National Security Network

diplomacy

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diplomacy

Pakistan

AfPak Progress and Caution

Report 25 February 2010
Pakistan's unprecedented effort against Afghan Taliban within its borders comes following a year of Obama administration engagement.  This comprehensive approach -on counterterrorism but also Pakistan's development, defense and diplomatic priorities -has built greater cooperation between the two countries, particularly on regional counterterrorism issues.  However, caution is warranted:  Pakistan's interests will not always align with those of the U.S., and the Administration should not repeat its predecessor's failure by simply assuming a "friendly" Pakistani government will pursue U.S. interests.
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Iran

Confronting Iran's Nuclear Program

Report 24 February 2010
Concerns over Iran's nuclear activities are growing following the release of a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The report confirms Iran's lack of cooperation on its nuclear program, evasion which prevents the agency from confirming that the program is strictly for peaceful purposes.  These findings raise troubling questions and  show that Iran must be more forthcoming about its nuclear program. But they are not a cause for panic.  In fact, they should create the opposite response, as Obama administration efforts to increase pressure on Iran are bringing more clarity and consensus about how to deal with this global challenge.
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Iran

Amidst Conservative Hysteria, U.S. Talks to Iran

Report 1 October 2009
Today, Iran and the international community are finally sitting down for much anticipated talks. The meeting in Geneva between Iran and the U.S, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, also known as the “P5 + 1,” comes at a momentous time. Since President Obama’s inauguration nine months ago, the administration has made strong efforts to draw Iran into negotiations. This has occurred against a tumultuous backdrop that has included unprecedented turmoil inside Iran following its controversial June elections, as well as recent revelations of a secret facility at Qom. While conservatives have been using the same old talking points, beating the war drums, calling for regime change, and treating the talks as if anything less than the complete disappearance of Iran’s nuclear program will be a failure, the Obama administration has harbored no such illusions. Negotiations will not be easy. Iran’s internal instability, coupled with its duplicity over the nuclear issue means that the meeting in Geneva will likely be a starting point for hard-nosed diplomacy.
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Iran

Talking with Iran

Report 15 September 2009
After a tumultuous 6-month period which included unprecedented attempts at engagement by the Obama administration as well as a deeply flawed Presidential election, Iran has finally agreed to sit down for talks with the P5 + 1 group, representing 6 global powers. The initial talks, scheduled for October 1, will not be easy. Iran’s ongoing internal instability has already complicated U.S. policy, and the document put forward by Iranian negotiators contains only oblique references to the nuclear issue, considered a central U.S. concern. For these reasons, the meeting is likely to be a starting point for negotiations between Iran and the international community.
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Diplomacy

The Conservative Party: Like It's 1999

Report 11 May 2009
After eight years of reckless saber-rattling and an almost exclusive focus on the military – conservatives still oppose reasonable and tough diplomacy.
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Diplomacy

Conservative Myths about Barack Obama's Foreign Policy

Report 28 April 2009
Conservatives have persisted in pushing various myths about President Obama's various foreign policy achievements. This document outlines the various conservative claims and definitively refutes their hypocritical, baseless claims. In reality, President Obama has achieved many foreign policy goals in a remarkably short period of time.
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Iran

Tough Direct Diplomacy with Iran

Report 15 April 2009
As the U.S. prepares to rejoin multilateral talks with Iran, President Ahmadinejad responded to American overtures by announcing preparation of a new set of proposals to try to end the standoff between Iran and the West over Iran’s uranium enrichment program.  The devil will be in the details, but this appears to be a positive step.And as was promised during the campaign, the President’s team is rebuilding a consensus strategy in the international community and reportedly preparing a strategy that recognizes that making the full suspension of uranium enrichment a precondition for any negotiations is a recipe for guaranteed failure. 
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Reengaging the Issue of Non-Proliferation and Leading by Example

Report 6 April 2009
Nuclear weapons present perhaps the greatest threat to our global security.  Yet, for eight years the Bush administration shunned the global arms control regime that has played such a crucial role in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons.  This week, President Obama sent a very clear signal that non-proliferation is back at the top of the agenda. 
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Afghanistan

The World Joins in: a Regional and International Strategy for Afghanistan

Report 30 March 2009
Tomorrow’s conference at The Hague – bringing together almost one hundred countries, international and non-governmental organizations – represents an important step in implementing a comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan that recognizes that American interests cannot be secured through military force alone.  Afghanistan’s neighbors including Pakistan, Iran, Russia, India, China and the Gulf States all have significant interests in the country.  If they are not engaged to play a productive and positive role, there is little chance that Afghanistan can be stabilized.
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Iran

Advancing Diplomacy Toward Iran

Report 23 March 2009
Last week the next steps in the Obama Administration’s comprehensive approach to Iran were on display, with the President’s video message saying that the U.S. is ready to begin diplomatic engagement. This message follows on a letter sent by President Obama to Iran after initially coming to office and further confirms the Administration’s readiness to engage in diplomatic negotiations. This is a dramatic departure from the approach of the Bush administration and represents a renewed recognition of the importance of diplomacy as a foreign policy tool.
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