The Obama administration opened its Middle East reassurance tour on Monday with the secretary of defense, Ashton B. Carter, promising Israeli officials that the United States would remain vigilant in trying to combat what he called “Iran’s malign influence” in the region despite the nuclear deal struck last week between Tehran and six world powers.
President Obama is open to expanding the American military footprint in Iraq with a network of bases and possibly hundreds of additional troops to support Iraqi security forces in their fight against the Islamic State, White House officials said on Thursday.
In the last year, a once-obscure extremist group has overrun some of Iraq’s major cities, seized control of oil wells, industries and banks and emerged as the world’s richest and most feared terrorist force.
President Obama took a step toward a tougher line with Israel in an interview released Tuesday, raising the possibility that the U.S. will allow a United Nations vote on issues related to the Palestinians if the two sides make no meaningful movement toward peace.
When President Obama began making the case for a deal with Iran that would delay its ability to assemble an atomic weapon, his first argument was that a nuclear-armed Iran would set off a "free-for-all" of proliferation in the Arab world. "It is almost certain that other players in the region would feel it necessary to get their own nuclear weapons," he said in 2012.
Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor of the "PBS NewsHour." The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," Gwen has covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates.