Morning Brief, Thursday, January 11

The Surge Naturally, everyone’s talking about Bush’s big Iraq speech (and the associated plan -pdf ). David Sanger of the Times calls it a “major tactical shift,” but labels Bush’s argument about the risks of failure to to be old news, while his colleagues Helene Cooper and Marz Mazetti focus on the stern warning Bush ...

604920_bush_library_05.jpg
604920_bush_library_05.jpg

The Surge

Naturally, everyone's talking about Bush's big Iraq speech (and the associated plan -pdf ). David Sanger of the Times calls it a "major tactical shift," but labels Bush's argument about the risks of failure to to be old news, while his colleagues Helene Cooper and Marz Mazetti focus on the stern warning Bush delivered to Iran. In the Post, Peter Baker explores the significance of Bush admitting mistakes, while William Arkin flags Bush's "evident willingness to go to war with Syria and Iran to seek peace" in Iraq. Underscoring his argument: U.S. forces nabbed another 5 Iranians in a raid on Tehran's consular offices in Irbil, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq. Iran is bringing in the Swiss to mediate.

Democrats in the House are planning to block funding for Bush's troop increase. Their confidence is likely bolstered by a new poll showing that 61 percent of American's oppose the move, with 52 percent strongly against. The numbers look slightly better for the president among those who actually watched his speech, but he's still running against the grain of public opinion. Even some prominent Republicans are distancing themselves from his plan.

The Surge

Naturally, everyone’s talking about Bush’s big Iraq speech (and the associated plan -pdf ). David Sanger of the Times calls it a “major tactical shift,” but labels Bush’s argument about the risks of failure to to be old news, while his colleagues Helene Cooper and Marz Mazetti focus on the stern warning Bush delivered to Iran. In the Post, Peter Baker explores the significance of Bush admitting mistakes, while William Arkin flags Bush’s “evident willingness to go to war with Syria and Iran to seek peace” in Iraq. Underscoring his argument: U.S. forces nabbed another 5 Iranians in a raid on Tehran’s consular offices in Irbil, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq. Iran is bringing in the Swiss to mediate.

Democrats in the House are planning to block funding for Bush’s troop increase. Their confidence is likely bolstered by a new poll showing that 61 percent of American’s oppose the move, with 52 percent strongly against. The numbers look slightly better for the president among those who actually watched his speech, but he’s still running against the grain of public opinion. Even some prominent Republicans are distancing themselves from his plan.

Elsewhere

Chris Dodd announced he’s running for U.S. president. Strange timing.

The House is ready to pass stem cell legislation.

In Afghanistan, NATO and Afghan troops killed as many as 150 Taliban militants.

Daniel Ortega is back as president of Nicaragua. No word yet on whether he’s planning an 80s retro bash to celebrate.

Even as OPEC is getting antsy about falling oil prices, Swiss Re warns about an oil price shock sometime in the next 10 years.

China’s trade deficit with the U.S. reached an all-time high of over $177 billion last year, and its stock market passed the $1 trillion mark yesterday.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.