence on the United States.

"China and Taiwan, while in practice maintaining a fragile 'status quo' relationship, periodically grow impatient with the diplomatic patchwork that has kept the island separate from the Communist mainland since 1949. After losing the civil war to Communist Chinese and fleeing to Taiwan in 1949, the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) leaders of the Republic of China regarded the Communist Chinese...

The Israeli 'Declaration of Independence' - adopted just after Israel was recognized as a country by the UN. In this piece, Professor E. Gutmann breaks down the facets of Israel's Declaration.

"The rise of China poses grave challenges to U.S. security. Beijing implements a mercantilist trade policy and artificially sets a low value on its currency to promote exports, thus creating a large U.S. trade deficit with China year after year. Its army has been modernizing at a rapid pace, developing anti-access, area-denial weapons and cyber- and space-warfare capabilities. Meanwhile, China...

Rabkin compares and contrasts the inheritance practices, loan practices, and other interactions between the law and economics in ancient Israel (before and after the Babylonian exile respectively), early America, and Christian Europe up to the American Founding. All claim some basis in Old Testament law.

"Alliances, we had always felt, were not our sort of thing. They would involve us in obscure quarrels and sordid rivalries which were none of our concern. They seemed to be both undesirable and unnecessary in view of our special geographic and political circumstances.

'It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world': it was George...

"Prior to the Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia bore many characteristics of a failing state. It was saddled with stifling bureaucracy and widespread corruption, little foreign investment, high unemployment, and a large rural population engaged in subsistence-level agriculture. Although Georgia had high tax rates, the tax code was complex and inefficient, and tax revenue collection did not...

"The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have one of the most formidable and durable military alliances in the world. This alliance has preserved peace and stability in Northeast Asia and ensured nuclear restraint among Asian powers. It has weathered extreme domestic unpopularity in South Korea = and pressures to reduce U.S. overseas defense obligations. During the lifetime of this...

"When Israeli soldiers rescued hostages in Entebbe, they honorably manifested a manly concern for the weak and dependent. Conversely, when Israeli leaders made promises that they could not keep in fighting Hezbollah in 2006, they acted dishonorably. The problem with Zionism is not that Zionists have fought for Israel; the problem is that they have not always ­...

Since emerging from the shadow of communism at the Cold War's end, Poland has undoubtedly been one of the most spirited Atlanticists in Europe. Following its 1999 admission to NATO, Poland's enthusiastically pro-American stance was evidenced by a strong preference for US leadership in defense and security matters, as well as robust support of American foreign policy.

"It is time to ask a fundamental question that few in an official or political position in the United States seem willing to ask. Has it been a terrible error for the United States to have built an all but irreversible worldwide system of a thousand or more military bases, stations and outposts?"

"At a time of rising dependence on oil, the potential for supply disruptions and the stability of energy-rich regions pose major concerns. While disruptions can happen anywhere along the supply chain, certain areas are particularly vulnerable."

This paper will examine Polish National Security Strategy and its Homeland Security Policy in response to the growing worldwide terrorism threat. Moreover, it will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of Poland's engagement in the anti-terrorism world coalition.

With mounting evidence showing that the Bush Administration's surge policy has made significant military progress, the congressional debate has shifted to focus on the need for political progress toward national reconciliation in Iraq.

Robert Kaplan, correspondent for The Atlantic and author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, is interviewed by Foreign Affairs on China and how America's relations with it might look in the near future.

As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

"The two most important words in President Barack Obama’s much vaunted speech on the Arab Awakening were the ones he did not say: Saudi Arabia. In a speech that proclaimed a dramatic reboot of American policy toward the Middle East, the absence of any direct reference to the state that is an irreplaceable U.S. partner on regional security and energy and uniquely relevant as the birthplace of...

"The 1999 war in Yugoslavia contributed to reinforcing strategic, military and intelligence ties between Washington and London. After the war in Yugoslavia, U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen and his British counterpart, Geoff Hoon, signed a "Declaration of Principles for Defence Equipment and Industrial Cooperation" so as to 'improve cooperation in procuring arms and protecting technology...

