The Swoop: Washington’s World: October 3rd – 9th, 2011 – Diplomacy vs Jobs

The Swoop: Washington’s World: October 3rd – 9th, 2011 – Diplomacy vs Jobs
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“Administration officials are breathing a sigh of relief that the Palestinian application for admission to the UN has not yet reached the Security Council for a vote. The policy of veto, as made clear by President Obama, remains completely intact, but the White House is pleased that it has won a delay.

It is further delighted at the successful assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, the Al-Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsular.

Behind the scenes, some officials at the National Security Council are beginning to worry that the US approach to the “Arab Spring” is starting to veer back to the traditional US priority for stability over reform. One official cautioned privately: “To set up the right circumstances which permitted the Awlaki killing, we had to make a number of concession to the Yemeni government, involving the return of President Saleh. There are inconsistent with our reform agenda. We are most concerned that the Egyptian military is receiving the wrong message and will try to delay democratic elections and crack down on participants.”

An equally serious problem concerns relations with Pakistan. The internal debate as to allowing Admiral Mullen, the outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to accuse publicly the Pakistan government of complicity with the Haqqani network rumbles on in the White House. Intelligence officials have no doubt that their Pakistani counterparts are, as they commented privately, “highly flexible” in the relationships they run, but they question whether it makes sense to put this public searchlight onto the issue. Our judgment, however, is the evidence is compelling that it would likely have become public. So US military officials will not back away from these claim, thus keeping Washington’s relationship with Islamabad inn a constant state of tension.

With regard to China, the US $6 billion arms refurbishment package has provoked what US officials see as a “moderate” reaction from China. Some joint military exercises have been postponed, but the reaction has been less harsh than expected.

Finally, the announcement that Russian Prime Minister Putin will likely resume his tenure as Russia’s president following next March’s election did not come as a surprise in Washington but was nonetheless a grave disappointment. While many US officials saw the current President simply as a place-holder for Putin, nonetheless he was seen as more reform minded. Washington is preparing for tougher bargaining with Moscow.”


Photos Credit: F16 at Hsinchu Air Base – Taiwan By Buddy8d / FlickR – PRedator Drone By Doctress Neutopia / FlickR