‘No’ to Iran Means No Forever

by PSA Staff | August 11th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Samuel Berger is the former White House national security advisor and current co-chair of Albright Stonebridge Group. He is a member of PSA’s Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in Politico.

There is a notion cultivated by opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement, attractive to members of Congress under intense pressure to vote no, that congressional rejection of the agreement will enable U.S. negotiators to reach a better deal. The expectation is, that with a further turn of the screws, we can pressure the Iranians to give more and/or we give less. But it can’t happen.


Don’t Forget our Daughters: The Importance of Girls in Guaranteeing Future Security

by PSA Staff | August 3rd, 2015 | |Subscribe

*Kyleanne Hunter is a PhD Candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.  Prior to entering academia, she served as a United States Marine Corps Officer for over a decade, flying the AH-1W “Super Cobra” in multiple combat deployments, and serving as the liaison officer to the House of Representatives.

An 8 year old girl and a backpack.  This is a seemingly innocent and innocuous image.  Yet she is perhaps one of the strongest allies the US has in its fight against terrorist-producing extremism and the destabilizing effects of failed states.  In the past decade, numerous studies and reports have linked state stability, security, and profitability to women’s equality.  Of particular note are the findings in the seminal work Sex and World Peace[1] linking gender equality to a lack of involvement in either intra or inter state armed conflict.  While much attention has been paid to the important role women play in stabilizing previously conflict-ridden countries, there is still woefully little done to ensure this positive trend remains well into the future.


Libya: Making a Friend out of the Enemy of our Enemy

by PSA Staff | July 29th, 2015 | |Subscribe

*Alex Braha is a Senior Associate at Andreae & Associates in Washington, DC, where she focuses on political and security issues in Africa and the Middle East. She received her M.A. in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

The beginning of this month saw glimmers of hope quickly turn back to stalemate with the UN-led negotiations to solve the crisis in Libya. July began with Abdullah al-Thinni, the prime minister for the internationally recognized government currently in power in Tobruk, proclaiming his hopes that a peace deal could be signed at the latest round of talks. This was followed a few days later by the refusal of the rival government in Tripoli to show at the peace talks, expressing their rejection of the UN proposal and suggested amendments from the Tobruk government. The latest iteration of a peace plan is the fourth draft undertaken by UN envoy Bernadino Leon, and the closest he has been to consensus. But with the last minute refusal by the Tripoli government, how many more chances remain to get a deal?


How Iran turns lemons into high-octane lemonade

by PSA Staff | July 10th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor from 1983-1985, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. This post originally appeared in the Washington Times

In 2009, as intelligence reports confirmed that Iran — the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism — had resumed its nuclear weapons development program, the efforts of American policy officials to reverse it focused first on Iranian vulnerabilities. What critical commodity or service essential to daily life in Iran might be restricted by sanctions and thereby influence the government of Iran to change course? It didn’t take long to identify such a strategic commodity: gasoline.


Lee Hamilton: Despite Growing Tensions, US Must Move Forward on Cooperation With China

by PSA Staff | July 1st, 2015 | |Subscribe

Published in the Huffington Post:

Lee H. Hamilton is a Distinguished Scholar, Indiana University School of Global and International Studies; Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Chairman, Center on Congress at Indiana University. He served as U.S. Representative from Indiana’s 9th Congressional District from 1965-1999.

He is a co-founder of the Partnership for a Secure America and sits on the PSA Advisory Board.

We routinely slam each other’s records on human rights. We accuse them of stealing commercial secrets, as we unabashedly acknowledge our own attempts to uncover security secrets. We debate which of our systems of government — capitalism or communism — truly works best, and we squabble over our respective responsibilities in addressing the potential catastrophic impact of climate change. (more…)

Madeleine Albright Says: Learn to Interrupt, But Only If You Know What You’re Talking About

by PSA Staff | June 24th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Madeleine K. Albright was U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, and is a member of PSA’s distinguished Advisory Board. This article originally appeared in NY Magazine.