"The close relationship between Israel and the United States was born out of Cold War tensions projected onto the regional conflict in the Middle East. Following the 1967 war, relations between Israel and its neighbors remained tense and by 1970, Israel found itself entangled in war of attrition with its southern neighbor Egypt. The U.S., implementing its policy of containment at the time, was...

"Relations between the US and South Korea have been steadily warming. The problem is, it could push North Korea into even worse behaviour.

The latest meeting between senior South Korean and US officials confirmed that relations between South Korea and the United States are the best they’ve been in decades. The two governments have set aside past disagreements and adopted a common policy...

"This monograph provides a set of recommendations to the United States, NATO allies, and EU institutions in promoting a more consequential Eastern Dimension. Above all, the U.S. administration needs to clearly make the argument that progress toward stable states and secure democracies in a widening Europe and an expanding trans-Atlantic community that encompasses the Black Sea zone is in...

"America’s alliances have been a bulwark of stability and prosperity for the Asia-Pacific region since the end of World War II. Yet the rise of Asia as an economic and military power in its own right is changing the fundamental power dynamics of the region and the strategic calculations that underpin these alliances. Abraham M. Denmark and Brian M. Burton argue that it is time for the US to...

"Poland has the 18th-largest economy in the world, the largest among the former Soviet satellites and the eighth-largest in Europe. It is a vital strategic asset for the US. In the emerging competition between the US and Russia, Poland represents the geographical frontier between Europe and Russia and the geographical foundation of any attempt to defend the Baltics. Given the US strategic...

"Extended nuclear deterrence has been one element of the broader United States security policy towards East Asia. Because Washington has been willing to threaten the use of nuclear weapons against adversaries of its allies, those allies have felt less compelled to pursue a nuclear option. Taiwan and South Korea did try during the Cold War, only to be dissuaded by the United States. Japan and...

"The longstanding U.S.-South Korea alliance, originally established during the Cold War as a bulwark against the communist expansion in Asia, has undergone a series of transformations in recent years. Since 1998, when political power passed for the first time from the dictatorial ruling party to the political opposition--the United Democratic Party--successive UDP governments have steered a...

"The United States has had a military relationship with the Republic of Korea (ROK) for 65 years. American forces partitioned the peninsula at the end of World War II, established the ROK as a new nation in 1948, rescued South Korea from invasion in 1950, and deployed as a permanent garrison after the conflict ended in 1953. U.S. troops remain to this day.

The Cold War ended long ago....

"The United States has had a military relationship with the Republic of Korea (ROK) for 65 years. American forces partitioned the peninsula at the end of World War II, established the ROK as a new nation in 1948, rescued South Korea from invasion in 1950, and deployed as a permanent garrison after the conflict ended in 1953. U.S. troops remain to this day.

The Cold War ended long ago....

"What is the definition of an American ally? On an ideological level, an ally is a country that shares America's values, reflects its founding spirit, and resonates with its people's beliefs. Tactically, an ally stands with the United States through multiple conflicts and promotes its global vision. From its location at one strategic crossroads, an ally enhances American intelligence and...

  • "Contrary to the assertions of Professors Stephen Walt of Harvard University and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, who claim that no compelling strategic argument can explain American support for Israel, which they argue has been promoted by 'the unmatched power of the Israel lobby,' the two countries have, in fact, developed strong strategic ties over the years that have...

"Winston Churchill once said that the only thing worse than having allies is not having them. It was an apt description of the tensions that existed between Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States during World War II.

The glue that held the Anglo-American-Soviet alliance together during the war was the determination to defeat Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and Japan’s...

"South Korea became a defense dependent of Washington decades ago. Like America's other alliances around the globe, the 'mutual' defense treaty with Seoul does not protect the U.S. Given the South’s recent economic success, Americans should ask: When will this prosperous and populous friend begin defending America?"

