The Envoy
  • As the Obama administration pressed its case this week that elements of Iran's elite Qods Force brigade plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, more information has emerged about one of the alleged conspirator's ties to a brutal attack that killed five American troops in Karbala, Iraq in 2007.

    President Obama and senior officials laid out their case in a series of meetings with foreign leaders and diplomats, including a highly unusual meeting between the American and Iranian UN envoys on Wednesday.

    "We've laid the facts before them," Obama said at a press conference Wednesday with visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, referring to foreign leaders and diplomats. When they have had a chance to more closely examine the U.S. evidence, he said, "there will not be a dispute" over the American claims.

    "We believe that, even if at the highest levels there was not detailed operational knowledge, there has to be accountability with respect to anybody in the Iranian government engaging in this kind of activity," he added.

    Obama's comments came a day after Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the UN, reportedly held an unusual meeting with her Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Khazaee.

    Read More »from Alleged Iranian conspirator in assassination plot tied to 2007 attack on U.S. troops
  • Obama sends 100 U.S. military advisors to Uganda

    Joseph Kony, commander of the Lords' Resistance Army in 2006. (Stuart Price/AFP/Getty Images)The Obama administration announced plans on Friday to send about 100 U.S. forces to Uganda to act as military advisers to Ugandan and African Union forces fighting the Lords' Resistance Army (LRA). The U.S. special forces will provide information and training to assist Ugandan forces trying to apprehend the LRA's top commanders and bring them to justice, and to bring about an end the guerrilla group's two-decade campaign of atrocities, plunder and destabilization of the region, the administration said.

    President Obama announced the decision in an official notification letter to Congress Friday. In the letter, Obama said that he had sent the initial team of armed U.S. combat troops to Uganda on Oct. 12. He explained that the rest of the roughly 100 military advisers would be deployed over the next month to Uganda--as well as to the neighboring countries of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic, if they permit.

    He also said that while U.S. troops

    Read More »from Obama sends 100 U.S. military advisors to Uganda
  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Sept. 26, 2011. (David Karp/AP)Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give a major address on her vision for economic statecraft in New York Friday. In the address--which The Envoy exclusively previewed last week--Clinton will lay out what her aides say she sees as a major strategic legacy of her tenure as Secretary of State: a doctrine calling on the U.S. diplomatic corps to make advancing United States economic interests a central mission of the U.S. diplomatic agenda.

    "It's a wide-ranging speech and covers all the ground," one Clinton aide told The Envoy Thursday. At bottom, Clinton will lay out the case that "foreign policy and economic interests and economic policy are indivisible," the official said. The message is especially timely, the source added, when "you've got economic realities driving so much of the foreign policy headlines"--from the Eurozone debt crisis, to the Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama passed by Congress Wednesday, to the Arab spring uprisings, to the Occupy Wall Street protests.

    Clinton tested out some of the key themes of the address at a small gathering of outside policy experts and economic thinkers invited to the State Department Wednesday, State Department officials told The Envoy.

    Read More »from Hillary Clinton to lay out her “doctrine on economic statecraft” in New York speech Friday

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