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IranP5+1 TalksThursday, July 31, 2014

Progressives Need to See the Bigger Picture on Iran | John Bradshaw

Progressives Need to See the Bigger Picture on Iran By John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the National Security Network July 30, 2014 | Washington Monthly Progressives who gathered in Detroit two weeks ago for the Netroots convention were not very focused on national security issues, but when those issues did come up there was one loud and clear theme: No more wars in the Middle East. This anti-war sentiment has long been an animating force for progressives and is now understandably heightened by a war weariness shared by a large percentage of the American public. But progressives can contribute more to the national security debate than just a strong voice in opposition to reflexive military solutions. There is a need for a positive progressive vision… Read More ›

CongressIranWednesday, July 30, 2014

Seeing Past the Theatrics on the Iran Debate

Seeing Past the Theatrics on the Iran Debate July 30, 2015 The NSN Daily Update will be on hiatus during the congressional August recess and return in September. Hearings on Capitol Hill yesterday on the Iran nuclear talks produced serious testimony by Administration witnesses but also enabled considerable uninformed showboating by opponents of a diplomatic agreement with Iran. Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and David Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, presented testimony on the Hill yesterday to update Congress on the status of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. They noted that the talks in Vienna, which have been extended until November 24, have been productive: significant compromises appear within reach, and as Sherman noted in her prepared statement,… Read More ›

IraqMonday, July 28, 2014

The Case for Repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF

U.S. Army Spc. Justin Towe scans his area while on a mission with Iraqi army soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division in Al Muradia village, Iraq. [US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, 3/13/2007] As the debate continues over how the United States should respond to the Islamic State, the Administration last week reiterated its calls to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Indeed, the need for an effective response to the Islamic State not only coincides with the need to repeal the Iraq AUMF, but increases the need to do so. On the one hand, as National Security Advisor Susan Rice argued last week, repealing the Iraq AUMF now would underscore “that ground… Read More ›

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Islamic State and al-Qaeda: Threat Inflation and Conflation

  ISIS Media Hub twitter photo, 7/5/2013 Today, large areas of the Iraq-Syria border region remain under control of the Islamic State, a violent Salafi jihadist organization that has declared the territory a new caliphate under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Members of the Obama Administration appeared before Congress this week to testify about the organization and the threat it poses – but at times this testimony conflated the Islamic State with al-Qaeda, which has disowned the Islamic State, and overstated the threat it poses to the United States. These inaccuracies are not just misleading, but could have dangerous effects in how members of the U.S. government and public perceive the organization and how the laws authorizing U.S. military force apply to the Islamic… Read More ›

diplomacyRussiasanctionsUkraineWednesday, July 23, 2014

Increasing Pressure on Russia to Resolve the Ukraine Conflict

Increasing Pressure on Russia to Resolve the Ukraine Conflict July 23, 2014 Following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in eastern Ukraine, the West faces challenges in coordinating a significant increase in pressure on Russia to bring an end to the regional conflict.  Thus far, relatively modest sanctions by the United States and Europe have been effective in imposing costs on the Russian economy and were likely a factor in the removal of Russian forces from the border and Moscow’s backing away from the threat of invading eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, Russian support for separatists has continued to fuel the conflict. Short of an unlikely reversal of Russian policy, the United States should employ more assertive diplomatic measures. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing Washington… Read More ›

IranMonday, July 21, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks: Extension Builds on Positive Momentum

Secretary Kerry Addresses Reporters During News Conference Following Iran Nuclear Talks in Vienna, 7/15/2014 On Friday night, P5+1 and Iranian diplomats announced a plan to extend the nuclear negotiations past the July 20 deadline for the Joint Plan of Action that has frozen Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for modest sanctions relief. Under the terms of the extension, Iran’s nuclear enrichment program will remain frozen and it will continue to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, converting it into non-weaponizable forms. This will allow negotiators to continue to build on the progress that has been made toward a comprehensive agreement that could ensure Iran’s nuclear program will remain peaceful. The extension is a good deal, and those who have voiced opposition to it fail to… Read More ›

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