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inFOCUS Quarterly

Summer 2015

inFocus Examines Asia

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The Iran Deal Isn't Anything Like Nixon Going to China

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Michael Green
July 27, 2015 | Foreign Policy

Analogies, Sigmund Freud once wrote, decide nothing, but they can make one feel more at home. President Obama is explicitly comparing his diplomatic triumph with Iran to President Nixon's opening to China in 1972. Nixon, the president explained in a July 14 interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, "understood there was the prospect, the possibility, that China could take a different path" of "very important strategic benefit to the United States" — a point repeated in supportive commentary by Fareed Zakaria, and others. Meanwhile, former Obama National Security Council official Phil Gordon has cast the president's breakthrough with Iran as a noble contrast to the George W. Bush administration's alleged rejection of diplomacy with North Korea, claiming that Pyongyang developed nuclear weapons because Bush refused to implement a similar disarmament framework with North Korea negotiated by President Bill Clinton.

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Israel: Security Asset for the United States

by Shoshana Bryen
July 16, 2015 | Gatestone

Perhaps you think the war is over. Perhaps you think that if Iran becomes a "friend" of the United States and the possibility of an American-led war against the Islamic Republic recedes, the need for a militarily capable ally such as Israel also recedes. Maybe the U.S. doesn't want to associate with the "militaristic" Jewish State. That's quite possible from the vantage point of July 2015 and if you think the only reason to befriend anyone is for the military advantages it brings to the relationship.

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The Iran Deal: Making War More Likely?

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
July 17, 2015 | American Thinker

The deal is done. Iran has sort-of promised it won't build nuclear weapons, but even the promise has serious caveats: Iran can continue to build weapons platforms to deliver the non-existent weapons; it can cooperate with friendly countries to acquire enhancements to weapons delivery technology; and it can prevent entry to requested facilities by international inspectors for 24 days per request; it need not account for prior military activity. And Iran will be vastly richer.

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Shoshana Bryen Talks on the Middle East Round Table

July 16, 2015 | 1330AM WEBY Radio

JPC Senior Director Shoshana Bryen talks to the Middle East Round Table on Your Turn with host Mike Bates on 1330AM WEBY radio on July 16th, 2015.

Supporting the Iran Nuclear Deal Requires a Lot of Faith

by Gabriel Scheinmann
July 16, 2015 | Time

The recently concluded Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran's nuclear program is indeed historic. Proponents believe that it will prevent an Iranian bomb and make "the world and the region—including Israel—more secure." Critics think that it is a catastrophe that legitimizes Iran's nuclear program, shreds global non-proliferation standards, menaces the security of our allies, and emboldens Iranian aggression. Obama administration officials concede that no one "believes it is an ideal solution," but President Barack Obama maintains that this deal "is our best option by far." What must proponents believe in order to support this deal?

Statement on Nuclear Agreement

July 14, 2015 | Jewish Policy Center

Washington, D.C. – The Jewish Policy Center expresses grave reservations over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed to by the United States, acting for the P5+1, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran had three goals:

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Afghan Officials Confirm Taliban Leader's Death

by Adam Goldstein
July 30, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Afghan officials confirmed on Wednesday that Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar died in 2013. The revelation of Omar's death was announced amid ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan's government, and rumors of an internal power struggle among the terrorists organization's hierarchy.

Turkey Changes Stance on Combating IS

by Adam Goldstein
July 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Following an Islamic State-linked suicide bombing on July 20th in Urfa, a southern province bordering Syria, Turkey initiated air-strikes on militant positions in Iraq and Syria. Turkey had previously chosen not to act against the Islamic State because IS was fighting Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Turkey's longtime enemies.

White House Pushes for Guantanamo Bay Closure

by Michael Johnson
July 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm

The White House announced this week that it is finalizing a new plan to close the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While President Obama tried to close the prison in 2009, previous attempts to transfer all prisoners out of Camp Delta have failed amid bipartisan opposition in Congress.

Leader of Khorasan Group Killed in U.S. Airstrike

by Andy Hazelnis
July 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

A U.S. airstrike killed a seasoned member of al-Qaeda, Muhsin al-Fadhli, 31, as he traveled by car in the northwest Syrian town of Sarmada on July 8th, according to recently released information from officials in Washington. Al-Fadhli was leader of Khorasan, a terrorist group focused on launching attacks on the U.S and Europe.

Turkish Government Names Suicide Bomber

by Andy Hazelnis
July 21, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Turkish authorities released the identity of a suicide bomber on Wednesday who killed 32 youth activists and injured more than 100 people in the town of Suruc earlier this week. Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz, a Turk with links to Islamic State militants, targeted students and members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations demonstrating in the town bordering Syria.

Indian Drone Supposedly Downed in Pakistan

by Adam Goldstein
July 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Pakistani officials claimed Wednesday that they shot down an Indian "spy drone" in the Pakistani-controlled area of the contested Kashmir region. The incident comes days after a meeting between between the prime ministers of Pakistan and India on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference. Talks focused on shared regional interest, such as fighting terrorism.

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