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The Rundown 11/12/13

The Rundown 11/12/13

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A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team.
A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team.

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Published by: American Enterprise Institute on Nov 12, 2013
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Good afternoon and welcome to The Rundown. Is that white or grey smoke piping out of the Communist Party's third plenum in Beijing? Oh wait. That's smog. Best, Your AEI Foreign and Defense Policy Studies team
Tweet of the Week
Sadanand Dhume
India doing its best to prove him right. RT 
: Summers warns that Asia's fast growth can't last. 
In the
N
ews
Iran
Iran’s insistence on formal recognition of its “right” to enrich uranium is posing a major obstacle to an interim agreement to constrain the country’s nuclear progra
m.
On Wednesday, 
 will testify about nuclear negotiations before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 
at 10:00 a.m. and visit the AEIdeas blog for Pletka’s latest,
.” Check out her rece
nt
appe
arance on CNN's "The Lead" 
.
 
What will this nuclear deal really mean for the US? Get up to speed with Pletka’s 
 on the nuclear
negotiations: “The administration isn’t being clear with Iran about what its bottom line is, because Obama
has no bottom line. What was once a demand to end the entire nuclear weapons program has become a
demand to make it smaller and hide it better. The Iranians are playing out the string, and won’t agree to anything more substantial down the road, because they’re getting what they need up front. They are well
aware t
hat if they hold out long enough (and that’s not too long), Obama will offer them a better deal: more concessions in return for less.” “There is at least one reason why the Obama administration has been trying hard to keep the details of its
 
negotiations with Iran under wraps: it is engaged in an effort to craft a deal that looks and smells like
capitulation.” Critical Threats Project deputy director  
 argues that if the Obama administration forges ahead with the bad deal that has been emerging over the last few months, then 
will be able to disguise it. Also check out Zarif’s
 slide deck for a technical assessment of the nuclear program as it currently stands.
 
Americ
an Engagement
 
In the national imagination, foreign policy is a zero-sum game between two dueling and incompatible camps:
“doves” who seek to isolate us from the world, and “hawks” who aim to resolve practically every crisis with our nation’s mighty militar 
 y. By this neat taxonomy, an active US foreign policy is synonymous with warmongering, and isolationism is equivalent to peace. Is America being presented with a false choice?
 on November 20 at 10:00 a.m. to hear Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations and Select Committee on Intelligence, articulate a vision for America’s role in the world that reflects America’s deepest aspirations for liberty.
 
Defense
 
The Joint Chiefs of Staff might be accused of sounding like a broken record, but that should not dissuade  policymakers from paying attention to the grim national security outlook.
 
, “America's military strength and credibility are at stake. Unless President Obama
and Congress actively work to alter sequestration, its primary billpayer, the U.S. military
 and the  American public
 will lose twice. First, the taxpayer will owe more as a result of all this inefficient insecurity. And secondly, the nation will suffer immeasurably due to unnecessary instability and increasing
military weakness as a result.”
 If the US Navy is to continue to secure trade routes and shipping lanes around the globe long into the 21st century, it needs a robust fleet
 both in quantity and quality. Eaglen takes a closer look at the new supercarrier to argue why the US needs to leverage its own technological advantages for creative solutions. Read more on the Ford-class carriers 
.
 
Asia
In an effort to prepare the world’s second 
-
largest economy for future growth, China’s Communist Party  pledged to let markets play a “decisive” role in allocating resources.
to the news coming out of Beijing: “What is emerging suggests the party leadership
is either unwilling to take decisive action or, at least as likely, does not see the need. Talk of gradual reform and private investment in state-owned enterprises are based on a flawed perception of the economy. China
doesn’t need private investors to cooperate more with the st
ate, it needs them to compete more against the
state.”
 
 writes for 
, “While it is amusing to consider that the walker may replace the
missile as the weapon of choice for China and Japan, there are also far more dangerous possibilities. An aging Russia, for example, relies on its nuclear weapons (the most bang for the least manpower) for
 
security. Both Japan and China are seriously interested in drones and robotics as systems of the future. Given the inclination
s of youth in both countries, conflict may seem like a complicated video game.”
Decisions remain to be made in South Korea in the areas of missile defense, tactical fighter aircraft, and command-and-control arrangements that will be significant for not only South Korea but also all states that
have an interest in Northeast Asia’s peace and stability. For a rundown of South Korea’s missile, cyber,
special operations, and nuclear capabilities, read the latest 
, the seventh in a
series about the defense capabilities of America’s allies and security partners.
 The East China Sea may see the world's first war started by aerial drones. Unless China and Japan quickly find some way to settle their territorial dispute, they will move toward a military clash. 
column in 
 examines the dangerous costs of bumbling in Tokyo, aggression in Beijing, and passivity in Washington. Also in The Wall Street Journal, 
 examines why India is lackadaisical on terror. To score political points, New Delhi politicians openly sympathize with suspected terrorists. Dhume 
, “The US
exit from Afghanistan next year
 with the Taliban still unvanquished
 will boost radical Islamist morale across South Asia and beyond. Stepped up attacks by militants on the Indian army in Kashmir, as well as border skirmishes between India and Pakistan, have ended a decade-long lull in violence in the disputed
territory. . . . At the same time, New Delhi’s foreign
-policy mandarins have attached no special urgency to deepening ties with Israel, the U.S
. and other Western democracies.” The bottom line: Even as security in India’s immediate neighborhood deteriorates, the country’s politicians and foreign
-policy mandarins remain unprepared to face the challenge.
Turkey
 
Turkey’s Kurdish problem has not 
 gone away. Turkish self-congratulation on the Kurdish peace process is decidedly one-sided as Turks refuse to make any real reforms.
 takes to the 
 blog for a closer look at the wave of sectarian strife hitting Turkey
:
 
“The AKP has had long had a sectarian agenda. While the AKP claims it represents minorities, its first
parliament included not a single Alevi deputy even though the Alevi represent 20% of the population. Prime
Minister Erdoğan, in the true fashion of Islamist dictators, demanded that Sunni school teachers re
-educate
 Alevi school children.” As Turkey starts down the sectarian road, it h
as no one but its leadership in Ankara to blame. That is what happens when a prime minister prioritizes religious ideology over economic and political pragmatism.
Best of Blogs
Here is the best of what AEI's foreign and defense policy scholars are reading this week:
 
Daniel S. Markey
Evelyn Gordon
 in Commentary magazine: The crucial question for John Kerry
Claudia Rosett
in The Wall Street Journal: Iran's worrisome shipping news

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