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inFOCUS Quarterly

Summer 2015

inFocus Examines Asia


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Articles by the JPC

Hitler or Stalin: The Case for Choosing

by Shoshana Bryen
September 30, 2015 | American Thinker

"Who was worse, Hitler or Stalin?" It isn't a parlor game, but rather the historical equivalent of "ISIS or Iran (or proxy Syria)?" You can play it either way, but "a plague on both their houses" didn't cut it in 1941, and doesn't in 2015.

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Alliance Tracker: September 22nd Edition

September 22, 2015

Israel Watch

With its first two F-35s due to be delivered in December 2016, Israel announced it intended to double the flight range of the stealth strike fighter.

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Putin's MiGs vs. US F-16s in Syria

by Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen
September 1, 2015 | Defense News

After four years of devastating civil war with more than 240,000 dead — some from government use of chemical weapons and some from government- induced starvation — Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has admitted he has a manpower problem. In fact, he has a bigger problem than that.

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The US Needs Plan B

by Shoshana Bryen
August 21, 2015 | The Washington Times

In an interview on CNN, President Obama eschewed the notion of "Plan B" in case the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran failed to pass Congress. "I don't plan to lose," he said.

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Looking Ahead at Middle East "Peace"

by Shoshana Bryen
August 18, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

The Obama Administration has made it clear that it will not pursue Israeli-Palestinian "peace talks" while the Iran deal remains fluid. But as the President heads into his last year in office, the "two state solution" apparently remains an important political aspiration. The Iran deal and the "peace process" are linked by concerns over Iranian behavior on the non-nuclear front, and concerns about American willingness to remain the sort of ally Israel has found it to be in the past.

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Enriching Iran

by Gabriel Scheinmann
August 17, 2015 | The Hill

As fate would have it, Congress could vote on the Iranian nuclear deal two years to the day that it was supposed to vote to authorize military strikes against Assad's Syria. A Russian-brokered dismantlement deal forestalled that vote, but, in the process, Assad's chemical arsenal had achieved its original purpose: it secured his survival by transforming him into a partner in his own self-dispossession. The nuclear deal will do for Iran what the chemical weapons deal did for Syria. By making Iran indispensable to its own nuclear limitation, Iran has fulfilled its original nuclear objectives: the West's acquiescence—and even facilitation—of its regional hegemonic ambitions. In return for temporary enrichment restraints, the deal fuels Iran's conventional capabilities and greases Iran's path to power.

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The Writing is on the Wall for the US Military in the Persian Gulf

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
August 10, 2015 | American Thinker

The long U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt is likely drawing to a close. What once worked to assure stability in the region and keep the oil flowing will not work in the face of Iranian nuclear capability, and the administration is disinclined to rethink a workable strategy. The United States will likely reengage, but only when the resulting chaos spreads to our shores, as it surely will.

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What Society Says When Children are Murdered

by Shoshana Bryen
August 5, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

It is almost ghoulish to compare the deaths of children in war. They were not responsible for the situation in which they found themselves, and they did not deserve their fate. In a healthy society, such deaths are mourned without regard for the children's nationality, or the politics and misdeeds of their parents.

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Does Iran Already Have Nuclear Weapons?

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
July 31, 2015 | American Thinker

Both Iran and North Korea were part of the A.Q. Kahn proliferation network, and bilateral trade in oil and weapons has continued despite UN resolutions designed to stop it. Ballistic missile cooperation is documented, and nuclear cooperation has been an unspoken theme in Washington. Pyongyang helped Damascus, Iran's ally, build a secret reactor. There are reports that North Korean experts visited Iran in May to help Iran with its missile program. Pressed by reporters on the subject of North Korea-Iran nuclear cooperation a few weeks ago, even the State Department acknowledged that it takes reports of such cooperation seriously.

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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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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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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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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?

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