National Security Network

russia

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russia

START of a New Beginning on Nonproliferation

Report 26 March 2010

This morning President Obama and Russian President Medvedev finalized the terms of a new treaty replacing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expired late last year.  They will meet in Prague on April 8 to sign the treaty.  The completion of the agreement, which is the largest arms control agreement nearly two decades, demonstrates clear and concrete action in both protecting American security and advancing our global nonproliferation goals while restoring America's international leadership and standing.

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Don't Let Them Stop START

Report 22 March 2010
Following Secretary Clinton's two day trip to Moscow, the United States and Russia announced last Friday that both sides are "on the brink" of concluding an agreement aimed at lowering the number of Cold War era nuclear weapons.  Anticipation is high that the successor to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) will likely be signed in early April, close to the one year anniversary of President Obama's historic nonproliferation speech in Prague, when he pledged to seek the "peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."  Concluding such an agreement will not only advance America's national security interests, but will also help to turn a new page in U.S-Russian relations.  
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Diplomacy

State of the Union’s Foreign Policy: Reengaging the World

Report 26 January 2010
Just over a year ago, President Obama inherited an atrophied American diplomacy, hostile global public opinion, and an agenda that had disengaged from the international community.  The last year has seen an American diplomatic resurgence.  This renewed American appetite for sustained diplomatic action has produced modest but real results.  
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Iran

Engagement Paying Dividends on Iran while Advancing Administration’s Global Non-Proliferation Agenda

Report 21 October 2009
This morning brought welcome news of progress in multilateral talks with Iran over its nuclear program – and a comprehensive reminder of how US global engagement to reduce and control the threat nuclear weapons pose can pay off in dealing with Iran, North Korea and other key regional concerns. A diplomatic deal has been struck to send Iran’s uranium to Russia to be processed and sent back to Iran as relatively harmless fuel for civilian nuclear power plants. The deal, which must still be officially confirmed by Friday by all governments, would push back the prospect of Iran developing a nuclear weapon for a number of years. This arrangement is the latest demonstration of diplomacy paying dividends to address immediate flashpoints while also advancing the global non-proliferation agenda. It stands in stark contrast to the Bush administration’s record, which failed to both deal effectively with Iran’s nuclear program and stem the flow of dangerous weapons.
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Terrorism & National Security

Foreign Policy Sunday Blitz

Report 28 September 2009
After a week of intense international engagement, the administration’s top foreign policy officials hit the Sunday morning talk shows to discuss the difficult foreign policy decisions that lie ahead. Fareed Zakaria laid out the stakes for the Administration, taken together: “He wants to demonstrate at home that engagement does not make America weak.” This weekend, the President’s top advisors took on a number of serious issues: Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay – and confirmed that the Administration is moving forward with its core strategy of strength through engagement while carefully considering the implications of its policy decisions. On ABC’s ‘This Week’ Bob Woodward drew a contrast with the past: “As we all know from covering George W. Bush, all you had to do was find out what his gut was and then they would have meetings about how to implement what his gut was. In this case, I don’t think Obama has a gut, and he has opened the door very aggressively to other options, and they’re not going to be rushed.”
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Military

Obama Responds to 21st Century Threats, With Conservatives Still Fighting the Cold War

Report 18 September 2009
Yesterday President Obama unveiled a plan to deploy proven systems that can defend against short and medium range missiles – the missiles Iran actually possesses – as opposed to wasting a decade and billions of dollars developing Bush’s ground based missile defense system that is intended to counter a threat – long range ballistic missiles - that doesn’t exist.Domestically, the fallout from the Obama administration’s decision has been clarifying. This debate has exposed that while President Obama is seeking to deal with 21st century challenges, conservatives remain firmly focused on those of the 20th.
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Military

Ending a Failed Missile Defense Program

Report 17 September 2009
President Obama announced this morning that he is terminating the Bush administration's failed Eastern European missile defense system: "The best way to responsibly advance our security and the security of our allies is to deploy a missile defense system that best responds to the threats that we face, and that utilizes technology that is both proven and cost effective." Not only do the cancelled missile defense systems have significant technological shortfalls, but they would also fail to protect against Iranian missiles. From a geopolitical perspective, the European missile defense worsened relations with Russia without providing a credible defense against their nuclear arsenal. Because there is no strategic benefit to maintaining the program - either militarily or diplomatically - the Obama administration has wisely has decided to eliminate this program and to develop a more adaptable missile defense system that better protects Europe.
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Diplomacy

Obama's to-do list grows after overseas trip

News Washington Times 14 July 2009
Diplomacy

In Response to Obama’s Successful Trip – Conservatives Flail About

Report 13 July 2009
Upon returning from Moscow, the G-8 summit, and Africa, President Obama – and almost anyone closely following the trip – will be surprised to learn from conservatives that nothing was accomplished. At the G-8, leading economic powers made new commitments on food aid for the world’s poorest and manifested a new unity against Iran’s repression at home and nuclear ambitions abroad – both achievements showcasing US diplomacy and Obama’s personal leadership. The formulaic nature of conservative criticism in response was perhaps best summed up by Oliver North in an op-ed in the Washington Times, which said that “the trip to Chad... produced no serious risks to our future.” Obama’s trip to Chad did produce little – because he never went to Chad.
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Russia

This is What Diplomacy Looks Like

Report 7 July 2009
After eight years of the U.S. leaving international summits empty handed with no deliverables to speak of, the U.S.-Russian summit that wrapped up in Moscow today stands in stark contrast. President Obama, determined to reset U.S.-Russian relations and place them on a more productive and business-like track, focused on a number of core issues – arms control, Afghanistan, military cooperation, and proliferation threats. On each he achieved important deliverables. After eight years of inept diplomacy, it is refreshing that an American administration is finally able to use diplomacy as a tool to enhance American security. Yet many extreme conservatives seem to be fighting the Cold War all over again.
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