Swoop: Washington’s World: April 9th – 15th, 2012 – Restraint & Compromise

Swoop: Washington’s World: April 9th – 15th, 2012 – Restraint & Compromise
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Swoop: “The Administration is facing a series of foreign policy problems, not one of which represents a full-blown crisis but each one of which places the White House under scrutiny for its response.

With problems as diverse as Mali, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Burma to say nothing of Afghanistan, White House officials acknowledge that they face a challenge in fashioning a consistent message for the presidential campaign. At the April 11th G8 foreign ministers, Secretary of State Clinton will try to fashion support for US positions of restraint. With little appetite among American voters for activist intervention abroad, President Obama is not under pressure to deploy military force. His calculation is that if, as expected, he comes under political pressure for not asserting US interests, he will be able to refute this criticism through actions like the dispatch of US marines to Australia in the strategic context of “containing” China. All in all, the Democrats are comfortable with their political standing on national security.

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With regard to Iran, well-informed observers in Washington are suggesting that Obama is seeking a compromise with Tehran that will enable them to maintain a civil nuclear program so long as a credible and verifiable inspection regime guarantees that no weapons-related work is underway. This gesture is intended to ease negotiating postures in advance of the meeting due to be held with the Iranians on April 13th. Expectations for this session are still low, but the Administration continues to search for ways to avoid any escalation toward the military option.

Exchanges with Israel continue to stress US disapproval of any unilateral Israeli military action. Pentagon contacts tell us privately that, while there are signs that the political import of this message is getting through to Tel Aviv, they are quick to stress to us that the Israelis will make their own decisions.

On North Korea, both the Pentagon and State Department are seeking to moderate any reaction to the expected missile test by Pyongyang in the coming two weeks. One outcome of a successful test will be to put new energy into missile defense systems both in East Asia and Europe as well as the continental US.

This will add tensions to the already strained relations with Russia. The sentencing in a New York court of the convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout will add yet another source of contention”

Source: http://theswoop.net
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