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The Takeaway

Africa: Hillary Clinton's Seven-Nation Tour

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins her seven-country tour of the African continent tomorrow. Will this trip signal a new day for U.S. foreign policy or will it be an extended overseas photo-op? To examine her agenda and its possible implications, The Takeaway is joined by Will Ross of the BBC in Nairobi, and Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation

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The Takeaway

Israel Expands Under America's Critical Eye

Monday, August 03, 2009

Yesterday, Israeli security forces evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. The families waged a lengthy court battle to block the eviction, but failed in their mission to remain in their homes. The issue of settlements has been a roadblock to peace negotiations and been a point of contention in the U.S.-Israel relationship. Joining The Takeaway with more is BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

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The Takeaway

Hillary Clinton and North Korea: A War of Words

Thursday, July 23, 2009

North Korea and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have launched a war of words. In a speech in Thailand, where she is attending a regional summit, Secretary Clinton urged North Korea to renounce nuclear weapons; North Korea's official media responded by calling Clinton "an unintelligent funny lady." North Korea also announced that the six-party talks on disarmament were dead. Jill McGivering, the BBC's Asia correspondent, joins The Takeaway to explain what's at stake.

Here is more on Secretary Clinton's trip to the ASEAN summit and her call for changes in Myanmar and North Korea:

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The Takeaway

Vice President Biden has Georgia on His Mind

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden is in Georgia today. The former Soviet republic is an independent nation, but has been at war with Russia in order to keep Moscow at bay. The vice president made it clear that the U.S. stands with Georgia, but it is unclear whether that support extends to selling weapons to the nation, a move that could make Russia very nervous. For more of the story, The Takeaway is joined by Steven Eke, the BBC's Russia anaylst.

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The Takeaway

Tough Talk: Secretary Clinton's Message to Iran

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is getting tough on Iran. Speaking from Thailand today she announced that the U.S. is prepared to defend its allies in the Persian Gulf against any threats from Iran, which appears to be moving ahead with its nuclear program. To help us parse what the tough talk means is Jon Leyne, the BBC's Iran correspondent, who has been kicked out of the country and joins The Takeaway from London.

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The Takeaway

Hillary Clinton: One Foot in India, One in Pakistan

Monday, July 20, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in India today. Joining The Takeaway to talk about Clinton's trip and Washington's challenges in the subcontinent are Linda Blake, Wall Street Journal contributor in Delhi, India, Professor Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the Center for Policy Research in Delhi and Richard Wolffe, Daily Beast Columnist and political analyst for MSNBC.

Read Linda Blake's blog Global Reporter

"Many people are saying she's just doing the Hillary hokey pokey, left foot in India, right foot in Pakistan, and they feel really left out of the equation."
—Wall Street Journal contriburter Linda Blake on Hillary Clinton's trip to India

Watch a clip of Secretary of State Clinton's speech to India on July 15, 2009 below.

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The Takeaway

Clinton Puts Iran (and Herself) Back on Center Stage

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been out of the media spotlight lately. But yesterday she staged a coming out party in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her speech focused on Iran and she had forceful words for the Islamic nation. Mark Landler is The New York Times Diplomatic Correspondent and he joins The Takeaway with his analysis of Clinton’s speech yesterday. Also joining the conversation is Afshin Molavi, a fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Soul of Iran: A Nation's Journey to Freedom, to help us understand the shifting relationship with the U.S. and a post-crackdown Iran.

Watch Hillary Clinton's speech below:

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The Takeaway

Obama to Medvedev: We're in the Same Boat, Comrade

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

During his recent visit to Russia, President Obama made a point of repeating that the U.S. and Russia have many common interests. Do the U.S. and Russia have the same goals on the global level? Or are the former Cold War rivals still ideologically at odds? To help answer those questions, The Takeaway turns to Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution and former Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton administration. He is also the author of The Great Experiment: The Story of Ancient Empires, Modern States, and the Quest for a Global Nation.

"There is this deep, deep resentment, festering resentment about the United States. The Russians have a real case of the 'Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome' – they just feel they don't get enough respect, and they're going to stomp their feet and get more. That's their tactic."
—Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution on U.S. relations with Russia

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The Takeaway

The Changing Relationship with Russia

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

During their meeting in Moscow, Presidents Obama and Medvedev hammered out a deal to limit nuclear arsenals. Non-proliferation is the key to Obama's desire to limit arms, but when talking nukes with Russia, is it just the same old song-and-dance between the former Cold War enemies? Can the United States' relationship with Russia change? The Takeaway turns to the BBC's Defense and Security Correspondent Rob Watson and Mark Kramer, Director of the Cold War Studies Project at Harvard University and a senior fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies for their analysis.

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The Takeaway

Obama in Moscow: What Can He Accomplish?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Yesterday Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitri Medvedev signed a preliminary agreement to reduce the world's two largest nuclear stockpiles by as much as a third. Today President Obama continued to mend U.S.-Russian relations by meeting with Prime Minister Putin and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbechev. He also reached out to the Russian people, delivering a speech at the New Economic School in Moscow. Joining The Takeaway to gauge if President Obama has succeeded in rebooting our relationship with Russia isSusan Eisenhower. Granddaughter of President Eisenhower, in her own right she is a leading expert on Russia. Susan Eisenhower is the President of the Eisenhower Group. She also serves as Chairman of the Eisenhower Institute’s Leadership and Public Policy Programs. Susan Eisenhower famously broke from the Republican Party last year to endorse then candidate Barack Obama.

