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Monday, August 10, 2015

REPORT: F-35, Thunder without Lightning

Thunder without Lightning: The High Costs and Limited Benefits of the F-35 Program Policy Report by Bill French August 2015 The National Security Network (NSN) is pleased to release a new policy report, Thunder without Lightning: The High Costs and Limited Benefits of the F-35. According to our analysis, the F-35 lacks the capabilities to execute its primary mission, and costs too much relative to its predecessors. The Department of Defense should examine ways to reduce its commitment to this albatross of an acquisition program. To read the full report, click here. From the report: “To perform against near-peer adversaries, the F-35 will have to be capable of executing a range of missions, from defeating enemy aircraft to penetrating enemy air defenses to strike surface… Read More ›

CongressIran Nuclear DealMonday, August 10, 2015

NSN Advisory Board Chairman Sandy Berger on the Iran Nuclear Deal

A “No” to Iran Means No Forever By Samuel Berger August 2015 | POLITICO There is a notion cultivated by opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement, attractive to members of Congress under intense pressure to vote no, that congressional rejection of the agreement will enable U.S. negotiators to reach a better deal. The expectation is, that with a further turn of the screws, we can pressure the Iranians to give more and/or we give less. But it can’t happen. The agreement needs to be judged on its merits and the consequences of rejecting it need to be confronted without the illusion that there will be another, easier chance. Opponents cannot escape through a trapped door marked “later.” There is no later, this is the end of… Read More ›

IranNuclear SecurityFriday, August 7, 2015

Sen. Schumer’s Partial Endorsement of the Iran Deal

Sen. Schumer’s partial endorsement of the Iran deal By John Bradshaw, Executive Director of NSN August 7, 2015 Chuck Schumer’s announcement that he will vote to disapprove the Iran deal was not unexpected, but his detailed explanation of his decision contains some surprisingly positive analysis of the agreement.  After citing a number of weaknesses he sees in the first ten years of the deal, Schumer admits that: “Those who argue for the agreement say it is better to have an imperfect deal than to have nothing; that without the agreement, there would be no inspections, no snapback. When you consider only this portion of the deal — nuclear restrictions for the first ten years — that line of thinking is plausible”. Not a ringing endorsement, to be sure, but… Read More ›

CongressIranTuesday, July 28, 2015

POLICY BRIEF: Living with the Consequences

Living with the Consequences: The Effects of Voting Down the Iran Nuclear Agreement Policy Brief by J. Dana Stuster July 28, 2015 Should Congress vote down the nuclear agreement with Iran, it will inhibit the ability of the United States to implement an effective foreign policy for the foreseeable future. Rejecting the deal will alienate U.S. allies and diminish U.S. standing in future negotiations. It will isolate the United States both diplomatically and economically, as the sanctions regime collapses and rivals set up a new financial infrastructure that will undermine the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions. It will empower the hardliners in Iran that drive the worst elements of Iran’s regional policies, escalating conflict in Iraq and Syria, and encourage them to rush for the nuclear weapon… Read More ›

PakistanMonday, July 27, 2015

Imagine, a Good News Story on Pakistan

Imagine, a Good News Story on Pakistan By Tara Sonenshine, Member of the NSN Advisory Board July 27, 2015 | The Hill We are so used to stories about Pakistan that include terrorism, violence, bombs and bullets. Similarly, we are used to stories about failed foreign aid, fraud, waste, abuse, charities that don’t do what they promise and a growing sense that we have so many problems at home, so why bother doing anything abroad? Into that cynical vortex comes a Washington Post story with a very different and welcome message about a part of Pakistan that is using outside money and inside determination to prove the critics wrong and remind us why we should care and why we should support cross-cultural engagement. In a remote… Read More ›

IranNuclear SecurityFriday, July 24, 2015

How India Could Benefit From the Iran Nuclear Deal

How India Could Benefit From the Iran Nuclear Deal By Brian Katulis, Chairman of the NSN Board of Directors July 24, 2015 | WSJ The Obama administration took an important step to advance America’s security in completing the comprehensive joint plan of action, or CJPoA. The deal negotiated in Vienna represents the best of the available options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. It avoids both the hazards and uncertainties of military action, and provides a strong international framework for stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. If the Iran nuclear deal moves forward without major hitches, India could be one of the few countries to have deepening relations with countries strongly at odds with one another. The evolving geopolitics of the broader Middle East… Read More ›

IranNuclear SecurityTuesday, July 21, 2015

A Framework for Stopping Iran from Getting Nuclear Weapons

A framework for stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons By Brian Katulis, Chairman of the NSN Board of Directors July 19, 2015 | Providence Journal The Obama administration took an important step to advance America’s security in completing the comprehensive joint plan of action, or CJPoA. The deal negotiated in Vienna represents the best of the available options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. It avoids both the hazards and uncertainties of military action, and provides a strong international framework for stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. One interesting aspect of the debate sparked last week by the Iran deal is that most critics are unclear about what they would propose as an alternative to the current deal – it is not clear that… Read More ›

IranNuclear SecurityFriday, July 17, 2015

Iran Is Hardly On The March

Iran Is Hardly On The March By John Bradshaw and J. Dana Stuster July 15, 2015 | Defense One The reality is that Iran is fighting to maintain a diminishing sphere of influence. And Washington mischaracterizes Iran’s actual position in the Middle East. Yes, Tehran covets a role as regional hegemon with power reaching beyond Shiite-controlled areas to become the hub of an anti-Israel axis that includes Sunni territories. But Iran is unable to move this strategy forward. What some of President Barack Obama’s critics portray as a newly aggressive Iranian policy instead reflects Iranian efforts to counter challenges it has not faced in decades. Facts on the ground simply do not support fears in Congress that a nuclear agreement will somehow empower an Iranian… 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 ›

radicalizationViolent ExtremismYouthThursday, July 2, 2015

To Counter Violent Extremism, Focus on the Young | Tara Sonenshine

To Counter Violent Extremism, Focus on the Young By Tara Sonenshine, member of the NSN Advisory Board July 2, 2015 | The Hill In the run-up to July Fourth, there is increasing “chatter” about the potential for a terrorist attack somewhere in the world this weekend. And behind the fear of violent extremism, is always an unspoken assumption that Muslim youth around the globe are, by and large, inclined towards negative activity, and likely to be recruited and radicalized by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or another terrorist group, and that social media is today’s platform for youth-inspired hatred, hostility and horrific behavior. Both are misleading assumptions and likely to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, ISIS has become very good at targeting… Read More ›

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