Asia & the Pacific

7 Items

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The Sanctions Delusion

| Dec. 08, 2014

"The United States is overestimating its leverage with sanctions in negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran—a gamble bound to fail. A second deadline has slipped without a comprehensive agreement between the P5+1 and Iran, and hawkish rhetoric in the U.S. underscores a growing pessimism for successful negotiations by the next deadline in June 2015. Calls to strengthen sanctions highlight waning Congressional support for the talks, and buttress a narrow and unrealistic narrative that economic deprivation will force concessions. Any new sanctions, especially those proposed under the draconian Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, threaten to derail negotiations while providing cannon fodder for Iran’s hardliners..."

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Saving the World at Plutonium Mountain

| August 16, 2013

Last October, at the foot of a rocky hillside near here, at a spot known as Degelen Mountain, several dozen Kazakh, Russian and American nuclear scientists and engineers gathered for a ceremony. The modest ribbon-cutting marked the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex nuclear security operations since the Cold War — to secure plutonium (enough to build a dozen or more nuclear weapons) that Soviet authorities had buried at the testing site years before and forgotten, leaving it vulnerable to terrorists and rogue states. The effort spanned 17 years, cost $150 million and involved a complex mix of intelligence, science, engineering, politics and sleuthing. This op-ed is based on documents and interviews with Kazakh, Russian and U.S. participants, and reveals the scope of the operation for the first time.

A view of one of the displaced camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sep. 14, 2011. A massive aid operation is currently underway to help millions of Somalis affected by the fighting and a famine caused by severe drought.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Daily Nation

Africa Must Wake Up to the Reality That Hunger is Now a National Security Issue

| August 14, 2012

"The tools available to India in the 1960s are not sufficient to address the challenges that African agriculture now faces. These include a rapidly-growing population, productivity loss due to ecological disruption, environmental decay, droughts, climate change, and conflict. Biotechnology offers additional tools that can help Africa address some of these challenges. It is another moment that calls for the kind of political courage that led to the adoption of the Green Revolution."

Analysis & Opinions - Business Daily

Improving China's Image in Africa

| November 29, 2007

"China’s ability to respond rapidly to requests for investment in new areas such as infrastructure has emboldened many African leaders who are under pressure to meet their electoral promises....Many of the transactions between China and Africa are kept confidential and little is known about their terms. Promoting greater transparency and mutual learning from those arrangements will help to improve the image of Chinese businesses in Africa."