Swoop: Washington’s World: February 13th – 19th, 2012 – Observation

Swoop: Washington’s World: February 13th – 19th, 2012 – Observation
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Swoop: “With opinion polls continuing to show extremely low levels of interest in foreign policy among American voters, only dramatic events receive attention. Often, this has more connection to politics than to substance. In that category we would place the continuing debate over Iran. With no new information released into the public domain, speculation – and criticism of President Obama from conservative political leaders – continues at a high level about the prospects of an attack on Iran by Israel, the US or both.

Conversations with our Administration contacts suggest, however, that the underlying situation has not changed, specifically the US does not plan military action against Iran. The Israeli attitude is less predictable. Although senior officials remain actively engaged in seeking to dissuade the Israelis from this course of action, we have detected in the minds of many a degree of inevitability that Israel will do as it pleases without reference to Washington’s preferences.

June 7th, 1981 – Operation Opera – F16 HUD Footage
A flight of Israeli Air Force F-16A fighter aircraft, with an escort of F-15As, bombed and heavily damaged the Osirak reactor in Iraq.

Of greater immediate interest will be the visit to Washington of Xi Jinping, the expected new President of China. US policy toward China is facing several ways simultaneously as trade, finance, military strategy, human rights and cyber warfare compete to define the relationship. Our expectation is that US attitudes to China will remain conflicted until what Chinese officials call the “trust deficit ” is repaired. This will not happen during Xi’s visit. The Chinese veto of the UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria has created an awkward backdrop for Xi. More widely on Syria, US concern is rising rapidly.

However, in contrast to the build-up to US actions against Libya, very different dynamics are in play. Obama’s closest advisers are urging him to stay away from direct engagement. Our expectation is that US involvement will remain strictly diplomatic and humanitarian.

Behind the scenes, US attention is more keenly focused on Egypt where the unresolved detention of American citizens is unsettling relations.

Developments over Syria have also roiled relations with Russia. The US is seeking to remain engaged with Russian civil society, but there is rising foreboding that the likely return to the Russian presidency by Vladimir Putin will severely aggravate relations with Moscow. ”

Source: http://theswoop.net
Photo Credits
: On the Iranian Border By ChuckHolton / FlickR