U.S. Politics | Wilson Center

U.S. Politics

Four Things That Aren't Helping the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

While the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in years escalates, rivaling that of 2014, the United States is sitting on the sidelines. Prudence is, of course, wise. Still, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Energizer bunny of U.S. diplomacy, is sending signals–almost all the wrong ones–that Washington is getting ready to engage. How the Obama administration should deal with the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far from clear. But it is clear that these four things are not helping Mr. Kerry or the situation:

After 14 Years, Still Fighting in Afghanistan

This week marked 14 years since the start of the U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan—the longest war in U.S. history.

As I have written previously, and many polls have shown, most Americans seem eager to put this war behind them. “Raising the topic of Afghanistan these days is like mentioning morality,” one observer writes. “There’s a profound desire to change the subject.”

The war’s popularity has fallen considerably from the support it had in initial years. The conflict has also largely receded from headlines.

D.C. and Delhi: Dysfunctional Democracies?

When I was in India recently, the political landscape seemed oddly familiar. Whether inside Washington’s Beltway or New Delhi’s Ring Road, the political countrysides bore remarkable similarities. In India and the United States, charismatic, forceful national leaders were trying to move forward with programs for economic change. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Modi, not unlike President Obama, had run squarely into a large dose of legislative politics as usual. What is it about these two important democracies that seems to produce dysfunction in law making?

Chinese President Xi Jinping Visits the US: A Preview

Later this month China’s President Xi Jinping will visit the United States. From economics to climate change and cyber-security, there will be no shortage of issues for discussion between him and his counterpart President Obama. For more on what to expect, we spoke with Kissinger Institute Director, Robert Daly. That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.

Kerry in Cuba: Can Relations Become “Normal”?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will take an historic trip to Havana, Cuba on August 14th to raise the stars and stripes at the U.S. embassy for the first time in over 50 years. He will be the first Secretary of State to travel there in 70 years. His visit brings to a close the first stage of diplomatic normalization with Cuba that began last December when Presidents Obama and Castro announced their intentions to do so.

What Stood Out From Obama’s Speech on Iran Deal at American University

President Obama is likely to get his Iran deal through Congress, but that’s because of his advantages in congressional math, not thanks to his powers of persuasion. Wednesday’s address was no uplifting moment like that at American University in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy delivered his “we all breathe the same air” speech in an effort to market the advantages of agreements with the Russians.

The End of WW II From Japan's Perspective and its Implications for Today

As we observe the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Shihoko Goto describes the end of war from Japan's perspective. “Japan can be a stronger regional leader by articulating its history as a whole, both as a victim and as an aggressor,” Goto says.