"There is a group of people who are in power today who only dimly remember the Cold War and even the Soviet Union."
— Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower, on the U.S. relationship with Russia

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The Takeaway

On scene with the President in Russia

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

President Obama is in Moscow where he is working to renew U.S. relations with Russia. The President met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as well as President Dmitri Medvedev. Now he has just wrapped up a speech at the New Economic School. His words were meant to reach the entire nation of Russia. To find out whether the words are resonating from Moscow to Khabarosk we turn to Clifford Levy, The New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief.

Click through for a transcript of the President's speech

Here is part one of the President's address:

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The Takeaway

Hitting the Reset Button on U.S.-Russia Relations

Monday, July 06, 2009

Today President Obama and his Russian counterpart, President Medvedev, meet in Moscow. This is the first full-fledged summit since 2002, when President Bush famously looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. This time around, the press has largely been focusing on negotiations to reduce strategic nuclear weapons. The White House, however, is stressing that this meeting is much more wide–ranging; their goal is for the U.S. to forge a substantive relationship with the Russian government and the Russian people. For a look at whether or not this can be achieved, we’re turning to Ambassador Thomas Pickering. He served as Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989-1992 and as Ambassador to Russia from 1993-1996. He is currently the co-chair of The International Crisis Group.

Click through for transcript

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The Takeaway

START-ing Over? Russia and the U.S.

Monday, July 06, 2009

President Obama and his family arrived in Russia this morning. The president is meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in the first such summit since 2002, to talk about extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). How are Russians viewing the American President's visit? The Takeaway is joined by Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs magazine.

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The Takeaway

America and Russia: Redefining the Nuclear Family

Monday, July 06, 2009

Today President Obama kicks off a week-long trip to Russia, Italy, and Ghana. He’s currently in Moscow, meeting with President Medvedev. Iran, North Korea, and plans for a U.S. missile defense system in Europe are all on the agenda, but reducing the number of strategic and other nuclear weapons gets top billing. Presidents Obama and Medvedev aim to negotiate a new pact to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in December. To gauge how effective this negotiation will be—and for a look at how this summit could redefine U.S.-Russia relations, we turn to Ambassador John Bolton. He is Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Click through for transcript

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The Takeaway

Arms Control: President Obama Heads to Russia

Friday, July 03, 2009

President Obama will head to Russia next week with arms control on the agenda. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev may agree on the outline of a deal to reduce the stocks of deployed nuclear warheads to below 1,700 on each side. For more we turn to Jonathan Marcus, the diplomatic correspondent for the BBC.

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The Takeaway

Iraq's U.N. Ambassador on the U.S. Troop Withdrawal

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Iraqi forces have taken formal control of Baghdad and other cities, following the withdrawal of American troops from urban areas. Iraqis have been celebrating the handover, some gathering in parks to party into the night. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has designated today as National Sovereignty Day. Joining The Takeaway now to discuss this milestone is the Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, Hamid al-Bayati.

"Everyone also is anticipating or being extremely careful of what is going to happen next. How are the terrorist, how are the extremist groups going to react to the withdraw of American forces?"
— Nazar Janabi, formerly of the Iraqi Minister of Defense, on the U.S. troop pullout in Iraq.

Click through for a transcript of the interview with Hamid al-Bayati.

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The Takeaway

Rogue Regime: North Korea's Challenge to Obama

Monday, June 08, 2009

North Korea has sentenced two American reporters to 12 years in a labor camp. The country detained the two women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, in March after accusing them of crossing the border illegally and conducting undefined "hostile acts." The sentencing comes amid new reports that North Korea may be planning more missile tests. What is the real threat posed by the rogue regime, and what leverage does the Obama administration have? For more we turn to David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times and the author of The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power.

For more on the conflict with North Korea, watch the video below.

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The Takeaway

Lebanon's Elections: It's the Moderates Over Hezbollah

Monday, June 08, 2009

In Lebanon, hotly-contested parliamentary elections have ended with a win for a U.S.-backed political alliance. The Lebanese opposition, headed by militant Hezbollah, is backed by Syria and Iran; American diplomats did not want to see Hezbollah in charge of a pivotal Mideast nation.The Takeaway is joined by Natalia Antelava, a BBC correspondent in Beirut.

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The Takeaway

How Obama's Speech Played in Iran

Thursday, June 04, 2009

In his message to the Muslim world, President Obama made special mention of Iran's history of hostage-taking and violence against Americans as well as America's own history of meddling in Iranian politics. The President's comments came after a so-called "prebuttal" of his speech by Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, who claimed the U.S. was "deeply hated" in the Middle East. Jon Leyne, the BBC's Tehran Correspondent, joins us with reactions to the President's speech from Iran and Marcus Mabry, international business editor for the New York Times, joins us in New York.

"He's making this speech just before not just the Iranian elections, but also the Lebanese elections. It kind of indicates to me a touching American faith in the strength of democracy in these countries."

— BBC's Jon Leyne on President Obama's speech

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The Takeaway

Assessing the Global Response To Obama's Words

Thursday, June 04, 2009

President Obama called for a new beginning for the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world. How is the Arab world reacting: what did they want to hear about Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and women's rights? And what do they want to happen next? The Takeaway turns to Amir Moussa, the Secretary-General of the Arab League and former Egyptian foreign minister, Marcus Mabry, the international business editor for the New York Times, and Muna Shikaki, a correspondent for Al Arabiya, an Arabic news network.

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