What Foreign Policy Issues President Obama Should Address:
Five items that foreign policy watchers want the President to address tonight:
SYRIA - In a speech to the UN today, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that the number of civilians killed in Syria's two-year civil war is nearly 70,000. At the Council on Foreign Relations, Elliott Abrams criticizes the White House's reluctance to get involved in the Syrian conflict, and Morton Abramowitz calls specifically for more U.S. humanitarian aid in Syria at The Atlantic.
NORTH KOREA - Since it has immediately coincided with today's news cycle, this is the topic President Obama is most likely to incorporate into his call for nuclear nonproliferation. CNN rounds up what you need to know about North Korea's nuclear test and the likely next steps.
IRAN - The U.S. and Iran appear to be circling each other lately but it's unclear how much progress has been made. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear yesterday that he is increasingly concerned about Iran's nuclear capacity. Iran is another candidate for inclusion in the SOTU speech based on its relevance to the president's nonproliferation agenda.
ISRAEL - Next month, President Obama will make his first official trip to Israel. Ynetnews reported his itinerary this morning, which mainly features visits to the major sites. Right after Obama's reelection it was speculated that he would make a major push in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process but WH rumors do not indicate any imminent announcement on that front.