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Should Asia be Afraid? China's Strategy in the South China Sea Emerges

The Buzz

China continues to play a long game in asserting its territorial claims and hegemonic ambitions in the South China Sea (SCS). After its confrontation with Vietnam over the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in May this year, Beijing has recently announced that it intends to build lighthouses on five islands in the SCS, two of which appear to be in waters also claimed by Vietnam. Indeed, China’s traditional position of “strategic ambiguity” regarding its willingness to compromise on its territorial claims within what it calls the ‘nine-dash line’ looks increasingly obsolete.

Its assertiveness in the SCS needs to be seen as part of a new framework of Chinese foreign policy emerging under President Xi Xinping. China watchers point out that the new leadership appears to have conducted a reassessment of China’s security environment, its relative position and policy responses. Predecessor Hu Jintao’s description of the international environment as a “harmonious world” has disappeared. So too has Deng Xiaoping’s guideline to “hide our capabilities and bide our time, be good at maintaining a low profile and never claim leadership.” Instead, the security environment is assessed to be “under a new situation” and according to Xi, China “needs to protect and make the best use of the strategic opportunity period to safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.”

From a Chinese perspective, the “new situation,” characterized by the U.S. strategic shift to Asia and growing tensions over maritime territorial disputes, requires “proactive assertiveness” in the SCS. And the leadership is optimistic about winning a decade-long game for hegemony there. Bonnie Glaser and Deep Pal succinctly outline the thinking behind that approach:

“Beijing’s proactive economic diplomacy [in Southeast Asia] is part of a larger strategy aimed at binding its neighbors in a web of incentives that increase their reliance on China and raise the cost to them of adopting a confrontational policy towards Beijing on territorial disputes. At the same time, China continues to engage in a steady progression of small steps, none of which by itself is a casus belli, to gradually change the status quo in its favor. In the near term, China’s leaders anticipate some resistance. Over time, however, they calculate that their growing leverage will be sufficient to persuade weaker and vulnerable neighbors to accede to Chinese territorial demands.”

Can this strategy succeed? If regional and external players display a lack of political will and coordination to raise the costs for China, it well may. It’s difficult, for instance, to counter Beijing’s tactic of using swarms of fishing vessels backed by heavily-armed coast guard vessels to intimidate weaker neighbors.

But that outcome isn’t inevitable. So far, China hasn’t attempted to use military force to occupy disputed islands, which would be a dramatic escalation. It’s reasonable to assume that Beijing is aware of the significant reputational damage it would incur through such a move. There’s also the risk of unwanted escalation. Contrary to conventional wisdom, states do go to war over territorial disputes that seem devoid of strategic value. The end of strategic ambiguity in the SCS provides China’s neighbors with a clear understanding about its intentions and the need to respond strategically. That response should include both investments in military capabilities (such as maritime domain awareness and asymmetric denial assets), as well as paramilitary, civilian and political tools to raise China’s reputational costs in the event of a major crisis.

It has also encouraged Southeast Asian countries to develop (or revitalize) stronger defense ties with external actors. More than ever, the region looks to the U.S. for strategic support. Sensing the broader challenge to its leadership in the Asia-Pacific, the U.S. has stepped up its rhetoric against China’s ‘nine dash line’ and has intensified its Southeast Asian defense engagement as part of its “rebalance.” China can’t exclude the possibility that attempts to settle the territorial disputes by military force could well draw in the U.S. Moreover, major external Asian powers such as Japan and South Korea now engage in regional defense capacity building, aware that what happens in the South China Sea will matter for maritime Northeast Asia.

Thus, China’s strategic success in the SCS is far from a done deal. Somewhat paradoxically, the end of China’s strategic ambiguity might increase regional stability by forcing all players to signal their intentions more clearly. Greater strategic competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it helps to define the parameters of mutual restraint in conflict situations.

What does that all mean for Australia? The Abbott government is on the same page as the U.S. and Southeast Asian nations about the need to manage maritime disputes peacefully. Australia also has a major interest in strengthening Southeast Asia’s strategic resilience against coercion by outside powers. Whilst that doesn’t mean sending warships or fighter aircraft into the region, the ADF should, for instance, offer its expertise in maritime-domain awareness to countries such as the Philippines. Moreover, it should seek to utilize the U.S. alliance more actively as a vehicle for multilateral regional defense engagement. Careful playing of the long game in Southeast Asia must become a priority for Australian strategic and defense policy.

