John R. Bolton (Continuación)

The Post asked experts what should happen in Egypt after Mubarak. Below are responses from Michele Dunne, John R. Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Shadi Hamid, Aaron David Miller, Salman Shaikh, and Dina Guirguis.

After Hosni Mubarak surrenders his powers, a transitional government should oversee a process leading to free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections within six to nine months. Ideally, the transitional government should include respected figures from the Mubarak government, senior judges and members of opposition groups.

The parliament fraudulently elected in November should be dissolved (preferably as Mubarak's final act as president), the state of emergency in place since 1981 lifted, and a constitutional assembly composed of judges and civil society figures convened to draft significant amendments to the Egyptian constitution.…  Seguir leyendo »

Despite the media's recent focus on Egypt, events in Lebanon may well tell us more about the troubled prospects for Middle Eastern democracy. The fall of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government, replaced by a Hezbollah-dominated coalition, dramatically imperils Beirut's democratic Cedar Revolution.

Financed and dominated by Iran, terrorist Hezbollah has consistently refused to disarm and become a legitimate political party. Instead, it enjoys the best of both worlds, contesting elections while retaining the military ability to enforce its will against uncongenial results. History will rightly blame the West for the tragedy of the takeover in Beirut, because of its unwillingness to stand against Hezbollah and its Iranian puppet masters.…  Seguir leyendo »

France's Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie received a rude introduction to Arab-Israeli issues on Friday when irate Hamas supporters attacked her entourage in Gaza. She escaped injury but faced protesters venting disapproval of her support for freeing Hamas' long-held prisoner Israeli Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit. Ms. Alliot-Marie was not even remotely freelancing because Sgt. Shalit is a dual citizen of France and Israel, and her call for his immediate release merely restated Paris' long-held views.

Nonetheless, the Gaza violence should be a wake-up call to both France and Europe more broadly that European Union (EU) policies in the Middle East are failing badly.…  Seguir leyendo »

WikiLeaks has yet again flooded the internet with thousands of classified American documents, this time state department cables. More troubling than WikiLeaks' latest revelation of US secrets, however, is the Obama administration's weak, wrong-headed and erratic response. Unfortunately, the administration has acted consistently with its demonstrated unwillingness to assert and defend US interests across a wide range of threats, such as Iran and North Korea, which, ironically, the leaked cables amply document.

On 29 November, secretary of state Hillary Clinton lamented that this third document dump was "not just an attack on United States foreign policy and interests, [but] an attack on the international community".…  Seguir leyendo »

William Hague’s quick trip to Washington on Friday was timely indeed. Just after assuming office, the new Foreign Secretary had stressed that "it is our most urgent priority? to make sure we get a grip on what is going on in Afghanistan". Arriving right on the heels of the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Mr Hague came at a critical moment for planning both political and military aspects of the long war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda.

While there was much for Mr Hague and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to discuss, particularly the menace of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Afghanistan and the closely intertwined issue of Pakistan (hence "AfPak") reportedly predominated.…  Seguir leyendo »

Although media coverage of President Obama's unfold- ing nuclear policy has fo- cused on its implications for the United States, it is no less important to understand its effects on America's friends and allies. The New START arms control treaty with Russia, the administration's nuclear posture review, the recent Washington nuclear security summit, and the uncertainty surrounding May's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference are all reverberating in capitals worldwide.

Bad as Obama policies are for America, they are equally dangerous for friends who have relied for decades on the U.S. nuclear umbrella as a foundation of their own national security strategies.…  Seguir leyendo »

European Union leaders will meet again this week on Greece's fiscal crisis and the ongoing financial turmoil it is causing. To most Americans, the EU's problems seem remote, given our own turmoil over President Obama's zeal to radically restructure the U.S. health care system. In fact, however, profound implications for trans-Atlantic relations over the long term lie just beneath the often-impenetrable EU financial jargon. Here's why:

Greece is just one of several countries, including Spain, Portugal and perhaps Italy, that have not adequately constrained government spending. As budget deficits escalated, financial markets questioned Greece's fiscal stability; if Greece still had a national currency, it would be under enormous pressure, reflecting market concern that increased debt or inflated currency would be used to fund the deficit.…  Seguir leyendo »

With Iran's hard-line mullahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unmistakably back in control, Israel's decision of whether to use military force against Tehran's nuclear weapons program is more urgent than ever.

Iran's nuclear threat was never in doubt during its presidential campaign, but the post-election resistance raised the possibility of some sort of regime change. That prospect seems lost for the near future or for at least as long as it will take Iran to finalize a deliverable nuclear weapons capability.

Accordingly, with no other timely option, the already compelling logic for an Israeli strike is nearly inexorable. Israel is undoubtedly ratcheting forward its decision-making process.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Obama has called for a world without nuclear weapons, not as a distant goal, but as something imminently achievable. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up, saying that American and Russian “leadership” in arms control and nonproliferation was “at the top of the list” of her priorities. Although the administration may be counting on the eyelid-lowering effect of arms-control terminology to minimize Congressional and public scrutiny, its plans are deeply troubling for America.

First, the administration’s bilateral objectives with Russia play almost entirely to Moscow’s advantage, as in arms-control days of yore. Hurrying to negotiate a successor to the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty by year’s end, which Secretary Clinton has committed to, reflects a “zeal for the deal” approach that benefits only Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Obama's passivity before the threatened foreign prosecution of Bush administration officials achieves by inaction what he fears doing directly. This may be smart politics within the Democratic party, but it risks grave long-term damage to the United States. Ironically, it could also come back to bite future Obama administration alumni, including the president, for their current policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Obama has taken ambiguous, and flatly contradictory, positions on whether to prosecute Bush administration advisers and decision makers involved in "harsh interrogation techniques". Although he immunized intelligence operatives who conducted the interrogations, morale at the CIA is at record lows.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iraq's peaceful elections and strong voter turnout last weekend were a major success for both that country and the United States — not that there was much celebration in American news coverage.

The elections could also redefine Iran’s role in the region. Critics of the Iraq war claimed that overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003 strengthened Iran’s position. Had we left Mr. Hussein in power, the theory goes, Iran would be less of a global threat. This argument is fundamentally wrong.

Long before the American ouster of Mr. Hussein, Iran was supporting terrorist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank.…  Seguir leyendo »

War in the Gaza Strip demonstrates yet again that the current governance paradigm for the Palestinian people has failed. Terrorists financed and supplied by Iran control Gaza; the Palestinian Authority is broken, probably irretrievably; and economic development is stalled in Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians are suffering the consequences of regional power struggles played out through them as surrogates.

Israel isn't a happy place, either. It endures opprobrium from the world's High-Minded for defending itself from terrorism yet still finds itself subjected to terrorist attacks from Hamas and terrorists based in Syria and Lebanon. Israel's domestic politics are increasingly muddled, and its way forward obscure.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rarely has a document from the supposedly hidden world of intelligence had such an impact as the National Intelligence Estimate released this week. Rarely has an administration been so unprepared for such an event. And rarely have vehement critics of the "intelligence community" on issues such as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction reversed themselves so quickly.

All this shows that we not only have a problem interpreting what the mullahs in Tehran are up to, but also a more fundamental problem: Too much of the intelligence community is engaging in policy formulation rather than "intelligence" analysis, and too many in Congress and the media are happy about it.…  Seguir leyendo »