Asymmetric Diplomacy

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Interesting bit of accounting by Geoffrey Forden at Arms Control Wonk, who does a “back of the napkin” calculation of how much the Natanz enrichment facility has actually cost Iran. Grand total? $270 million. There are broader costs associated with Iran’s nuclear program, but for now, the most troubling component at the heart of the diplomatic standoff remains the uranium enrichment going on at Natanz. For a facility that now dominates the region’s strategic agenda, that seems like a pretty good return on investment. It also means that whatever actual infrastructure damage, in dollar terms, that any airstrike might cause […]

Asymmetric Diplomacy

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This is about the sharpest take I’ve seen on the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM), from Nouri, aka The Moor Next Door: The Union for the Mediterranean is not in itself the construction of a new pole; it instead is an attempt to fortify the EU pole, and, inside of that, to strengthen France’s position. It seeks to put France in a headman position, so that it occupies a place of primary leadership within its region that is comparable to Brazil’s within Mercosur, South Africa’s within the SADC, and China’s within the SCO. Concerns over immigration agriculture aside, France seeks […]


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