Experts: American Adversaries Work Together Despite Differences

Middle East watchers say U.S. must craft new strategy
Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) try to calm civilians demonstrating against the rebel infighting in Aleppo

American adversaries in the Middle East continue to work together across sectarian and religious divides to harm U.S. interests and security, requiring a more nuanced response from U.S. officials to address the turmoil in the region, experts say.

The Bear Is Loose

Column: Obama fundraises while Putin runs amok
MAXIM SHIPENKOV/AFP/Getty Images

“The bear is loose!” President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.” Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear—intimidating, wild, untamed, roving—escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.

NatSecWonk Declines to Comment on Ben Rhodes White House Leaks

Was fired last year after anonymous Twitter account discovered
AP

The former White House national security official who was fired last year after being unveiled as the snarky anonymous tweeter behind the NatSecWonk account declined to comment on Thursday about his exploits and previous accusations that another senior official leaked classified U.S. intelligence information.

USDA Suggests Changes to Grocery Stores to ‘Nudge’ Consumers to Eat Healthy

Talking shopping carts, spotlighting on vegetables
AP

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to “nudge” Americans to purchase healthier foods when they shop.

The agency commissioned an “expert panel” to make recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending their benefits on fruits and vegetables.

State Dept. Will Not Defend White House Criticism of Israel

Obama administration in disarray on Israel crisis, officials say
An Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv

Conflicting messages from the Obama administration to Israel are prompting concerns that the White House may not have a coherent strategy in place as the crisis in the Middle East escalates, according to former U.S. and Israeli officials.