By Fawaz A. Gerges
Exactly a year ago, in June 2009, the then-recently installed American president, Barack Obama, made a landmark speech in Cairo symbolically to "reset" US relations with the Muslim world. He eloquently addressed critical challenges facing the US in the Muslim world and rhetorically offered a new paradigm, a new beginning, for managing relations between "America and Islam". The speech sent a clear message:
"I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."
By Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani
U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan has generally been welcomed in Pakistan. It is being seen as a vindication of the Pakistani government's long-held position that a solution to the Afghan problem should be sought through a combination of political and military means. The turmoil in Afghanistan has weighed heavily on Pakistan - more than on any other external actor related to the Afghan conflict. Thus Pakistan is genuinely keen to achieve a peaceful and stable neighbour. Its concern is to ensure that any plan for dialogue is carried to its logical conclusion, and that it does not collapse prematurely.
By Mark Lynch
The Obama administration's new National Security Strategy has been released today. It goes a long way towards providing a coherent framework for American foreign policy and national security. The document explains what the administration has been doing and offers a roadmap to where it wants to go. The most interesting -- and strongest -- part of the NSS deals with the administration's new approach to al-Qaeda. The most problematic is the gap between its strong commitment to civil liberties and the rule of law and its practice thus far with regard to things like drone strikes.
By AlJazeera Centre for Studies
Early in December 2009, and after lengthy consultations, United States president Barack Obama announced his strategy in Afghanistan. At first glance, it seemed as if the approach chosen by the U.S. president aimed at the Afghanisation of the conflict; pitting Afghans against Afghans. It also seemed that his plan was based on a specific target date by which he wanted to get American troops out of the battlefield which was inaugurated by his predecessor.
Indeed, Obama's announcement makes the war in Afghanistan an American war more than in any other period since October 2001, the date that the invasion of Afghanistan began.
By Lamis Andoni
On the eve of the 26 June 2010, an important meeting between US President Barack Obama and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was held in Toronto where the two sides exchanged soft - but poignant - warnings. Philip Gordon, the US Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, challenged Turkey to prove that it remains "committed to NATO, Europe and the United States", while Erdogan questioned whether the US was "supporting Turkey adequately in its battle against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)". The statements were the strongest public indication of emerging mutual distrust between the two allies since the crisis over an Israeli attack on a Turkish ship, which was part of the recent Gaza-bound aid flotilla, and Turkey's vote against imposing further sanctions on Iran at the United Nations Security Council.