AFRICOM faces pressure to better protect US interests on the African continent, even as the sequester threatens crucial portions of its budget.
The Senate approves former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary after weeks of Republican opposition. Hagel emerges politically weaker as he prepares to fight pending budget cuts.
Ahead of crucial 'P5+1' talks on Iran's nuclear program in Kazakhstan Feb. 26, President Obama needs to show willingness to meet Iranian concessions with some of his own. But Congress is in no mood to ease sanctions. Obama, however, can go around Congress.