Video/Podcast/Media

In this audio clip, George Galloway interviews Charlie Wolf about the alliance between the U.S. and U.K. Though the relationship has long been friendly, it is not enjoying the popular support it once did.

"Following the 2008 war, the United States has struggled to redefine its relationship with Georgia. While the Bush administration deemed Georgia a 'beacon of democracy' and identified it as a key ally, the new administration has changed the rhetoric, stripping Georgia of its special status even as policy has remained largely the same."

"The United States pledges to defend our NATO allies under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty. Why, and in what ways, do the allies reciprocate? Jason Davidson will present evidence from his unique analysis of transatlantic burden-sharing to explain why Britain, France, and Italy provide or refuse military support for U.S.-led uses of force. Sixty original interviews with top policymakers...

Mr. Korb discusses the exit strategy for Iraq proposed by President Obama and why it will be successful.

"When President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America's wars.

Staggering as it is, that figure grossly underestimates the total cost of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the U.S. Treasury and ignores more imposing costs yet to come, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The final...

Analyst Marko Papic explains two separate statements made Wednesday that give Russia momentum against U.S. plans for ballistic missile defense in Europe.

Jim Phillips, a Fellow in Middle Eastern Affairs at The Heritage Foundation, lays out the facts as to how America must act in Iraq in 2008.

Three experts debate the United States' relationship with Israel. Is it America's best ally? Is Israel an ally at all?

"The 'Judaism: A Way of Being' author makes the case for Judaism as the most important intellectual development in Western history."

"In this address made on September 17, 1978, President Jimmy Carter reminds the public that at the beginning of these negotiations, he asked the people of the world 'to pray that our negotiations would be successful.' He adds, 'Those prayers have been answered far beyond any expectations.' After 13 long days at Camp David, Carter commends Sadat and Begin's 'determination, vision, and...

President Obama explains why Poland is such an important ally to America.

Obama confirms the unique alliance that the U.S. and U.K. share. Often referred to as the "special relationship," the two nations have remained remarkably strong allies over the last century.

Under George W. Bush's administration, the United States decided to place its third missile defense site in the European nation of Poland. This clip, however, details President Obama's plan to scrap the Polish missile defense site and pursue a different course in missile defense.

"Bahraini security forces fire tear gas into the funeral procession of a protester who died from injuries received in earlier clashes."

"The author of 'Monsoon' explains why an attack won't be necessary, and why China is just like the U.S. in the late 19th century."

U.S. Congressman (R-TX) and self-professed libertarian Ron Paul gives his thoughts on foreign policy and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

"The events began in Tunisia in January 2011 . . . shook the political, social, and intellectual foundations of the Middle East. The tremors can still be felt, and no one is quite certain when the aftershocks will end, or when another shock wave of popular unrest might occur. Nevertheless, enough time has passed to try to make sense of what has happened so far and, perhaps, gain an inkling of...

In this interesting presentation/debate, the authors of The Israel Lobby present their primary arguments and discuss the reactions they have received from across the academic and media worlds. The third participant, Bruce Riedel, has worked alongside former presidents on the peace...

"Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebration of the national media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky analyzes the U.S. response to the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. 'Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their...

Research Fellow Jim Phillips explains why Congress needs to consider the implications of a rapid troop withdrawal from Iraq.

What do America's allies think of America? International approval was very low during the heart of the Iraq War. The rest of the world's opinion has slightly improved in recent years, but many still believe the United States is one of the biggest threats to world peace. Do you agree? Why or why not?

"'It's very clear that most Muslims don't consider working women or whiskey or movies or elections in America a dire threat to their families and a life and death issue for themselves. But they clearly see our support for Israel, our support for the dictators that rule them as an offense against both themselves and against their faith.

...If you go through the corpus of the rhetoric of...

"China has vowed to suspend military exchanges and security talks with Washington and to impose sanctions on US firms involved in a deal to sell arms to Taiwan.