Benjamin Schreer is a senior analyst at ASPI. This article first appeared in ASPI’s The Strategist website here.

Image: Flickr. 

TopicsSecurity RegionsChina

Coming to the South China Sea: Asia’s Big Energy Mistake?

The Buzz

Editor's Note: Please see Stewart Taggart's previous articles: A Plan to Save the South China Sea from Disaster as well as A Plan to Save the East China Sea from Disaster.

Planned Floating Liquid Natural Gas(FLNG) projects in Asia raise hard questions about the technology’s suitability.These include unproven durability,  questionable efficiencies and
“Tragedy of the Commons” resource exploitation. Regionally-interconnected gas pipelines look like a much better long-term deal.

To date, the largest FLNG project planned for Asia is Shell’s US$12 billion Prelude project off Northwest Australia. Further north, Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas  has approved a two billion cubic meter per year FLNG project for the shallow waters off Malaysian Borneo. Australia’s Woodside Petroleum is studying FLNG for Northwest Australia’s offshore Browse Field. Japan’s Inpex is considering FLNG for its Abadi project in offshore Indonesia. China National Overseas Oil Company (CNOOC) is considering FLNG to develop gas supplies in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The costs of offshore pipelines and FLNG can be compared by adjusting each for distance to market (in kilometers) and annual capacity (in billion cubic meters). The result is a pipeline or LNG project’s US dollar (US$) cost per billion cubic meters of capacity per year (bcm/yr) per kilometer (km) -- or US$/bcm/km/yr. This allows pipelines and LNG project costs to be compared on a common basis. It excludes inflation.

Shell’s $12 billion, 5 billon cubic meter per year Prelude project will export natural gas compressed into LNG to markets in Japan and South Korea 9,000 kilometers away. That results in an investment cost of roughly US$300,000 bcm/km/yr. By contrast, subsea sections of the proposed Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) network range from $100,000-$160,000 bcm/km/yr for the biggest capacity (18 bcm/year) segments of the network, according to the ASEAN Centre for Energy. Smaller capacity (1-3 bcm/year), shorter-distance (100-200 km) subsea segments of the TAGP range from $250,00-500,000 bcm/km/yr. This suggests powerful economies of scale,  a suggestion supported by costs of other gas pipeline projects.

The 2007 North Sea Langeled gas pipeline between Norway and the UK (1,200 kms, 25 bcm/yr) cost roughly $100,000 bcm/km/year while the 2011 Nordstream pipeline connecting Russia to Germany (1,200 kms, 54 bcm/yr) cost roughly $170,000 bcm/km/yr.

In addition to apparent cost advantages, pipeline networks also deliver gas to multiple destinations and can also handle multiple fuels. By contrast, FLNG can only carry natural gas between fixed locations using single-purpose infrastructure -- a huge technological rigidity.

This flexibility of pipelines will become increasingly apparent over time as Asia adopts policies to limit climate change, reduce geopolitical tension and enhance long-term economic growth through deepening regional market integration.

Opposition to FLNG is beginning to emerge. For instance, the use of FLNG to develop Northwest Australia’s offshore gas resources is being opposed by Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett. Barnett believes FLNG short-changes host regions by reducing land-based investment.

China’s CNOOC  is studying FLNG  for developing gas fields in the South China Sea’s disputed waters for just that reason. CNOOC says FLNG avoids any need for regional land-based facilities. Any move by China to deploy FLNG in disputed waters  is certain to raise geopolitical tension, particularly with  the Philippines and Vietnam. These two countries also claim areas of the South China Sea likely to be targeted CNOOC.

The result is that FLNG could create a “Tragedy of the Commons.”

This occurs when unsettled resource property rights lead to conflict because ambiguous property rights favor “first movers” who, in turn, have no incentive to develop the resource sustainably. Instead, “first movers” have every incentive to develop the resource rapaciously, since waiting may require sharing it.   

A first step in this direction occurred earlier this year when China placed an exploratory rig in waters claimed by Vietnam, a move that sparked violent anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam.

