UNITED NATIONS — President Barack Obama sprinted through three days of international diplomacy at the United Nations General Assembly, vowing to re-engage the world body and pushing through a Security Council resolution that inched him closer to his dream of a nuclear weapons-free world — all the while warning he would never apologize for defending America’s interests. The resolution, passed unanimously yesterday, aims at deterring countries from withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and preventing civilian nuclear programs from being diverted toward the development of nuclear weapons. Its passage was the most tangible victory for Obama, who entered this week […]
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama said, “It is my deeply held belief that in the year 2009 — more than at any point in human history — the interests of nations and peoples are shared.” By this logic, American interests and American power around the world — which this column sets out every week to measure — depend on cooperation. The General Assembly presents an ideal opportunity to consider how much that cooperation is possible. As ever, consensus eludes us. The New York Times, for instance, sided with the argument […]
U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nikolas Sarkozy, and U.K.Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the discovery of Iran’s covertnuclear facility at the G-20 economic conference in Pittsburgh.
On Sept. 23, U.S. President Obama spoke before the United Nations General Assembly for the first time as president. The president outlined “four pillars” he believes are “fundamental to the future that we want for our children”:”non-proliferation and disarmament; the promotion of peace andsecurity; the preservation of our planet; and a global economy thatadvances opportunity for all people.” Full transcript.
President Barack Obama’s rollback of the European-based ballistic missile defense system is a strategic blunder that will incentivize Russian intransigence at the negotiating table, erode relations with loyal U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and ultimately place the American homeland at greater risk. The about-face stands in a long line of similar American miscalculations on Russia and its leaders. Famously misreading his Soviet counterpart, Joseph Stalin, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once mused, “If I give him everything I possibly can and ask nothing from him in return, [he] won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for […]
The Russian-state-sponsored television channel Russia Today quotes thechief of the Russian armed forces general staff as saying Russia wouldview any U.S. missile defense system negatively unless it were jointlydeveloped with Russia. It remains to be seen whether Russia will dropits plans to deploy missiles to its westernmost Kaliningrad region, thechannel reports. Related from WPR: Global Insights: Tough Road for NATO-Russian BMD Cooperation
In his first major speech as the alliance’s new civilian head, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told an audience in Brussels that the time had come to revitalize security ties between Moscow and the Western alliance. Reflecting the speech’s hopeful title, “NATO and Russia: A New Beginning,” Rasmussen identified several possible areas for deeper collaboration. But the most newsworthy focus of his presentation was on ballistic missile defense (BMD). Rasmussen’s remarks came on the heels of U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement the previous day that his administration would suspend the U.S. missile defense systems planned for Poland and the […]
The decision by the Obama administration to drop the missile defense plan in Eastern Europe was based on a revised perception of Iran’s long-range missile threat. The move is bound to have multiple and contradictory effects on the thorny issue of Iran’s nuclear program, which is slated to be a central subject of multilateral discussions at the opening of the U.N.’s General Assembly this week, as well as at the G-20 gathering in Pittsburgh days later. Diminishing the threat perception of Iran’s missile program from previous assessments under the Bush administration is certainly conducive to the IAEA — that is, […]
U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new phased, adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe, a revision of the Bush administration’s 2007 plan for missile defense. The administration says the new approach is based on an assessment of the Iranian missile threat, and a commitment to deploy technology that is “proven, cost-effective, and adaptable to an evolving security environment.”
While transnational illicit flows of people, goods and technology are not a new phenomenon, it has been widely recognized that the volume of these flows has increased dramatically in the globalizing era that has followed the end of the Cold War. This increase has largely been a result of the technical innovations associated with globalization, combined with the popularization of “free trade” ideals. Simply put, the sheer volume of international trade has meant that even states of the developed world increasingly cannot control their borders. What effect has this increase in illicit flows had on states and their power in […]
Note: The following opinion piece was submitted in response to last week’s WPR briefing, “Engaging Iran: An Interview with R. Nicholas Burns.” As both a news and analysis journal, WPR is committed to airing all sides of acontested issue, so long as they are respectfully expressed. Global diplomacy surrounding Iran’s nuclear standoff is very likely to reach a critical fork in the road this fall. In the coming weeks and months, this potentially dangerous crisis could either escalate or veer toward hopeful signs of a mutually satisfactory resolution. Ahead of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg as well as the […]
R. Nicholas Burns, the former under secretary of state for political affairs, says it is unlikely that Iran will make a serious effort to work with the United States in curbing its nuclear program, but that President Barack Obama’s push for diplomatic talks is a necessary step in building international support for harsher sanctions and, in a worst-case scenario, military force. Now a professor of diplomacy and international politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, Burns told World Politics Review, “My guess is the Iranian government will try to resist serious negotiations.” He suggested that Iran will put forward a proposal […]
World Citizen: Mideast Countries Shoot Down Washington’s Iran ‘Trial Balloon’
Concerns in the Middle East about what exactly the United States has in mind for Iran have grown in recent months, partly because of statements from top administration officials about a possible new approach for dealing with Iran’s nuclear aspirations. If the administration intended word of the plan to act as a trial balloon in the Middle East, it is clear that regional players have popped the balloon and sent it hissing to the ground. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heightened the worries during a recent visit to Thailand, when she again spoke of a concept she had raised […]
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently completed its most comprehensive assessment in months of Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s degree of cooperation with the agency and U.N. Security Council resolutions. Although the Aug. 28 report (.pdf) notes some new developments, its basic message is that Iran has not appreciably changed its main nuclear policies despite years of negotiations, U.N. sanctions, and its recent presidential elections. As a result, as in the past, both advocates and opponents of harsher sanctions on Tehran can cite some of the agency’s findings to support their positions. The report, which was promptly leaked to […]