In a statement the foreign ministry said that in protest at the US arms sales to Taiwan it was suspending military exchanges, along with scheduled high-level talks on strategic security, arms control and non-proliferation.

...

Primary Document

"EVENTS IN EL SALVADOR assumed worldwide prominence in the late 1970s as political and social tensions fueled a violent civil conflict that persisted throughout the 1980s. The intense controversy and scrutiny accorded this diminutive nation ran counter to the relative obscurity that had characterized it during its colonial and national history. A backwater of the Spanish Empire, El Salvador...

"This Agreement establishes the rights and obligations of the Parties with respect to the use by the United States of the Closed Area on the territory of Poland in the locality of Slupsk-Redzikowo for the purpose of deployment there and use of non-nuclear ground-based ballistic missile defense interceptors."

"From May 2009 through October 2011, arrests were made for 32 'homegrown,' jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. Two of these resulted in attacks—U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan’s alleged assault at Fort Hood in Texas and Abdulhakim Muhammed's shooting at the U.S. Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, AR and produced 14 deaths....

"The most populous country in Africa, Nigeria accounts for over half of West Africa's population."

"Korea's legendary foundation by the mythical king Tangun in BC 2333 embodies the homogeneity and self-sufficiency valued by the Korean people. Korea experienced many invasions by its larger neighbors in its 2,000 years of recorded history. The country repelled numerous foreign invasions despite domestic strife, in part due to its protected status in the Sino-centric regional political model...

"In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center...."

"The uprising that began in Bahrain on February 14, 2011, at the outbreak of the uprisings that swept several Middle Eastern leaders from power, began a political crisis that has defied resolution."

"That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel: our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That will always be my starting point.

And when we see all of the growing threats in the region: from Iran to Iraq to the resurgence of al-Qaeda to the reinvigoration of Hamas and...

"The State Department is a fitting venue to mark a new chapter in American diplomacy. For six months, we have witnessed an extraordinary change taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. Square by square, town by town, country by country, the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights. Two leaders have stepped aside. More may follow. And though these countries may be a...

"Prime Minister Tusk. Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, before the visit of President Barack Obama, I learned that Ralph Waldo Emerson was your favorite American thinker. And certainly at the time I tried to search for some association, some quotations, some connections. And out of all these ideas, the one that talks about enthusiasm—that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm—...

Buchanan addresses the nation as he prepares to become the 15th president of the United States.

"After twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David, the Israeli-Egyptian negotiations were concluded by the signing at the White House of two agreements. The first dealt with the future of the Sinai and peace between Israel and Egypt, to be concluded within three months. The second was a framework agreement establishing a format for the conduct of negotiations...

"Colombia, a key U.S. ally, has made measurable progress in providing security despite having endured the longest armed internal conflict in the Western Hemisphere."

"The United States has maintained a strong interest in developments in El Salvador, a small Central American country with a population of 6 million. During the 1980s, El Salvador was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America as its government struggled against the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) insurgency during a 12-year civil war. A peace accord negotiated...

President Obama calls for Israeli and Palestinian peace, assuring the Israelis that their land will be secured, while also asking Israel to recognize an official Palestinian state.

"On the Issues" provides this collection of President's Bush's views on different areas of foreign affairs.

"The Obama Administration has provided ongoing support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

General David Petraeus analyzes how success was achieved in Iraq, where the U.S. stands now, and what the future holds.

"The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945."

Our national conversation about Iraq needs more realism, and more focus on the future rather than the past. We need to refocus on our original goal - a stable Iraq that does not threaten its neighbors, develop WMD, export terrorism, or terrorize its own people.

In this presentation, originally delivered on the floor of the US Senate, Inhofe lays out the arguments for Israel's right to the lands it currently holds. He outlines seven reasons:  Archaeological Evidence, Historical Fact, Agricultural Superiority, Humanitarian Concern, and the fact that Israel is a Strategic Ally, a Roadblock to Terror and has a Biblical...

