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Major Garrett

Major Garrett Major Garrett is National Journal Correspondent-at-Large and Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News.
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Iraq Is the First Major Test of Obama's Revamped Foreign Policy

June 25, 2014 President Obama told us this would happen. He even said U.S. policy should prepare for it. Obama did not necessarily see the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria coming or imagine its cross-border pulverizing of Iraqi forces in Mosul and across much of north and western Iraq. He didn’t see ...

Obama Has the Speech, ISIL Has the Territory

June 25, 2014 President Obama told us this would happen. He even said U.S. policy should prepare for it. Obama did not necessarily see the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria coming or imagine its cross-border pulverizing of Iraqi forces in Mosul and across much of north and western Iraq. He didn’t see ...

This Is How Wars End in the 21st Century

May 28, 2014 In a sun-splashed Rose Garden, warmer and more humid than that sun-splashed September morning of horror in September 2001, President Obama declared an end to the war in Afghanistan provoked by al-Qaida's atrocities. It had about as much fanfare as the science fair Obama celebrated hours earlier. "I love this ...

The Pivot Potential in Asia and at Home

April 24, 2014 TOKYO—Nervous American allies need President Obama to state the obvious just to believe he might actually believe it and back it up. That is the cost of the Ukraine crisis here. Japan's leading newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun asked Obama to "officially declare that the (Senkaku) Islands are covered by Article 5 ...

Obama Tries To Put Putin in His Place – Again

March 26, 2014 THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS—Moments after deflecting a question about his diminished influence on the world stage, President Obama described Russia as a “regional power” operating in Crimea out of weakness, not strength. Noting Russia’s long-standing influence in all of Ukraine, Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea “indicates ...

Analysis: Enforcer in Chief Must Reach Far Beyond the Power of the Pen

January 29, 2014 President Obama has discovered the limits of his phone and pen, and he unconsciously revealed them during his State of the Union address. Obama had earlier used the phone to lobby top corporate CEOs to pledge not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed. This he did as part of what ...

What the 50-Year War on Poverty Tells Us About Government

January 8, 2014 Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on a visible, indefatigable enemy—poverty. “Many Americans live on the outskirts of hope,” Johnson said in his State of the Union address. “Some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task ...

After Secret Talks, Will the U.S. Get Iran to Open Up?

December 4, 2013 With concision and clarity utterly lacking in administration discussions of Obamacare, the State Department on Monday called a lie a lie. Under persistent questioning from James Rosen, Fox News' chief Washington correspondent, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki admitted that her predecessor, Victoria Nuland, misled reporters when, in February, she denied ...

A September to Surrender: Syria and Summers Spell Second-Term Slump

September 18, 2013 A commander in chief speaks intimately to America, constitutionally to Congress, and authoritatively to the world when he deploys the bullet, bayonet, B-52, or Tomahawk missile. Presidents don’t do pinpricks, either. Every military maneuver—real or feigned, decisive or disastrous—echoes like a drum. The vibrations change the rhythm of domestic politics. ...

Putin Has the Upper Hand on Syria

September 11, 2013 Vladimir Putin wants to keep Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power. The best way to do that is to preserve Assad’s maximum military advantage over rebel forces. It would also suit Putin to enhance Assad’s legitimacy on the world stage. The deal offered by the Russian president and rapidly endorsed ...