The best chance to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful is imperiled because of mistaken notions about what real alternatives the West has.
There certainly is an agreement to be had that is consistent with the preliminary accord, known as the Joint Plan of Action, reached more than a year ago. This plan placed major restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and subjected it to an unprecedented degree of monitoring. But the whole negotiating edifice would crash if the U.S. Congress either rejects a final agreement, with a resolution of disapproval, or decides to impose new sanctions on Iran, which would violate, and thus kill, the preliminary accords.… Seguir leyendo »
There are popular fundamental misconceptions about Iran’s nuclear program: that the Iranian leadership has a fixed goal of acquiring a nuclear weapon, that if left alone Iran would build such a weapon and that this presumed ambition will be thwarted only if the rest of the world imposes enough costs and barriers. These misconceptions infuse much of the U.S. discourse on Iran, as reflected in frequent, erroneous references to Iran’s “nuclear weapons program.” These mistakes encourage a posture toward Iran that makes it more, not less, likely that Tehran will decide someday to build a bomb.
Public U.S. intelligence assessments are that Iran has not made any such decision and might never do so.… Seguir leyendo »
1.- Reform or Go Home.
By David Kilcullen, a former adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.
Counterinsurgency is only as good as the government it supports. NATO could do everything right — it isn’t — but will still fail unless Afghans trust their government. Without essential reform, merely making the government more efficient or extending its reach will just make things worse.
Only a legitimately elected Afghan president can enact reforms, so at the very least we need to see a genuine run-off election or an emergency national council, called a loya jirga, before winter.… Seguir leyendo »
Rationales for maintaining the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan are varied and complex, but they all center on one key tenet: that Afghanistan must not be allowed to again become a haven for terrorist groups, especially al-Qaeda. Debate about Afghanistan has raised reasons to question that tenet, one of which is that the top al-Qaeda leadership is not even in Afghanistan, having decamped to Pakistan years ago. Another is that terrorists intent on establishing a haven can choose among several unstable countries besides Afghanistan, and U.S. forces cannot secure them all.
The debate has largely overlooked a more basic question: How important to terrorist groups is any physical haven?… Seguir leyendo »