In both the South China Sea and Australia’s Northwest Shelf, large new gas supplies will be developed in coming decades. These are going to require large capital investment better directed to multi-purpose pipelines. In Australia’s Northwest Shelf a gas pipeline would enable aggregration of onshore and offshore natural gas supplies for delivery to Northeast Asia. This would create economies of scale for construction of a large, common-carrier, open-access natural gas pipeline system. This pipeline system could later offer a route to market for Timor Sea and Eastern Indonesian gas supplies. In the South China Sea, meanwhile, Joint Development Areas shared by China and her Southeast Asian neighbors could link into this larger, regional common-carrier, open-access gas delivery network. Both China and her neighbors already voiced support for Joint Development Areas as one way to peacefully manage conflicting territorial claims.

In coming years, Asia and the world must make a transition to cleaner forms of energy. This requires long-term thinking and investment of trillions of dollars in new infrastructure. Subsea pipelines represent a long-term solution. FLNG, by contrast, looks like an example of short-term thinking that costs more in the long run.

Stewart Taggart is principal of Grenatec, a research organization studying the viability of a Pan-Asian Energy Infrastructure of high-capacity power lines, natural gas pipelines and fiber optic cables stretching from Australia to China, Japan and South Korea.

TopicsEnergy RegionsChina

What China and America Are Wondering: Is "Major War" Obsolete?

The Buzz

August has seen a wave of reflection on major war. It’s a question we seem to revisit every time the key anniversaries of WWI and WWII roll around, but given special significance this year by the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI. Some pundits are keen to draw parallels between 1914 and 2014—though on its face it’s not apparent to me why 2014 should be more like 1914 than 2013.

Academic strategists familiar with their disciplinary history will know that the issue of whether major war is obsolete received a detailed coverage back in Survival magazine in the late 1990s. To save readers the trouble of digging through their archives, one contributor, John Mueller, argued that it was obsolete—gone the way of slavery and dueling—while others wrestled partly over how to define obsolescence and even more over how to define major war. Was the Vietnam War "major"? Was the Cold War a "war"? Michael Mandelbaum argued that perhaps major war was just a poor policy option nowadays—because of the steep rise in the costs and the thin rewards for success.

It’s intriguing that the question about the obsolescence of war is typically qualified by the adjective "major." No one seems particularly keen to claim that nasty little wars—in particular, nasty little wars in faraway places—are obsolete, perhaps because they patently aren’t. From memory, Mueller didn’t want to call those conflicts ‘wars’, though; he saw those more as “opportunistic predation.” (That’s the reason the cover of his book, The Remnants of War, features an image—from the Balkan conflict in 1991—of a thug swigging from a bottle.)

9/11 came along and sideswiped that whole debate. The nasty little wars of the 1990s didn’t stay in faraway places. A superpower got up and marched off to war—albeit a war against al Qaeda, its supporters, and all its works. Somewhere along the line the mission became conflated with a host of other problems, and Washington ended up obsessing about the Global War on Terror for longer than it probably should have done. But Washington’s behavior at least answered one question related to the Big One: did great powers still go to war? Yes. Now, the question still unanswered—unanswered since 1945 if you think major war has to be hot; unanswered since 1991, if you think major war can be cold—is whether or not major powers still go to war with each other.

Psychologist Steven Pinker has recently argued that the better angels of our nature are making us turn away from violence. I’m not wholly convinced by his argument—the better angels of our nature seem pretty militant to me, and always have been. (See Ephesians, 6:12.) But academic research from a few decades back suggests that great-power wars against each other aren’t common. Jack Levy in his research on war in the international system between 1495 and 1975 found only nine of what he would call “world wars”—wars where almost all great powers were involved. Much more commonly, he found “interstate wars”—113 of which engaged a great power. I cite those figures to underline two points. First, if world wars are rare, maybe we don’t need special explanations to say why there hasn’t been one since 1945 (hot) or 1991 (cold). Second, that definition of major war is still a problem.

Let’s put aside the academic arguments and look straight at the case that most worries. Is a great-power war between US and China possible? I think we could answer that question directly:possible, yeslikely, no. Great powers, especially nuclear-armed ones, don’t go to war with each other lightly. But sometimes wars happen. And they aren’t accidents. They’re about international order. They’re about, as Raymond Aron said, the life and death of states. And the principal reason for fighting them is that not doing so looks like a worse alternative.

