The Republican attack on Obama's pick for Secretary of Defence is a particularly blatant example of why the outcome of the 2012 US election was so important for the world. Second term Obama will not be perfect, but the alternative would have been catastrophic.  

Having watched the US Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for America’s next Secretary of Defence, and having watched the political spinning on the weekend talk shows that followed, it is clear that a core of the Republican Party cares more about its own vanity than the direction - politically, fiscally or militarily - of the United States, let alnoe the rest of us.

The Syrian regime has been dealt its most serious blow in sixteen months of repressing and killing its own people. The bombing of its military heart by revolutionaries may accomplish what has eluded endless and fruitless diplomatic efforts.

Whoever took out the Syrian National Security Headquarters - the command and control hub of Assad’s regime - may well have delivered the catalyst for the final battle for Syria.

President Obama is in Europe this week to sell allies on a new strategy for Afghanistan – “disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and its safe havens”. Do not expect to see New Zealand rushing to the front-line

The good news is that the new American president has a sharp new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and the not-so-news is that New Zealand