Briefing Skipper: Mitchell, Goldstone Report, Uganda, Campbell
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by spokesman Ian Kelly: Mideast envoy George Mitchell had a "good" meeting (thanks, Ian) with Benjamin Netanyahu and will meet him again tomorrow. Frustrated by the lack of a readout, a ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of today’s briefing by spokesman Ian Kelly:
- Mideast envoy George Mitchell had a "good" meeting (thanks, Ian) with Benjamin Netanyahu and will meet him again tomorrow. Frustrated by the lack of a readout, a reporter we’ll call "Captain Obvious" skewered Kelly with the observation, "The last time you described a meeting as positive, between Mitchell and the Israelis, it was anything but." Mitchell was also meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas, breaking bread with the latter at an Iftar dinner tonight. Next on Mitchell’s tour: Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "has no plans" to travel to the Middle East despite rumors that she will go to Israel in the October/November timeframe for the U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue. Those meetings are typically led by the under secretary for political affairs, Kelly said, without actually saying that this will be the case the next time around.
- The State Department is still trying to "digest" the Goldstone Report ("We don’t read that fast," Kelly said), which accuses both Israel and the Palestinians of war crimes during the latest Gaza offensive. He added, "Mr. Goldstone makes serious allegations, and we want to take time to review them."
- Now is just not a good time to go to Kampala, Uganda, apparently.
- Newly minted Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, who was sworn in this morning, is headed to Japan Thursday to meet with the new government led by the Democratic Party of Japan. Sugoi, desu ne!
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?
The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.
Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World
It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.
It’s a New Great Game. Again.
Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing
The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.