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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 ›

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 ›

CongressIran NegotiationsMonday, April 20, 2015

Congress Takes on Risky Role in Iran Deal

Congress Takes on Risky Role in Iran Deal April 20, 2015 Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee removed the most toxic provisions from a bill that would allow Congress to review and vote its approval or disapproval of a nuclear agreement with Iran. The legislation could come before the Senate floor as early as this week and represents a compromise between the original bill, spearheaded by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), and more pro-diplomacy positions. The result is not a good bill – as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said at the markup hearing, it is a “largely unnecessary endeavor” that “doesn’t reserve for Congress any power that we don’t already have.” But the compromise has removed the worst provisions of the bill and the Obama… Read More ›

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bruce Jentleson on Corker-Menendez

Dr. Bruce Jentleson, NSN board member and Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, had this to say about the Corker-Menendez bill working its way through the Senate: But in the name of preventing a bad deal, the Corker-Menendez bill weaves a procedural spider web for congressional review and includes a poison pill provision that hinders, rather than helps, getting a good deal. The procedural web starts with a five-day initial reporting requirement for the June comprehensive agreement, including full analysis of its components and a verification assessment. Even for less complex international agreements, it usually takes at least a month for all elements to be analyzed and the reliability of verification to be assessed by State Department, intelligence community and other… Read More ›

Rand PaulWednesday, April 8, 2015

What is Sen. Rand Paul Actually Advocating on Foreign Policy?

What is Sen. Rand Paul Actually Advocating on Foreign Policy? April 8, 2015 Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in a speech in Louisville, Kentucky. Sen. Paul has been an outlier among conservatives in the Senate and has set himself apart from the hawks within his party, particularly on civil liberties and foreign intervention issues. Last December, he cited the National Security Network while discussing the precedent for placing limitations on the U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria during a Senate markup of a proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF). But his speech yesterday showed a marked departure from his previous positions – arch-neoconservative Bill Kristol noted his policies were more hawkish. The result was a confusing… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksMonday, April 6, 2015

Five Myths About the Iran Framework Deal

Five Myths about the Iran Framework Deal April 6, 2015 The framework for a comprehensive agreement reached by P5+1 negotiators at Lausanne, Switzerland, last week has established the overarching terms of a sustainable, peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. The terms are more favorable than many expected, and even skeptics of diplomacy – from experts like United Against Nuclear Iran’s Gary Samore to pundits like Bill O’Reilly – say it’s a credible deal worth pursuing. However, some people still aren’t convinced and have brought out many of the same arguments against the deal that were being made before there was a deal to criticize. Here are five of the top reasons critics say the United States should reject the deal, and why they’re wrong.… Read More ›

IranP5+1 Talkssanctionssandy bergerMonday, April 6, 2015

Sandy Berger: the Fantasy of a Better Iran Deal

Writing in Politico Magazine, NSN Advisory Board Chair Sandy Berger had the following caution for those who think more sanctions will lead to a better deal: [I]t is highly unlikely that even our allies in Europe would join us in further sanctions against Iran in the wake of a nuclear agreement they believe is sensible and positive. That is even truer for other countries—like India, Japan, South Korea and China—that were pulled into the existing sanctions regime quite unwillingly. The support of these countries for the oil sanctions in particular has been critical to the sanctions’ effectiveness. They will not willingly sign up for more… Indeed, the proponents of tougher sanctions to get a “better” deal have misunderstood the nature of the Iranian sanctions. The… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksFriday, April 3, 2015

5 Key Takeaways from the Iran Deal

5 Key Takeaways from the Iran Deal April 3, 2015 The framework for a nuclear agreement with Iran announced yesterday in Lausanne, Switzerland, lays the foundations of a strong, sustainable solution to Iran’s nuclear program. Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger joined other members of NSN’s Board of Directors and Advisory Board in a statement saying, “the Obama Administration and international partners have taken a responsible approach to negotiations…” They added, “A comprehensive final agreement would demonstrate that the United States can secure major security interests without the use of force, even if it must deal with one of its long-standing adversaries. It is our hope that a final comprehensive agreement will demonstrate that the United States can pursue its interests in the Middle East… Read More ›

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