IS THERE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE IRAN NUCLEAR TUNNEL?
Eight rounds of talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are in the “final stages” and all hands are on deck. Research Analyst Samuel Hickey was quoted in a WhoWhatWhy article discussing the potential revival of the Iran nuclear deal.
“The key benefit of the JCPOA is simply that it would allow the international community to determine if Iran were pursuing a nuclear bomb with enough time to be able to come up with a diplomatic solution, thus saving the lives that would come with a potential military confrontation.”
Hickey also wrote a blog post arguing that China has taken a much more active role in the negotiations to revive the JCPOA precisely to avoid another crisis in the Middle East, which would be disastrous for its economic interests. While many fear that China’s increasing diplomatic involvement in the Middle East signals an intention to replace the U.S. as the next regional hegemon, Beijing’s current involvement in talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal illustrates the limits of its engagement.
“MODERN NEEDS, NOT ANTIQUATED WANTS”
When the national security policies adopted by President Joe Biden and the progressive majority in Congress look indistinguishable from the policies posed by the hawkish Trump administration, you know our system is broken.
In an analysis for Inkstick, Council Advocacy Coordinator Monica Montgomery examines the outrageous situation that played out in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act and lays out how Congress should take bold action to put America back on course toward a safer and saner national security policy.
First, there were nuclear weapons on what became Ukrainian territory when the Soviet Union was dissolved, which Ukraine gave up and returned to Moscow with the agreement that Russia would not use force or threaten to use force against Ukraine. Smaller nuclear states or those hoping to have nuclear weapons could see this as motivation not to give up their nuclear weapons.
Second, he writes, Russia is using its nuclear weapons to “bully the world into accepting its policy of seeking to dominate the former Soviet space.” This has already proven prophetic, as Putin has once again begun rattling his nuclear saber. If Putin is allowed to get away with this sort of nuclear blackmail, he will have uncovered another use for nuclear weapons, making their control and eventual elimination even more difficult.
COUNCIL ROLLS OUT MORE CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS
The Council’s Elections Committee and political staff have been hard at work interviewing candidates seeking our endorsement this election cycle. Newly announced endorsees include Rep. Tim Ryan for Senate (D-OH), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA-08), Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM-03), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05), and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO-02).
All of our endorsees are strong proponents of and leaders on Council issues and it is crucial to protect their seats to retain the progressive majority in Congress. Watch your email and our social media to be the first to know when new endorsements are made. You can see the full list of candidates and donate to their campaigns at the end of this email and online.
THE EMPEROR’S NEW MISSILE DEFENSE
A new study conducted by the American Physical Society (APS) has concluded that “no missile defense system thus far developed has been shown to be effective against realistic ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] threats,” and an effective missile defense system is not likely to be developed in the next 15 years.
Despite 65 years of effort and more than $350 billion spent, the technical challenges are so great that U.S. systems would not be effective against even a limited North Korean attack, much less an attack by either Russia or China. It is vital that our leaders do not make life-ending strategic decisions under the false impression that the United States is protected from enemy fire. Two of the members of the study committee are affiliated with the Center: National Advisory Board Member Frank von Hippel and the late Philip Coyle, a Senior Science Fellow and board Secretary.
In a new blog post, Senior Fellow John Isaacs and Research Analyst Samuel Hickey break down the findings of the report and compare missile defense to the folktale of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
In Responsible Statecraft, board member Joe Cirincione summarizes the report: “The science is clear: For the foreseeable future an effective defense of the nation against ballistic missiles will remain a fantasy.”
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