This week, the Cut is talking advice — the good, the bad, the weird, and the pieces of it you really wish you would have taken. Here, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on learning to get things done in the United Nations.

Probably every woman you know, certainly every woman I know, has been in meetings where you’re the only woman in the room, and you want to make some kind of a comment and you think, Okay, I’m not going to say that, because it sounds stupid. And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it’s completely brilliant, and you’re really mad at yourself for not having spoken. I had that experience most of my life.


Lee Hamilton: Congress is wrong to be shrinking from its war powers

by PSA Staff | June 1st, 2015 | |Subscribe

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN) is a member of the PSA Board of Advisors and director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. This article originally appeared on Omaha.com.

Congress is wrong to be shrinking from its war powers

A few weeks ago, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia made a small splash in the press when he took Congress to task for failing to authorize our nation’s ongoing war against Islamic militants.

“The silence of Congress in the midst of this war is cowardly and shameful,” he said. “[T]his Congress, the very body that is so quick to argue against President Obama’s use of executive power … allows an executive war to go on undeclared, unapproved, undefined and unchecked.”

Those were strong words, meant to spur Congress to action. Yet after a day or two, they sank without a trace. No one in the media picked up the call. No one in a position to influence the Senate or the House made a move to advance a congressional war authorization.


Middle East Continues to Dominate U.S. Foreign Policy, but Our Strategy in Region Remains Largely Unclear

by PSA Staff | April 27th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Lee Hamilton is director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University and current Advisory Board Co-Chair to the Partnership for a Secure America. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. The article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Middle East Continues to Dominate U.S. Foreign Policy, but Our Strategy in Region Remains Largely Unclear

Like every U.S. president of the last half-century, I find it nearly impossible to avoid focusing most of my foreign policy attention on the continuingly chaotic and confusing region of the world that is the Middle East.

I have now spent five decades working on foreign policy in government, and I’m still struggling to make sense of the Middle East. It’s an extremely turbulent area, where tensions flare up regularly. Its economic growth has been tepid at best, and its overall governance is feeble. The region is currently flooded with refugees. And city after city is fraught with danger, destruction and devastation.


Wirth and Hart: Don’t sabotage Iran nuke deal

by PSA Staff | April 20th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Gary Hart is a PSA Advisory Board member and former senator, Timothy E. Wirth is a former senator. The original article appeared in The Denver Post.

Wirth and Hart: Don’t sabotage Iran nuke deal

“There is agreement on nothing until there is agreement on everything” is a bedrock principle of the pending nuclear negotiations with Iran. “Everything” means everything having to do with controlling Iran’s nuclear program, not everything having to do with the total U.S.-Iran relationship.


The means of coercing Iran

by PSA Staff | April 14th, 2015 | |Subscribe

Robert McFarlane is a PSA Advisory Board member and served as President Reagan’s national security adviser. The original article appeared in The Washington Times.

The means of coercing Iran

How would the prospects for stability in the Middle East be affected if Iran were to succeed in its effort to become a nuclear power? In what ways might we expect Iran to behave differently?

The behavior of the Soviet Union in the late 1970s is instructive on this point. Despite signing the 1972 SALT I Agreement with the United States, which put restraints on strategic nuclear forces, the USSR soon began to violate several of its tenets and to establish an advantage in ICBM warheads. Before long it had established a comfortable margin of superiority over the United States. Then, secure against any plausible threat, it became more willing to take risks to expand its influence in various parts of the world. We recall well those years from ‘75 to ‘80 in which the Kremlin’s support for so-called wars of national liberation enabled them to exert a prevailing influence in country after country — Angola, then Ethiopia, South Yemen, Mozambique, Afghanistan (following an invasion by more than 100,000 troops), and ultimately, Nicaragua. Not until the early ‘80s, as the United States restored its will to oppose Soviet expansion, did the Kremlin change course.


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All blog posts are independently produced by their authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of PSA. Across the Aisle serves as a bipartisan forum for productive discussion of national security and foreign affairs topics.