The recent and growing attention to the critical situation in Yemen, where al Qaeda's presence is spreading and the government is weak and does not control much of the physical space, is perhaps the best argument for pursuing a vigorous Afghanistan policy.
The details of the thwarted attack on Northwest 253 on Christmas are still emerging. Nevertheless, there are several issues worth exploring even as investigations continue. Many commentators seem to feel that this event requires a major rethinking of our approach to counter-terrorism.
In 2010, one New Year's resolution for the Obama administration would be to retire the entire "Russia reset" meme. From its ill-omened launch with the presentation of a button by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – inscribed in Latin (not Cyrillic) letters with a Russian word that implies a party is being shortchanged – the "reset" has labored under an apparent curse.
Sarwar Kashmeri, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's International Security Program, continues his interview with Mark Mardell, North America editor of the BBC, for the New Atlanticist Podcast Series. In this second installment, Mardell discussed relations between NATO allies.