"I appeal tonight to the leaders of the Arab countries and say: Let us meet. Let us talk about peace. Let us make peace. I am willing to meet at any time, at any place, in Damascus, in Riyadh, in Beirut, and in Jerusalem as well."

"The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), negotiated between the United States and the Russian Federation, is a follow-on agreement to the original START Treaty between the U.S. and the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan that expired in December 5, 2009. Signed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev on April 8, 2010, New START significantly advances our leadership on...

"The U.S. government considers its strategic relationship with Nigeria, Africa's largest producer of oil and its second largest economy, to be among the most important on continent."

"In his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama highlighted 21st century nuclear dangers, declaring that to overcome these grave and growing threats, the United States will 'seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.' He recognized that such an ambitious goal could not be reached quickly – perhaps, he said, not in his lifetime. But the President expressed his...

This speech set the tone for the Obama administration's attitude toward the Muslim world, and toward the Israeli/Palestinian question.

President Obama speaks to the United Nations about the state of some of the more troubled nations of the world. He reiterates America's allegiance to the UN with the common goal of seeking peace throughout the world.

"Thank you so much. Thank you for this wonderful welcome. Thank you to the people of Prague. Thank you to the people of the Czech Republic. (Applause.) Today, I'm proud to stand here with you in the middle of this great city, in the center of Europe. (Applause.) And, to paraphrase one of my predecessors, I am also proud to be the man who brought Michelle Obama to Prague. (Applause.)

To...

John Quincy Adams delivered this brief speech to the United States House of Representatives while he was serving as U.S. Secretary of State.

"The 112th Congress has focused on measures to reduce the federal budget deficit. This backdrop may continue to influence congressional debate over a top-ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan—a country vital to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability and even credibility as a U.S. ally."

"The Partnership for Growth effort aims to rapidly expand broad-based economic growth in El Salvador under an overarching commitment to democracy, sustainable development, and human rights. In order to achieve these goals, the Governments of El Salvador and the United States acknowledge the importance of a well-functioning market economy and the critical role of the private sector in leading...

"El Salvador and the United States have embarked on a new Partnership for Growth (PFG) to mobilize the traditional and non-traditional resources of both governments to remove obstacles and identify opportunities for broad-based economic growth in El Salvador. The PFG is an unprecedented bilateral collaboration based on a focused and deliberate strategy to generate the greatest possible impact...

"The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups, some of which are on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People's Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea."

President Clinton congratulates Israel as it celebrates its 50th birthday as a nation.

"Upon his return from London, Mr. Carter stated that Israel has a special relationship with the U.S. entitling it to special treatment in the arms sales policy he was developing. This assurance came after a series of negative decisions regarding arms sales to Israel that were viewed in Jerusalem with growing concern. In an effort to alleviate such fears, the President also said that there...

This analysis underscores the importance of leaving Iraq as a stable democratic society.

"On New Year’s Day 2012, the U.S. relief and reconstruction mission in Iraq will enter a new phase. Under the guiding polestar of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, the deining characteristic of this new phase will be the State Department’s complete responsibility for the full constellation of continuing eforts to assist the Iraqi government’s economic, security, and governance...

The President spoke on the long history of friendship and alliance between France and the United States in Cannes, France. After some tensions with France during the Bush administration, President Obama and President Sarkozy have been quite amicable for the past several years.

This report on the implementation of Department of Defense Directive 3000.05 is provided as requested by House Report 109-452 accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007.

President Reagan addresses the instability in the Middle East. He calls for a broad regional peace, not simply peace between Israel and Lebanon.

Senator McCain expresses his disagreement with the proposed plan by Senator Feingold to withdraw troops from Iraq.

This site provides an extensive archive of the speeches delivered at the Democratic National Convention of 2008, sorted by speaker or topic.

"On behalf of the people of the United States, President Obama congratulates the people and government of Israel on the 61st anniversary of Israel’s independence. The United States was the first country to recognize Israel in 1948, minutes after its declaration of independence, and the deep bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Israel remain as strong and unshakeable as ever. The...

