Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

The Vice Presidential Debate: Differences on Iran

October 16, 2012

The Vice Presidential Debate: Consequential Statements on Iran (Download in PDF)

Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon requires three stages of development.  First, Iran must enrich uranium from 20% up to greater than 90% purity.  Second, Iran must develop a trigger mechanism to detonate a bomb.  Third, Iran must have a delivery system for transporting the bomb, typically a long range missile system.  To date, Iran has made significant progress towards enriching uranium, but progress on the missile system and trigger mechanism are believed to be not as advanced.  The “red line” in this process is the point at which Iran’s nuclear program is on the verge of completing a nuclear bomb.  Traditional views ascribe the “red line” as Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade level, because once this step occurs, the transition to a nuclear bomb is possible in a very short time period.  For example, Israel’s Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu, made a similar argument before the UN a few weeks ago—literally drawing a red line for Israeli military intervention at the 90% enrichment.

The Vice Presidential debate on October 11th between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan illuminated their perspectives on the Iranian nuclear proliferation issue.  Their comments anticipate how each Presidential candidate would handle foreign policy issues.  When asked about the American “red line” for military intervention in the crisis, each candidate made contrasting statements.  Viewers should consider the consequences of these statements, and look for clarification from President Obama and Candidate Romney during the upcoming October 22nd foreign policy debate.   (more…)

Iran in the Crosshairs

September 28, 2012

 

Iran in the Crosshairs: International Elements of Non-Proliferation Policy

President Obama’s speech at the UN on September 25 amplified the urgent need to confront Iran’s nuclear program.  In an effort to project American strength on the issue, President Obama made the following statement:

“A nuclear-armed Iran … would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy.  It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty.  That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable.  And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Iran’s rapid development of fissile nuclear material is a complex issue.  The transition from conventional contemporary weapons to nuclear weapons has grave implications for the existence of the State of Israel; the potential for nuclear proliferation, including possession of a nuclear weapon by terrorist organizations; a severe oil shortage; and the degradation of the global ecosystem.

Iran’s ability to acquire a nuclear weapon is a manifestation of nuclear proliferation.  It tells us that the concept of an effective international non-proliferation regime is a marvelous idea that, based on the statements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has not prevented Iran from moving rapidly toward a nuclear capability.  What is complicating the process?  How can the international community change course? (more…)

All Options are on the Table: U.S. Foreign Policy and Iran

August 20, 2012

Satellite Image

“All options are on the table.”  These six words often spoken by President Obama, presidential aspirant Mitt Romney, DoD Chiefs, and a litany Congressmen define the contemporary U.S. strategic postures towards an Iran seemingly intent on acquiring a nuclear weapon and upsetting global stability.  However, few details are given as to what these words imply.  The magnitude of the threat, qualified by the assurance that this is the U.S.’s most pressing national security threat since 9/11, gives rise to the following question: if all options are on the table, then what are they?  This article outlines the various options that are most likely to be on the table and discusses the implications of each option.

To read the rest of the article, click on the link below.

All Options Are On The Table

By Eric S. Morse

The Iranian Nuclear Crisis and American Leadership

January 25, 2012

The case for American leadership in the Iran nuclear crisis has gained focus lately.  It is becoming clearer that strong U.S. leadership is the predicate for coordinated multilateral engagement on the Iranian nuclear issue.  An effective sanctions campaign against Iran’s nuclear program has been impeded in the past by lack of strategic focus and the complexity international relations.  This is not time for the U.S. to lead from behind.

A member of the NSF Editorial Board, recently published a commentary on the subject at The American Spectator.

The American Spectator: Don’t Waste Another Crisis, Mr. President

By Frank Schell

Missiles and the Balance of Power

February 9, 2011

Missiles are again prominent in international news.  This time, however, it is not the United States or Russia that is making headlines, as was the case during the Cold War, but rather small and rising powers across the globe.  The ramifications of diffuse missile technology is altering the face of geopolitical power and causing advanced countries to rethink their strategies.  Developing countries with small military forces are finding that they can effectively counter-balance larger, more advanced militaries by deploying low-tech missile technology.

There are four recent examples of missiles changing the balance of power in the international system.  Read the analysis in the article below.

Missiles and the Balance of Power

By Eric S. Morse

Economic Warfare Strategy Against Iran

August 2, 2010

The American Foreign Policy Council recently released an excellent report titled “Towards an Economic Warfare Strategy Against Iran.”  The report provides excellent policy recommendations for crafting a series of practical, multilateral economic sanctions against Iran.

Sanctions have been used several times against Iran in the past, but all have fallen short of achieving the desired effects.  In this report, the American Foreign Policy Council outlines, in great detail, a pragmatic economic warfare strategy against Iran that may shore up the deficiencies of previous efforts.

For those interested in U.S. foreign policy towards Iran, the NSF highly recommends this report.  Click on the PDF link above, or visit the AFPC website.