With a reasonable compromise within reach on Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration pulled back, apparently fearing domestic political fallout. The result means a likely painful stalemate for the foreseeable future, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett describe.
Venturing outside Official Washington’s conventional wisdom to apply realistic analysis to U.S. foreign policy can be dangerous to one’s reputation, especially when challenging cherished myths about a designated enemy. Then, the realist can expect to be dismissed as a loon, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have seen.
The most realistic route for peace in Syria is a power-sharing arrangement that protects the interests of the Sunni majority and the Alawites and other religious minorities backing President Bashar al-Assad. But President Obama has thrown in his lot with the forces pressing for Assad’s violent removal, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
By cozying up to Israeli hardliners and embracing Official Washington’s hostility toward Iran, President Obama may be squandering an opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute and inviting a worsening crisis in the Middle East, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.
Even as the Obama administration inches toward a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program, U.S. officials keep up the tough talk to appease Official Washington’s hardliners. But wishful thinking about Iran’s vulnerabilities could raise the risk of conflict, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
Despite the Iraq debacle, neocons remain in the driver’s seat setting official U.S. attitudes toward Iran, mixing worst-case assumptions with unrelenting hostility. But national security experts Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have stood up to this neocon-driven conventional wisdom, says Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service.
As the U.S. and other world powers resume talks with Iran on its nuclear program, key questions relate to U.S.-sponsored sanctions, how effective they’ve been and when they might be eased. But there’s also doubt they can be sustained, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
President Obama has indicated that he wants a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran, especially limiting its nuclear program, but he has hesitated taking the kind of positive steps that President Nixon did in his opening to China more than four decades ago, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett observe.
A key residual power of Washington’s neocons is their access to think-tank journals and influential op-ed pages to “controversialize” American analysts and writers who deviate from foreign policy orthodoxy. At such moments, history and honesty are cast aside for ideology and expediency, Nima Shirazi notes.
America’s “tough-guy-ism” plays well at home, with politicians competing to see whose bluster is the most belligerent, but works less well with the targeted countries whose leaders have their own imperatives of politics and pride. President Obama is risking failure in Iran nuclear talks if he ignores this reality, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.