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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - William J. Burns
Leading up to Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Beijing this week, senior U.S. diplomats have engaged in a series of direct conversations with their Chinese counterparts to protest the Chinese military's attempt to carve out a new air defense zone in the East China Sea.
Away from pomp and fanfare surrounding the multiparty talks in Geneva that resulted in this weekend's nuclear deal with Iran, senior Obama administration officials and other sources are now revealing that U.S. and Iran actually, and very secretly, have been engaged in high-level direct talks for more than a year.
At least seven people were killed and more than 200 injured in clashes in Cairo between Egyptian police and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi early Tuesday.
The first senior-level U.S. diplomat to visit Egypt since the military coup against President Mohammed Morsi was snubbed on Monday — by both Islamists and their opponents.
Republican critics say the State Department's internal report on the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, does not address questions about the military's actions and how Cabinet officials responded to the assault that night and why they misrepresented it afterward.
Congressional hearings on the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, fell into partisan bickering Thursday, with Democrats blaming the incident on a lack of security funding and Republicans accusing the State Department of misspending the funds it has received.
A brewing conflict between Congress and the Obama administration broke into the open Thursday as several lawmakers were critical about a briefing on the Sept. 11 anniversary attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya, which the administration had said was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam video.
While speculation in the political world over Mitt Romney's vice presidential choice courses through the summer barbecue circuit, an equally juicy topic is beginning to bubble up among foreign policy analysts: Who might be secretary of state in a Romney administration?
Several months before a Senegalese court was scheduled to rule on one of the most divisive issues facing the nation, the country's aging president took extra care to ensure that his interpretation of the law would prevail not only in Senegal, but also in Washington.
"Don't do it." That is the message American officials, from President Obama on down, are delivering to their Israeli counterparts in the hope of dissuading the Jewish state from taking a fateful step: attacking Iran to prevent the mullahs' imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons.
The Obama administration and Sen. John F. Kerry are pushing for Senate ratification of the controversial Law of the Sea Treaty amid heightened tensions over Chinese maritime aggressiveness stemming from the 1982 pact.
A Pentagon program to rush 21 helicopters to Afghan military forces in time for this summer's fighting season was derailed by the Obama administration's conciliatory policy toward Russia and by Army procurement missteps amid allegations of corruption, according to current and former defense officials and military contractors.
A forthcoming study by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board concludes that an Obama administration plan to shoot down long-range Iranian missiles shortly after launch will not work.
The Russian government routinely brutalizes prisoners, jails them in harsh climates, confines them to tiny isolation cells and allows infectious disease to spread through the incarcerated population, according to a confidential memo from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
What Russia needs
Mr. Burns said that only Egyptians can determine their future.
"If representatives of some of the largest parties in Egypt are detained or excluded, how are dialogue and participation possible?" he said Monday in Cairo.