Moreover, the paths to war—including rare major-power war—are not reserved solely for conventionally-armed states. Where both powers are nuclear-armed we should expect a conflict, even one at the lower rungs of the escalation ladder, to be fought with a high degree of political control, and an understanding that the objectives of the conflict are limited. Naturally, it would help if both sides shared a common understanding of where the firebreaks were between conventional and nuclear conflict, and already had in place a set of crisis-management procedures, but it’s possible that neither of those conditions might exist. (Neither would prevent a war, but both would provide a better sense of the likely escalation dynamics of a particular conflict.) Indeed, it’s because major war is possible that we retain such a keen interest in war termination. Unconstrained escalation doesn’t lead to a happy place.

Rod Lyon is a fellow at ASPI and executive editor of The Strategist where this first appeared

Image: U.S. Air Force Flickr. 

TopicsSecurity RegionsUnited States

Moving Past "Potential": Can America and India Become Real Partners?

The Buzz

The US-India strategic partnership is either the most under-performing bilateral relationship in the world or its most overrated.

As a new chapter in this relationship is written with the ascent of a center-right government in New Delhi (whose earlier incarnation in the late-1990s had in fact proclaimed the US and India to be 'natural allies'), the aura of hyperbole that permeates ties needs to be shed. Equally, with John Kerry and Chuck Hagel having journeyed through New Delhi over the past fortnight with proposals to deepen defense cooperation, and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi due at the White House in late-September, the conceptual gap in value systems and national interests that has provoked this under-performance needs to be internalized. Another decade-and-a-half of inflated expectations and modest delivery in terms of strategic congruence would be a tragic waste. It would also detract from both countries' pursuit of a fundamental interest that aligns their purposes in the Indo-Pacific: the maintenance of a stable geopolitical equilibrium.  

With the passing of the bipolar international order and India's own shift toward market economics, it was assumed that the traditional commonality of democratic values, complemented by an increasingly robust set of inter-societal ties, would accentuate a dramatic convergence of national interests between the two countries. Washington and New Delhi were to be bound by a common interest in preventing Asia from being dominated by China, eliminating threats posed by international terrorism as well as by state sponsors of terrorism, arresting the spread of weapons of mass destruction, promoting the spread of liberal democracy, deepening expansion of the international economic and trading order, and securing the global commons, especially the sea lines of communication.

Aside from a growing convergence on proliferation-related interests, little of this bold agenda has come to pass or is set to materialize in the years ahead. China-India ties have witnessed more top-level political and defense ministerial exchanges over the past couple of years than between the US and India; the road to AfPak stabilization and troop drawdown runs unchanged through Rawalpindi; Washington, DC and New Delhi occupy opposite poles at practically every multilateral trade, economic, and environment negotiation; India's non-prescriptive practice of democracy enlargement and non bloc-based approach to securing the commons contrasts with America's more advocacy-based and a la carte prone model. If anything, the gap between the two countries' worldviews and policies on international and regional matters has widened.

In the afterglow of the US-India civil nuclear agreement, a narrower but seemingly more congruent set of geo-strategic and defense objectives was also envisioned. First, New Delhi would assist Washington in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions. Second, New Delhi would align with the major maritime democracies of the Indo-Pacific and countervail Chinese power. The veiled possibility of interdicting Chinese sea-bound commerce in the narrow Andaman Sea during an East Asian contingency was a closely-held card. Third, India would cooperate in HA/DR missions and post-conflict reconstruction efforts, including those not mandated or commanded under a UN flag, on both sides of the Indian Ocean. And, fourth, India would provide access at strategic locations across its territory to US military forces - perhaps even 'over-the-horizon' rotational bases, down the line, to deter or manage contingencies in West and East Asia.

