Foreign Policy

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  Bush Taking Policy Cues From Obama?July 22, 2008 09:16 In its waning months in office, the Bush administration is perceived to be emptying the diplomatic toolbox in a final effort to make progress on key objectives, like eliminating the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs as well as handing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the next president.

The new efforts have both critics and supporters of the focus on diplomatic solutions wondering if the Bush administration is taking its foreign policy cues from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, who has advocated broader engagement with America's enemies.
  Court Orders Us To Reverse Immigration Decision For Prominent Turkish Religious LeaderJuly 18, 2008 22:10 A U.S. court has ruled that the Bush administration improperly rejected a prominent Turkish religious leader's application toward permanent residence in the United States and ordered the government to reverse the decision.

Fethullah Gulen, a Sufi scholar and educator with millions of followers across Turkey and parts of Central Asia, has been living in the United States since 1999. U.S. immigration authorities rejected his application to be classified as "an alien of extraordinary ability," a step that would have facilitated his permanent residence.

A federal court ruled Wednesday that the decision was improper, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press that have not yet been made public. Immigration officials had argued that Gulen did not meet the qualification of extraordinary ability in his field "demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation."

Gulen is one of Turkey's most influential intellectuals, a scholar and preacher of Sufism, a mystical form of Islam. His followers run schools in dozens of countries. In Turkey, they administer hundreds of schools, as well as six universities and a various media organizations. His media network reaches millions daily.

Gulen is revered by many but viewed with suspicion by somein the 99 percent Muslim country where secularism is enshrined in the constitution and religion has traditionally been firmly excluded from politics.

 
  Us, Afghan Troops Abandon Base Overrun By MilitantsJuly 16, 2008 09:49 U.S. and Afghan troops have pulled out of an outpost in eastern Afghanistan where militants killed nine American soldiers this week.


NATO said Wednesday that it has vacated the newly-built base in a village, Wanat, on the border of Nuristan and Kunar provinces, but that Afghan and international forces are patrolling the area.

Local officials say Taliban militants briefly took over the village Tuesday, but that Afghan forces pushed out the insurgents, killing at least seven of them.

A large force of militants stormed the outpost Sunday, in one of the deadliest attacks on American forces since a U.S.-led invasion pushed the Taliban from power in 2001.

In the southeastern province of Paktika Wednesday, local officials say Afghan soldiers killed 150 suspected militants late Tuesday with the help of air and ground support from coalition forces. Officials with the coalition have not verified the report.

A spokesman, Ghamai Khan, for the Paktika provincial governor said the violence erupted after about 350 suspected militants attacked Barmal district with rockets and light weapons.