Time to Apply Burma Sanctions Model to Cuba?

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This is a guest note by Anya Landau French, Director of the US-Cuba Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation. As a Cuba policy analyst, I’ve given an surprising amount of thought to our policy toward the politically isolated, resource-rich nation of Burma (Myanmar) half a world away. That’s because I used to work for Senator Max Baucus, who in 2003, working with Senators Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Grassley, helped pass smart sanctions against the Burmese Regime. At…

The GOP National Security Debate

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The Clemons Grades for the National Security Debate Rick Santorum  D+ [Changed to C-]Michele Bachmann  B+Newt Gingrich  B-Rick Perry  D-Herman Cain  FMitt Romney  B-Ron Paul   BJon Huntsman  B+ [After reviewing my grades, I decided that Rick Santorum‘s honesty about the importance of negotiating and willing to compromise with the “other side” deserves a bit more credit.  I hereby revise his grade to a C-.] Here is the full transcript of the debate. Sad truth is that this was really amateurish…

Global Security & Alliances in Era of Austerity

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(photo credit:  Steve Clemons) Yesterday at the 2011 Halifax International Security Forum — basically the Davos for defense and foreign policy junkies at which 18 defense ministers from around the world are in attendance (about a 1:10 ratio with other conference guests and participants) — US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave a mostly compelling speech that has no title but should be called “Security Deliverables in an Age of Austerity?” Panetta was upfront with the assembled defense ministers that…

McCain Links Arab Spring to Challenges for Beijing & Moscow

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(photo credit:  Halifax the Forum) I’m up at the 2011 Halifax International Security Forum where 18 defense ministers and a who’s who of the international defense and security community have assembled.  The forum is modestly sized with about 200 attendees — but the diversity of perspective here is impressive. I’ll have a post up in a while on US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s appeal to allies in an “era of austerity” — but wanted to get something up now that…

Iran: Romney Long on Bombast, Short on Strategy

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Steve Clemons talks to Chris Matthews about Mitt Romney’s unserious Iran strategy. Tonight, I participated in a discussion with USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar and Middle East affairs expert Robin Wright and MSNBC Hardball‘s Chris Matthews.  We got into Mitt Romney’s comment that if Obama remains President, Iran will get the bomb – – and if he, Romney, is elected President, Iran won’t get the bomb.  This plays pretty close to Senator John McCain’s “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” comment…

GREEN INTELLIGENCE FORUM: Sustainable Cities (Update)

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Update:  The 2nd day of the Green Intelligence Forum starts this morning and can be watched live on the screen below. My colleagues at The Atlantic have produced an outstanding forum — very diverse views throughout from the environmental sector, the corporate sector, the think tank crowd — on the question of how to build more sustainable cities in the future. The title: “GREEN INTELLIGENCE FORUM: Creating the Sustainable City of the Future.” I am going to be managing/chairing three…

Fake Progress & Real Progress in Palestine

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After former World Bank President James Wolfensohn had taken over in 2005 as chairman of the Quartet a representative body comprised of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations and focused on moving the cause of Israel-Palestine peace forward, he once said that the only way to know whether progress was being achieved is if we saw Palestinian produced strawberries finding their way to breakfast tables in Europe.  Wolfensohn was so focused on making business work…

Camel Friends

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Susan Bayh, wife of former Senator Evan Bayh, and I took turns softening up this adorable camel who pretty much hung out with us until the food bell rang. No kicking of spitting. Just an extremely sweet camel. — Steve Clemons

China’s Socialist System of Laws with Chinese Characteristics

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(photo credit: James Fallows) I had to laugh when I saw this post by my colleague James Fallows noting that the US edition of China Daily now had a news-box right outside our offices at The Atlantic. I had just returned from China yesterday and was in town for a few hours before having to take off again so I grabbed a China Daily to catch up on what China wanted us folks at the Watergate to know about all…