Again, aside from gradual cooperation on Iran oil sanctions, little of this ambition has come to pass. Far from growing into its designated role as the US deputy sheriff in the Indian Ocean region (and perhaps someday as a co-partner across the Indo-Pacific region), New Delhi has double downed on its autonomist leanings. It has resisted participating in major multi-service combined exercises that prepare for high-end operational missions, stayed away from stationing personnel at US combatant command headquarters, turned down a series of foundational pacts that would have enhanced logistics and battle-group networking, opted for Russian rather than US high-precision, military-grade navigation signals, opted to strip out tactical interoperability aids (high-end electronics and avionics suites) while purchasing US-origin platforms (P8I and C-130J aircraft), and even allegedly passed up the opportunity to buy a to-be decommissioned supercarrier - the USS Kitty Hawk - for free! (so long as New Delhi agreed to purchase five dozen or so Super Hornet fighters to be operated off the carrier). Defense ties with Japan and Australia too have been limited to the odd naval exercise, with little scope for logistics sharing or information exchange envisaged.

Some $15 billion of US defense hardware sales - not doctrine-sharing exchanges, harmonized force postures or command and control systems integration - has been the sole deliverable for all the exertions. The failure has not been one of effort (or will); rather it has been one of conception.

The disappointments have not tempered the belief of the faithful. Undaunted, it is argued that with the departure of the previous government and its long-serving, proto-socialist defense minister, US and India defense - and particularly mil-mil ties - stand poised to once again break out of policy stagnation.

Washington and New Delhi, it is counseled, should reauthorize and update their 2005 Defense Framework agreement (which they indeed must) to enable collaboration in multinational operations of common interest. The Indian Navy has possessed this latitude to participate in such muscular activities, yet chose to operate its anti-piracy missions in the Indian Ocean region independent of the US-organized Combined Maritime Forces command. Washington should place military intelligence exchanges on the front-burner and formalize institutional links to share classified information on the region. Navy-to-navy intelligence exchange was a key accomplishment of the 2005 Defense Framework agreement, yet the channel lapsed by the end of the decade due to disclosure policy guidelines that limited sharing of actionable or desirable information.

Washington should deepen service-to-service engagements and incorporate service chiefs and regional commanders within institutionalized policy mechanisms, given the military's visibly friendlier interest in such ties. While civilian masters in the Indian Defense Ministry's planning and international cooperation wing have been a rotten impediment, the roots of New Delhi's civil-military dysfunction in fact stem from the unwillingness of senior uniformed folks to shed their operational command profile and assume a policy advisory role. A unified services command and an integrated civil-military MoD is nowhere in sight. Finally, Washington should use the recent DTI initiative (defense trade initiative in the US, defense technology initiative for New Delhi) to graduate the defense sales relationship beyond the buyer-seller model to one of co-development and co-production. Again, while unimpeachable in intent, New Delhi's expansive definition of technology sharing tends to be confined not just to technology itself but the entire know-how behind how a technology is produced, including systems integration and the overall intellectual capital development. The Initiative also risks being oversold in both capitals: it elevates India to one among three-dozen defense partners in terms of preferential categorization - not one among a half-dozen or so such countries as has been advertised.

At bottom, operating in denial of past lessons risks repeating those errors.

In important respects, the questions that went unanswered 15 years ago remain valid today: what is the template by which one operationalizes a defense and strategic partnership with a critically important country that will never be a treaty ally (and is the primary antagonist of a 'non-NATO ally' - Pakistan), yet is more than just a friendly, non-hostile state? Can enhanced defense cooperation and technology handouts infuse a strategic congruence or must the causality run the other way? If technology sharing boosts India's autonomous defense capability, then does it not detract from the fundamental purpose of deepening 'jointness'? If New Delhi, of its own accord, bears a larger share of the region's security burden, what is its imperative to simultaneously tighten its roles and missions 'jointness' with US forces in the region?  

The bestowal of an incredibly generous civil nuclear deal as well as the mainstreaming of New Delhi within the international technology-sharing regime, at a moment of US primacy, did not furnish the desired answer to these questions. In the more constrained age ahead, it is not clear why New Delhi's strategic calculation vis-à-vis the US will be any more favorable now. Although China's rise and behavior could supply this rationale, Beijing is a key pivot in India's multi-aligned foreign policy strategy and successive governments in New Delhi have seen greater wisdom in operating in the slipstream of Beijing's meteoric rise than by aligning against it. New Delhi appears to defer to the core interests, principles, and (economic) content laid out in the Xi Jinping government's 'new type of great power relations' and periphery diplomacy initiatives than most other governments in the Indo-Pacific. That most observers continue to implicitly - and lazily - base the 'natural' convergence of US and Indian interest in Asia on the belief that China and India are irrevocably locked in strategic competition may, to the contrary, provide a hint as to why Washington's relationship with New Delhi has serially fallen short of expectations.

