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A dark cloud of foreign policy issues moves in over Obama and Hillary.

In January I wrote about the foreign policy challenges facing Obama and Hillary Clinton. Here's the beginning of my column:

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's public performance at her confirmation hearings fit the giddy public mood of inauguration week.

It was all sweetness and light, hugs and air kisses.

Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, set the tone by proclaiming that Barack Obama's election, and his choice of Clinton as secretary of state, sent a signal to the world: "America is back."

Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, Kerry's Republican counterpart, was grinning and nodding like a bobblehead doll. "This is very good news," he said. "President-elect Obama has boldly chosen the epitome of a big-leaguer."

But away from the ceremony and the TV cameras and the cavernous sound stage of the hearing room, the incoming administration's candid responses, given to the committee's written inquiries about the state of the world, told a grim and different story: 

To read the rest of my column, click here.