"Tajikistan is a significant country in Central Asia by virtue of its geographic location bordering China and Afghanistan and its ample water and other resources, but it faces ethnic and clan schisms, deep poverty, poor governance, and other severe challenges. Tajikistan was one of the poorest of the new states that gained independence at the end of 1991 after the break-up of the former Soviet...

This is an analysis of where Republican and Democratic candidates stood on the issue of Iraq prior to the 2008 election.

Belasco gives an incredibly thorough and specific picture of how America's defense spending is allocated.

"The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. New START provides the parties with seven years to reduce their forces, and will remain in force for a total of 10 years. The New START Treaty limits each side to no more than 800 deployed and nondeployed ICBM and SLBM launchers and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. Within that...

Sandra Keiser, the Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs, speaks about the special relationship which the United States and United Kingdom have.

"The United States established diplomatic relations with Bahrain in 1971 following its independence from the United Kingdom."

"El Salvador is a key partner in efforts to dampen the threats posed by transnational criminal organizations and gangs. The country has been a strong, durable partner on security and defense issues. However, endemic crime and impunity threaten El Salvador's progress by undermining the legitimacy of state institutions and impeding economic growth. U.S. policy toward El Salvador promotes the...

"The United States established diplomatic relations with Georgia in 1992 following Georgia's 1991 independence from the Soviet Union."

"Honduras has traditionally been an ally of the United States."

"The United States established diplomatic relations with Indonesia in 1949, following its independence from the Netherlands."

"The United States recognized the Philippines as an independent state and established diplomatic relations with it in 1946. Except for the 1942-45 Japanese occupation during World War II, the Philippines had been under U.S. sovereignty since the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898."

"The United States established diplomatic relations with Uganda in 1962, following its formal independence from the United Kingdom. Post-independence, the country saw a mix of tribal rivalries, insurgencies, military coups, dictatorships, and elections. U.S. relations with Uganda were strained by the human rights abuses of several Ugandan governments."

This resolution, which was drafted following World War II, separated the territory into two separate states, one Arabic (Palestine) and one Jewish (Israel) with Jerusalem as an international city.

The father of The Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel became a close and key ally of the United States as the Soviet Union began to collapse. Havel and the Czechs worked closely with the United States as they strove for independence and a secure nation. This speech was one of his most famous in the United States.

George WashingtonPreparing to leave office, Washington wrote his now famous "Farewell Address" to placate American concerns that a country without his leadership could not survive. Washington stresses the importance of unity, the supremacy of the...

Books

FAQs

Missile defense. It's been talked about for decades, some of us even grew up watching Patriot missiles shoot down Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. But where do things stand today? Is it still needed? Should I care? Those questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.

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Education history in America is important to know. ITO traces how education has changed from the colonial period to present day America.
At Intellectual Takeout, we think it's about time freedom went viral. Before our generation is the opportunity to embrace freedom, to unleash each individual's potential, and to have a prosperous future. And yet it seems that almost everyone running our cities, states, and federal government is intent on destroying freedom and burying us in debt to pay for it. If you, like us, believe that...
In the genre of documentaries revealing the problems with public education, "Kids Aren't Cars" focuses on helping us understand how schools are modeled after a factory system and what we need to do to change them. Understandably, treating kids as if they are a product to be manufactured has had detrimental effects on children going through the system and the overall level of education in America...
"Many parents and taxpayers feel helpless because the problems can seem so monumental. 'Kids Aren't Cars' director Kyle Olson reviews what he learned in the filmmaking process and the small things individuals can do that will add up to make a big difference." Here's Kyle being interviewed on a few things you can do and share with friends, family, and educators: Part 1Part 2
We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile: If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely ...
Tired of business getting a bum rap? We are, too. Here's your chance to share on Facebook the good news that business is good, beautiful, and makes life better.
While many documentaries on the education system focus on various examples of failure, "Flunked" takes a bit different tack. While certainly acknowledging and exposing the failures of the system, "Flunked" also seeks out individuals and approaches that ARE working in education. The hope is that these points of hope may serve as examples for others working in education.  Here's the trailer:...
Okay, so your friends and family keep telling you to jump on the social media bandwagon, but you have no idea what the fuzz is about. Here’s the deal: The Internet gives liberty-loving folk like us an opportunity we have never had before: to make the case for individual liberty, limited government and free market economics instantly and globally. But with the vast amounts of information...

