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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Joint Statement by NSN/NSI Board Members on Iran Nuclear Deal

Statement by National Security Network and National Security Initiative Board Members on Iran Nuclear Deal July 14, 2015 The Board of the National Security Network and the National Security Initiative as well as NSN’s Advisory Board made the following statement regarding today’s announcement of a nuclear agreement with Iran: The comprehensive joint plan of action (CJPoA) announced July 14th between the P5+1 nations and Iran represents a major step toward the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and, rigorously implemented, will make America safer. The CJPoA is the result of years of patient and shrewd negotiation by nuclear experts and diplomats, led by the Obama administration, resulting in an agreement that cuts all pathways for Iran to build a nuclear weapon. Under the… Read More ›

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

POLICY BRIEF: The Limits of Iran’s Regional Ambitions

The Limits of Iran’s Regional Ambitions Policy Brief by J. Dana Stuster July 9, 2015 The reach of Iran’s foreign policy has exceeded its grasp. For all its efforts to maintain its sphere of influence and expand its power in the Middle East, it has gained little from its interventions. Tehran has consolidated its control over the leadership in Damascus and South Beirut, but these allies are stretched thin and seeing their power and influence recede. Meanwhile, Iran is increasingly challenged in Iraq by the Islamic State and resurgent U.S. diplomacy. In Gaza, Tehran has ceded its influence with Hamas to the same governments supplying its opponents in Syria. Far from an ascendant actor in the region, Iran is currently fighting the greatest challenge to… Read More ›

IraqThursday, June 25, 2015

NSN Board Chairman Brian Katulis Quoted in Politico on Iraq

Who Lost Iraq? POLICTO Magazine June 2015 | POLITICO For a brief, happy—and misguided—moment, most Americans stopped thinking about Iraq. After withdrawing the last U.S. troops in 2011, President Barack Obama declared the country “sovereign, stable and self-reliant.” No such luck…. “Brian, you were on the Obama campaign. Did you guys come to Iraq with the assumption that it couldn’t be saved, so we had to get out and let it fend for itself? Or was the thinking that Iraq was ready to stand on its own?” Brian Katulis: “That was a central focus: How does Iraq actually achieve or build on the security gains of the surge? It’s true that the addition of U.S. forces in 2007 had an impact in changing security dynamics, but there… Read More ›

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Human Tinderbox in the Middle East | Sandy Berger, NSN Advisory Board Chair

The Human Tinderbox in the Middle East Sandy Berger, NSN Advisory Board Chairman June 10, 2015 | Foreign Policy The 25,000 civilians who fled the Iraqi city of Ramadi after its recent fall to the Islamic State represent only the latest wave of tragic human dislocation resulting from violence in the Middle East. Turmoil across the region has displaced more than 15 million people since 2011, leaving their return uncertain. Today, a staggering 78 million people worldwide, many uprooted, need assistance to meet basic food and shelter needs. This reflects a steady and unrelenting increase, up from approximately 30 million in 2006 and 65 million in 2012. This situation is the human byproduct of political disintegration in conflict-torn countries across the Middle East and around… Read More ›

CongressIranMonday, May 4, 2015

Corker Bill Goes Forward Despite Deal-Killing Efforts

Corker Bill Goes Forward Despite Deal-Killing Efforts May 4, 2015 The Senate is expected to move toward voting on legislation put forward by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) that would allow Congress a greater role in approving the international agreement being negotiated by the United States and its P5+1 partners with Iran. Previous iterations of the contentious bill contained provisions that would have placed impossible expectations on the deal, including on issues outside the scope of the negotiations, but a compromise brokered by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) stripped those provisions. The compromise has allowed bipartisan support for the bill to coalesce and the Obama Administration says it will not veto it if it passes in its current form. That hasn’t stopped dead-ender conservatives including Sen. Tom… Read More ›

DronesFriday, April 24, 2015

Deaths of Hostages Demonstrate Need for Reform of Drone Strikes

Deaths of Hostages Demonstrate Need for Reform of Drone Strikes April 24, 2015 The Obama Administration’s admission yesterday that it killed two hostages in a drone strike in Pakistan, as well as other al-Qaeda operatives it was not intentionally targeting, underscores the hazards of  permissive polices for the CIA’s targeted killing program and the need for reform. Yesterday, unnamed U.S. officials confirmed to the Washington Post that the attack had been a “signature strike,” a controversial category of strikes in which the target is identified based on a pattern of observed behaviors without specific intelligence about who the targets are or their affiliation with a terrorist group. Despite such extremely limited intelligence, the Administration authorized the strike. These strikes – which are not limited to… Read More ›

IranSaudi ArabiaYemenWednesday, April 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States, and the Way out of Yemen

Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States, and the Way out of Yemen April 22, 2015 Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that it was transitioning from a military to a political emphasis in its intervention in Yemen, ending Operation Decisive Storm and beginning a new phase, Operation Restoring Hope. Though airstrikes continued today, Saudi and Houthi officials said they were nearing an arrangement to revive the country’s collapsed political dialogue. The promise of renewed talks has weakened the Houthis’ support, as their most powerful allies have come out in favor of negotiations. This includes Iran, which has provided limited support to the Houthis, but which reports indicate had little influence over the organization. The United States has pressured Saudi Arabia to wind down its air campaign, and… Read More ›

IranSaudi ArabiaYemenWednesday, April 15, 2015

J. Dana Stuster Appears on Al Jazeera Discussing Yemen

Can an arms embargo deter the Houthis? April 15, 2015 | Al Jazeera This interview is in Arabic.        The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution banning arms sales to Houthis, who condemned the move. They described it as a move that supports “aggression”. At the same time, Iran said it will present a peace plan for Yemen. It involves a ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, a dialogue between Yemeni factions and a broad-based government. But can the UN resolution change things on the ground? And what is behind Tehran’s plan? Presenter Shiulie Ghosh Guests: Khaled Batarfi – senior columnist at the Saudi Gazette Mohammad Marandi – professor at the University of Tehran Dana Stuster – policy analyst at the National Security Network.… Read More ›

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