Obama, Putin 'exchange views' on Ukraine in phone call
February 21st, 2014
06:52 PM ET

Obama, Putin 'exchange views' on Ukraine in phone call

By Adam Aigner-Treworgy

President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin "exchanged views" on the need to quickly implement the political agreement reached on Friday in Ukraine and for all sides to "refrain from further violence."

 
A White House statement said the two leaders spoke by phone and also discussed Syria, including the "importance of efforts to advance a political solution" to the civil war.

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Obama administration: Iran deal 'not perfect'
February 4th, 2014
06:51 PM ET

Obama administration: Iran deal 'not perfect'

By Jamie Crawford

An interim agreement that freezes aspects of Iran's nuclear program is not ideal but is necessary to achieve a long-term accord, a senior Obama administration official said Tuesday.

"This is not perfect, but this does freeze and roll back their program in significant ways and give us time on the clock to in fact negotiate that comprehensive agreement," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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January 29th, 2014
07:44 PM ET

Exclusive: Iran's Zarif says Obama remarks for 'domestic consumption'

By CNN Staff

President Barack Obama had some sharp language on Iran in his State of the Union address, but Tehran saw it mainly as tough talk for a domestic audience.

 
CNN's Jim Sciutto met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Iran to get his first-hand response to Obama's speech on Tuesday night in which the President said American diplomacy - backed by pressure - has "halted the progress of Iran's nuclear program."

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U.S. commander in Afghanistan to meet with Obama on troops
January 27th, 2014
12:42 PM ET

U.S. commander in Afghanistan to meet with Obama on troops

By Barbara Starr

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is headed to Washington for an expected meeting with President Barack Obama in coming days to discuss future troop levels in Afghanistan, a U.S. military official said on Monday.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, along with the Pentagon, is proposing 10,000 American troops and 2,000 to 3,000 NATO forces be kept on duty after combat operations end at the close of the year.
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January 17th, 2014
01:19 PM ET

Obama announces modest changes to NSA data collection

By Tom Cohen. Jim Acosta and Mariano Castillo

Under pressure by last year's classified leaks of U.S. surveillance, President Barack Obama on Friday unveiled new guidance for intelligence-gathering and reforms intended to balance what he called the nation's vital security needs with concerns over privacy and civil liberties.

In a speech at the Justice Department, Obama sought to defend the need for the government to gather intelligence while responding to protests raised at home and abroad over programs revealed in the leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

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Obama has room to maneuver on NSA reforms
January 14th, 2014
03:02 PM ET

Obama has room to maneuver on NSA reforms

By Matthew Hoye

President Barack Obama has some room to maneuver in crafting reforms to the National Security Agency’s massive data collection program.

A national security expert tells CNN that the President, in fact, has “a lot of leeway in terms of what to recommend and not  recommend.”

Obama is expected to announce changes to the surveillance initiative at a speech at the Justice Department on Friday .

An independent review ordered by Obama amid concerns that NSA snooping, revealed in leaks by Edward Snowden last year, had gone too far recommended that government do a better job of protecting civil liberties. FULL POST

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After Iran deal, Obama and Kerry pivot to Middle East peace
December 8th, 2013
12:23 AM ET

After Iran deal, Obama and Kerry pivot to Middle East peace

By CNN Political Unit

President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made explicit the administration's renewed attempts to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and Palestine Saturday as the United States begins to assume a more muscular role in talks.

At the Brookings Institution's annual Saban Forum on Middle East issues and U.S.-Israeli relations, Obama and Kerry each spoke about a budding interim deal that would work towards a two-state solution.

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Filed under: Israel • Obama • Palestine • Sec. State John Kerry
Obama to Congress: Give Iran sanctions a chance
November 14th, 2013
03:23 PM ET

Obama to Congress: Give Iran sanctions a chance

By Jamie Crawford

Additional sanctions targeting Iran's disputed nuclear program could undermine international progress already made on the issue, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

"If we're serious about pursuing diplomacy then there's no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective, and that brought them to the table in the first place," Obama told reporters at the White House.

Obama said he would like to see if a "short-term, phase-one deal" with Iran can be put in place in the near term that requires Tehran to freeze aspects of its nuclear program while the international community negotiates a more comprehensive long-term deal.
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Obama, al-Maliki to address Iraq's violence spike at White House meeting
October 30th, 2013
04:52 PM ET

Obama, al-Maliki to address Iraq's violence spike at White House meeting

By Kevin Liptak

President Barack Obama's meeting Friday with Iraq's leader will include discussion of how to counter a fresh rise in suicide bombers affiliated with al Qaeda, a senior U.S. official says.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is slated to visit the White House at the end of the week for a meeting with the President as tensions rise between Iraq's Shiite majority and its Sunni minority. Violence has been on the upswing - on Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded 25 others at a police checkpoint west of Mosul. In all, more than 6,000 people have been killed in attacks this year.

A bipartisan group of senators harshly criticized Maliki in a letter to Obama on Tuesday, writing that the recent security deterioration in Iraq was partially the Prime Minister's fault.

"Unfortunately, Prime Minister Maliki's mismanagement of Iraqi politics is contributing to the recent surge of violence," the senators wrote. Signatories included Republicans John McCain, James Inhofe and Bob Corker, and Democrats Carl Levin and Robert Menendez.

"By too often pursuing a sectarian and authoritarian agenda, Prime Minister Maliki and his allies are disenfranchising Sunni Iraqis, marginalizing Kurdish Iraqis, and alienating the many Shia Iraqis who have a democratic, inclusive, and pluralistic vision for their country," the lawmakers continued.
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What the terror raids say about an 'Obama Doctrine'
October 7th, 2013
04:09 PM ET

What the terror raids say about an 'Obama Doctrine'

By Josh Levs

U.S. raids in pursuit of two terrorists over the weekend threw a question surrounding President Obama into the spotlight: Does he have a guiding doctrine for foreign policy?

The operations in Somalia and Libya, only one of which went as planned, come after the Obama administration silenced its drumbeat toward a possible military attack on Syria.

Some analysts say the developments make Obama's "doctrine" more clear than ever. Others say what's more clear than ever is that this president doesn't have one - which may, or may not, be a good thing.

"The two raids over the weekend show that President Obama remains very comfortable deploying special operations forces in countries the United States is not at war with as a means to combat terrorist groups, just as he is comfortable with the use of CIA drones for the same purpose in countries such as Pakistan and Yemen," says CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen.

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