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Looking for an internship? If so, Intellectual Takeout has an opportunity for you. We have plenty of work to do as well as ideas to spread, and we need your help to get it done. If you're interested in an internship with Intellectual Takeout, you likely share our passion and you're excited about the possibility of working for a great cause. That said, you might have a few questions about what "...
The Association of American Educators (AAE) advances the teaching profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting excellence in education so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.
Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
Curiously, not a few individuals are realizing that their education (K-12 and even college) neglected to provide them with as much understanding of the world as they would like. At Intellectual Takeout, we believe that however you feel about your education, there is still much to be learned. To that end, we'd like to refer you to one book and a collection of "study guides" that serve as...
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s). Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private...
Know your rights with Flex Your Rights guide to the "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."
In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
Watch "Waiting for Superman" to learn about the problems with the public education system.
Another movie that tells the story of the failing public school model in the United States is “The Lottery”. It takes its own unique look at the systems by focusing on the use of lotteries to choose which children will be plucked from failing public schools and put into more successful public charter schools. Here’s the trailer:  You can watch the whole movie right now with the help of Hulu...
While there are a variety of really good documentaries about the failing public school systems in America, "The Cartel" stands alone in its frontal assault on the teacher unions, particularly those in New Jersey. If you'd like to get an inside look into how some teacher unions operate and the effects they have on education, you'll want to watch "The Cartel."From the movie's website: "This movie...
How often do you hear conservatives being called a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Here's the reality: Conservatism, classical liberalism, and libertarianism have a rich, intellectual heritage reaching back many millennia. Our ideas are not just some historical relics from bygone eras; they are the very foundation of Western Civilization in general, amd the United States in particular....
Sadly (or happily for some), life goes on after college. So does the fight for freedom. Building friendships, networking, and growing the movement is critical after college. If our ideas are to be preserved and promoted, you need to stay involved. Plus, in a time when the individual seems to be ever more isolated and adrift, these groups can help plug you into social networks you can use....
Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
A great way to make a difference on your campus by spreading the ideas of individual rights, limited government, and free markets is to tutor. Plus, you can occasionally make a little bit of money. Depending on the subject matter, you will be discussing a variety of ideas, key thinkers, and theories. As anyone who has tutored knows, there are almost always opportunities to expand upon a topic....

On Campus

We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...
When it comes to campus life injustices, student fees rank high on any list. On most campuses across the country a mandatory student fee is assessed to each student at the beginning of the year. A portion of this fee, which may be several hundred dollars, will go toward funding various political, religious, and interest groups.  A college requiring you to support groups espousing ideas which...
If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
Now that you're at college and the initial excitement has worn off, maybe you're thinking that the course selection is a bit biased and you'd like some options. So how do you (the consumer) get the college (the business) to change up its offerings? It certainly won't be easy. Nevertheless it's something that should be done--particularly since you're footing the bill. A good, education in a free...
Whatever activism you choose to do on campus, you need to get your story out. A popular tactic used by the Left is to isolate and intimidate freedom-loving students. You're not alone and there are a lot of people in your city, state, and country that can probably support your efforts. They just need to know what is happening. Whenever you can, record in-class bias, discrimination against...
The reality is that most students (and people for that matter) won't speak out. It's called human nature and it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence: "...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." While you might feel alone when debating a teacher,...
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, speech codes are a particularly odious example of politically correct repression on many a college campus. In some ways, college campuses are the least free places for thinking and speech in America. Your best friend for fighting your school's repressive speech codes is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here's a short clip...
Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you. If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in...

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