The future of US-India strategic ties is too important to be constructed solely or even primarily through a China-management lens. The defense cooperation elements within this relationship - joint exercises, intelligence exchange, arms deals, technology-sharing, weapons co-development and co-production, etc. - should be constructed rather on more modest but firmer foundations that are geared to nudging the Indo-Pacific region's multilateral security relations toward a more consociational model of international relations where power is shared and balanced within. Embracing and working through the balance between autonomy and alignment in the US-India strategic partnership will also lock the two countries in a strategic embrace that will favor freedom in the long run.

Sourabh Gupta is a senior research associate at Samuels International Associates, Inc. This article first appeared in CSIS:PACNET newsletter here

Image: U.S. State Department Flickr. 

TopicsSecurity RegionsIndia

Guess Where This Hawkish Group Thinks Iran's Nuclear Sites Are

The Buzz

It’s probably the most famous attack ad in American history. A little girl stands in a meadow, plucking the petals off a daisy, counting each one—getting a few numbers wrong on the way—up to ten. Then the piercing tannoy voice comes in, counts down. Zero. Flash. Mushroom cloud. “These are the stakes!” proclaims the voiceover. “To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die. Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.”

The ad was part of a broader effort by the Johnson campaign to paint Republican challenger Barry Goldwater as a reckless hawk who would lead America into a horrific confrontation with the Soviets. Johnson went on to hammer Goldwater—the Arizona senator would only capture six states and less than 40 percent of the national vote.

Now LBJ’s ad is getting a reprise. Secure America Now, a Washington-based 501(c)(4) advocacy outfit. The ad, “Daisy 2,” targets the Obama administration’s handling of Iran’s nuclear program. The new voiceover: “These are the stakes. We either stand up to supporters of terrorism, or we and our allies risk losing the freedom we cherish. We must not let the jihadist government of Iran get a nuclear bomb. President Obama has an opportunity to stop it. But he is failing. Join with us. Let's secure America—now.”

The video directs viewers into a net of “microsites,” including TruthAboutIran.com and IransIllegalNuclearProgram.com, in addition to Secure America Now’s homepage. TruthAboutIran.com focuses on the Iranian government’s support for terrorism and the not-cuddliness of President Hassan Rouhani; Secure America Now’s site offers an animated GIF-listicle of “Thirteen Reasons to Impeach Barack Obama.” But it’s the Iran’s Illegal Nuclear Program page that takes the cake, thanks to this map of Iran’s nuclear sites:

The map offers an interesting interpretation of Iran’s geography. The seminary-city of Qom, normally south of Tehran, is taking a vacation north of Tehran in the mountains near the Caspian; the massive underground enrichment halls at Natanz have wandered off into the deserts to their northeast. We find Arak, home to a heavy-water reactor under construction, and Isfahan, with its uranium conversion facility, close to where we left them, but the pressurized-water reactor at Bushehr, having been foolishly constructed on a fault line, has shifted inland and to the southeast. (This has likely caused an environmental disaster.) The uranium mine north of Yazd, once in an area due west of the Saghand mine, is now southwest of it, possibly inside Yazd itself.

This is a bold alternative to the mainstream media’s rigid narrative of where all those places are:

IransIllegalNuclearProgram.com offers other revelations, too. The ongoing nuclear negotiations, which conventional sources suggest will end on November 24, actually ended on July 20, according to the site:

And Russia’s ten-year agreement to fuel the Bushehr reactor becomes “unsettling,” though most would agree that guaranteeing Iran’s fuel supply from Russia would weaken Iran’s claim that it needs to conduct enrichment on its own and strengthen America’s case for zero enrichment—and thus actually make America more secure.

It’s not surprising, then, that this group would revive an attack ad that sought to portray a presidential contender as dangerously eager for confrontation to attack a president for being too soft. Secure America Now’s ad hints that Obama “has an opportunity to stop” Iran’s nuclear efforts. But they say that his current approach “is failing.” So what alternative policy would they have us pursue? Perhaps they would like us to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. If that’s so, our pilots should use different maps to find their targets.

TopicsNuclear WeaponsNuclear ProliferationDomestic Politics RegionsIran

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