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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Afghanistan Update: Ryan Criticizes the Withdrawal Plan

by Newsteam Staff
An Afghan boy peeks out of his home to watch a U.S. paratrooper walking past near the town of Ahmad Khel in Afghanistan's Paktiya Province July 16, 2012 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters). An Afghan boy and a U.S. paratrooper in Afghanistan's Paktiya Province July 16, 2012 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

At a New Hampshire town hall Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan answered several questions about foreign policy, including making several remarks critical about U.S. plans for leaving Afghanistan (ABC). Read more »

Midday Update: Obama, Romney Link Energy to Jobs

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: People listen to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak at the American Energy Corporation in Beallsville, Ohio August 14, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: People listen to U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak at the American Energy Corporation in Beallsville, Ohio August 14, 2012 (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters).

President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney sparred on energy policy from two different states Tuesday (LAT),  with Obama promoting wind energy in Iowa and Romney backing coal in Ohio. Read more »

Afghanistan Update: GOP Still Vague on Romney’s Plan

by Newsteam Staff
A member of a Female Engagement Team attached to Chosen Company of the 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry gives candy to children in Afghanistan's Paktiya Province July 16, 2012 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters). A member of the U.S. military in Afghanistan's Paktiya Province July 16, 2012 (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has said he disagrees with President Barack Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan, but ForeignPolicy.com reports that he has not yet adequately addressed what he would do differently, challenging even members of his own party. Read more »

Syria Update: Obama’s Caution on Intervention Criticized

by Newsteam Staff
Demonstrators take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Talbiseh, near Homs, May 25, 2012 (Shaam News Network/Courtesy Reuters). Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Talbiseh, near Homs, May 25, 2012 (Shaam News Network/Courtesy Reuters).

Violence in Syria is back in the campaign spotlight as President Barack Obama faces tough criticism from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his handling of the escalating situation. Read more »

Weekend Roundup: Axelrod Makes Obama’s Economic Case

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: An audience member looks at the program for the Franklin County Lincoln Day Dinner in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2012 (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: An audience member looks at the program for the Franklin County Lincoln Day Dinner in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, April 22, 2012 (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters).

President Obama’s chief campaign strategist, David Axelrod, says the economy is “moving in the right direction,” with last quarter’s job creation and manufacturing numbers the best they have been in years. Axelrod made the Sunday morning talk show rounds, appearing on both Meet the Press (NBC) and State of the Union (CNN). Read more »

Tracking the Issues: The Ebbing Support for the Afghan War

by Newsteam Staff
U.S. servicemen board a transport plane bound for Afghanistan March 27, 2012 (Vladimir Pirogov/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. servicemen board a transport plane bound for Afghanistan March 27, 2012 (Vladimir Pirogov/Courtesy Reuters).

The bottom has fallen out for support for the war in Afghanistan from U.S. voters and is putting the squeeze on GOP presidential candidates, who must navigate between their party’s hawkish line and the public’s growing impatience.
Read more »

Weekend Roundup: Voters Still Feeling the Bite of Gas Hikes

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: Supporters listen to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum during a "Rally for Rick" at John Boos and Co. in Effingham, Illinois March 17, 2012. (Sarah Conard/Courtesy Rueters) Photo of the Day: Supporters listen to Rick Santorum in Effingham, Illinois March 17, 2012. (Sarah Conard/Courtesy Rueters)

Polls show rising gas prices have hurt middle-class buying power even as the economy rebounds. Gas prices are up 17 percent, for 2012 through according to the American Automobile Association, 7.5 percent higher than a year ago (Bloomberg). Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Afghan War Wearing Thin for Many Voters

by Newsteam Staff
A U.S. soldier eastern Afghanistan March 10, 2012. (Erik De Castro/Courtesy Reuters) A U.S. soldier eastern Afghanistan March 10, 2012. (Erik De Castro/Courtesy Reuters)

A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 60 percent of voters  say the war in Afghanistan is no longer worth the cost (WashPost), with Republicans evenly divided on whether the war has justified its price for the first time in five years. Of those polled, 54 percent  want to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan even if the Afghan army is not adequately trained to carry on the fight. The survey was conducted in the days immediately before the deaths of sixteen civilians (NYT) allegedly at the hands of an U.S. serviceman. Read more »

Overnight Roundup: GOP Candidates Tout Defense Plans

by Newsteam Staff
Photo of the Day: Presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, March 8, 2012 (Billy Weeks/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, March 8, 2012 (Billy Weeks/Courtesy Reuters).

At a campaign stop Mississippi, GOP candidate Mitt Romney said he would spend more on defense (BellinghamHerald) from building more ships and aircraft to adding 100,000 new active-duty personnel and improving veterans’ benefits. “I happen to think that a strong America is the best ally peace has ever known,” he said. Read more »

Tracking the Issues: Obama’s Syria Message Heard on the Hill

by Newsteam Staff
C2012-Syria-shelling-0306

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta went before Congress Wednesday to discuss the ongoing violence in Syria, carrying President Obama’s message for continued diplomacy over calls for air strikes. Panetta said (NYT) that Syrian air defenses are five times more robust than that of Libya, where a no-fly zone was quickly and easily established during the uprising against former Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. There are also questions about  who is leading the forces opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he said. Read more »