Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal and author of the Capital Journal column. Follow my writings, posts and appearances at t.co/Skn602hyP3

Obama Struggles With a Messy Middle East

wsj.com — The Middle East has descended into a state of disarray unusual even for that troubled region, imperiling President Barack Obama's policy dreams and leaving him with limited ability to control events. The latest complication has erupted in Yemen, where rebel forces backed by Iran have driven out the country's president and are expanding their control southward across the country.

Ted Cruz’s Call in Sync With GOP Voters’ Fears, Priorities

blogs.wsj.com — Sen. Ted Cruz officially kicked off the 2016 presidential campaign by announcing his candidacy Monday, and along the way issued a clarion call for the U.S. to battle Islamic extremism: "Imagine a president who says we will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name," he said in his announcement speech at Liberty University.

As 2016 Race Begins, National Security Moves to Front Burner

wsj.com — A lawyer approaching trial knows it is important to develop a theory of the case-that is, a succinct statement of what his argument is all about. So it is with candidates approaching a presidential election. Their first job is to figure out what, in a nutshell, the country is most concerned about in the extended quadrennial argument that is a national campaign.

Tom Cotton, the Man Behind the Explosive Iran Letter

blogs.wsj.com — A letter signed by 47 Senate Democrats warning Iranian leaders that the next president could simply toss out any nuclear deal that Congress doesn't approve represented a loud shot across the bow of both American and Iranian nuclear negotiators.It also represented a kind of Senate coming-out party for Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

GOP Senators Thrust Themselves Into Iran Talks

wsj.com — A classic quandary facing any Congress is deciding just how deeply to get involved in the making of foreign policy. It's an area where the president usually is given wide berth, and lawmakers traditionally are wary of getting too invested on the front end of tough international decisions, because that means they own the messy consequences of a bad decision on the back end.

Reagan’s Lessons for Obama on Israel, Iran and Working With Congress

blogs.wsj.com — The president is at loggerheads with the leader of Israel over a big foreign-policy initiative. Israeli officials and their supporters begin working hard to block the president in Congress. Lawmakers from the opposition party seem prepared to heed the call and block the White House's initiative.

Getting Past the Partisan Passions of Netanyahu’s Speech

wsj.com — Tuesday's speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be half foreign-policy event, half partisan spectacle, which raises a question: Is this a sign that national security, once thought to be at least slightly above the political fray, is becoming just another exercise in today's polarized Washington?

Theodore Hesburgh: A Life at the Intersection of Change and Progress

blogs.wsj.com — A few years ago, the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, retired as president of the University of Notre Dame, sat in his office high atop the university's library building and, though already in his 90s, talked with remarkable clarity about one of the many issues he knew well: immigration policy.

White House-Netanyahu Rift Isn’t Over the Speech, but the Deal

wsj.com — As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to Washington for a controversial speech to Congress next week, the immediate problem isn't that he and the Obama administration disagree. At the moment, the problem actually is that they seem to agree on this: As things stand now, the Israeli leader is virtually certain to oppose and try to block the deal the U.S.

France’s Pain Helps Explain Islamic Extremism’s Causes

wsj.com — Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister and a man on the front lines in the struggle against Islamic extremism, was in Washington a few days ago, and over dinner he mused about what France has learned in the newest chapter of that struggle.
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Mar 26, 2015

"Upheaval in the Middle East has again redefined role of the U.S. and its key allies & rivals."on.wsj.com/1GYSJ7v via @WSJPolitics

Mar 26, 2015

Gee, sometimes CW is wrong. A bipartisan agreement on entitlement reform (well, a modest reform)! on.wsj.com/1EVMn8N

Mar 25, 2015

RT @greg_ip: Dynamic scoring gives policy makers better information. How they use it is up to them. on.wsj.com/1BMnY0X via @WSJ

Mar 25, 2015

The prospects are a bit grim for the Atlanta Braves this year. Flip side: Good news for Nationals: navyyardnotes.blogspot.com/2015/03/nl-eas…

Mar 25, 2015

Hasn't gotten much attention, but House Republicans again are trying a bit of Medicare reform: washingtonexaminer.com/a-chance-to-st… via @DCExaminer

Mar 25, 2015

Best early-morning summary of what's up in Washington? Capital Journal Daybreak newsletter. Sign up: on.wsj.com/CapitalJournal…

Mar 24, 2015

Republicans: Worried about terrorism, willing to send troops to fight Islamic State. blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/…

Mar 24, 2015

What will the 2016 race be about? Increasingly, national security is elbowing its way onstage. wsj.com/articles/as-20…

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