"For Washington, getting a good deal means forcing a rogue regime to make the strategic decision that having nuclear weapons is worse than giving them up. Only Washington can lead in making the risks of holding onto nuclear weapons worse than the risks of abandoning them."
"The deal provides no assurance that Iran won’t cross that line in the future. That kind of pact leaves Israel facing a potential showdown with a nuclear-armed adversary. The most common concern conjured is that, as the first nuke comes off the assembly line, an apocalyptic mullah will fire it at Tel Aviv or hand it off to a terrorist group to do the job for him. But that’s not the most likely scenario."
In the Weekly Standard, AHS speaker Gary Schmitt asks what the likely victory of Iraqi forces retaking Tikrit from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria can tell us about the current U.S. military strategy in Iraq:
"With sufficient American “boots on the ground”—say, an Army division’s worth—and an intensified air campaign, ISIS would soon be on its heels, and possibly even routed. Theology might make martyrdom an attractive alternative in theory, but, in practice, most want to think their ultimate sacrifice helps the winning side."
"Diplomacy is not just about negotiating with adversaries. It is also about bringing along one’s allies and domestic constituencies, without whose support an agreement would be a hollow achievement. Leadership is not simply about exercising prerogatives; it is also about persuading others to follow."
"There is still an analytical place for tyrants. In fact, many of today’s strongmen—say, Vladimir Putin—resemble more ancient tyrants than modern ones. Ideology and science play less of a role in their hold on power. Today’s tyrants are ideological opportunists—postmodern leaders who shape their “narrative” according to public relations needs."
"These peacetime missions represent the most cost-effective and preferred use of American military power. They magnify all other aspects of American national power while upholding stability in vital regions."
"Obama should reflect on that, particularly since going forward he’s bluffing with a weak hand. If his point was to prove he’s still relevant, he’s succeeded. If his point was to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, he’s provoked a mutiny that will make the policy difficult to carry out."