Iran as an Ally Against ISIS? Bad Idea


In Heritage Work

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has ruled out any cooperation with the United States against the Islamic State. (Photo: Newscom)

Many in the foreign policy community are arguing that the United States should cooperate with Iran against the Islamic State. Especially worrisome, President Obama seems to have bought into the idea as well, given rumors of a secret letter by President Obama to the Ayatollah. This is a very bad idea, The Heritage Foundation’s James Phillips explains.

For one thing, Ayatollah Khamenei himself has publicly ruled out any cooperation with the United States in fighting the Islamic State. He even went so far as to blame America for its creation. Iran is not the kind of ally we want, or need, in this fight.

Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism and opposes American aims in Iraq. Tehran openly supports and funds groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Jihad. Their support of Shia militias in Iraq helped kill hundreds of American troops.

Heritage’s James Carafano agrees. He said Iran and the United States have a common interest in Iraq “much in the way a robber and a customer have a common interest in a bank.”

Should the United States enlist the help of Iran to help defeat ISIS?

Video: James Carafano on the ‘Bogus Deal’ With Iran


In Heritage Impact

The Obama administration’s agreement with Iran over its nuclear weapons is a bad deal, Heritage Foundation vice president James Carafano said on Blaze TV yesterday.

He elaborates on National Review Online:

the U.S. has already negotiated away its strongest leverage on the regime (the economic sanctions). The preemptive giveaway makes it less — not more — likely that the West will get an ironclad deal in six months. What is more likely is that Tehran will have set us up for another round of “rope-a-dope” bargaining — either stringing out negotiations even longer, or walking away as they blame the U.S. for being unreasonable.

Iranian leaders have been calling the deal a victory for Iran. Do you think the agreement is a good deal?

Reasons to Be Skeptical of the Nuclear Deal with Iran


In Heritage Work

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Newscom

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Newscom

Heritage Foundation vice president James Carafano explains on National Review Online why he’s skeptical of the nuclear deal with Iran announced this weekend:

The cold fact about the Iranian nuclear freeze is this: Any diplomatic deal that is not grounded in shared interests or a common sense of justice will surely fail. There is no evidence Iran shares either with the West. The negotiations with Iran bear too many similarities with the most spectacular failures in diplomatic history to leave any hope for optimism.

Heritage’s Peter Brookes warned last week that “not being tough enough on Iran — whether with new sanctions or at the Geneva talks — may actually propel the simmering crisis toward armed conflict despite intentions to do otherwise.”

What do you think of the deal with Iran?

At Heritage, Rand Paul Calls for a Return to Constitutional Foreign Policy


In Other Work of Note

Speaking today at The Heritage Foundation, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called for Congress to reassert itself in foreign policy.

“Since the Korean War, Congress has ignored its responsibility to restrain the President,” Paul explained to a packed crowd in Heritage’s Allison Auditorium. “Congress has abdicated its role in declaring war.”

He outlined his vision of America’s role in the world: Continue Reading »

Heritage Panel Discusses the Risks of Sequestration’s Defense Cuts

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In Heritage Work

The recent U.S. embassy attacks and Iran’s nuclear endeavors are only the latest threats our nation faces.

But our country’s weakened defenses limit our ability to handle such a tumultuous environment–and future cuts would make the problem worse.

The planned cuts under the Budget Control Act, completed under a process known as sequestration, would pose further risks to our nation’s defenses, according a panel of experts speaking at The Heritage Foundation. Sequestration threatens to cut $500 billion from our already pared back defense budget. Continue Reading »

Recommitting to the U.S.-U.K. Special Relationship

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In Heritage Work

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House. Photo: White House

Photo: White House

President Obama should take advantage of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Washington next month to recommit to America’s “Special Relationship” with the United Kingdom, Heritage Foundation scholar Luke Coffey says.

“This visit will be an important opportunity for the two leaders to discuss the U.S. – U.K. defense relationship in light of recent defense cuts on both sides of the Atlantic,” explains Coffey, Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Fellow.

Maintaining this relationship is in both countries’ interest:

It is in America’s interest to have a strong British military partner. On the military level, the desire to increase cooperation is there. President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron need to help facilitate this cooperation. Like all relationships, the U.S.–U.K. defense relationship needs nurturing and direction. Both leaders should use this visit as an opportunity to expand military cooperation.

Read Coffey’s full report here.

What do you think should be the most important topic of the agenda for President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron’s visit?

The World Is Not Safer, Despite The President’s Claims


In Heritage Impact

Last week at the Pentagon, President Obama made the claim that the world is a safer place thanks to his efforts with the war on terror. In his speech, he declared victory over our enemies and paved the way for draconian cuts to the U.S. military.

In short, we’ve succeeded in defending our nation, taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of Americans in harm’s way, and we’ve restored America’s global leadership.  That makes us safer and it makes us stronger.  And that’s an achievement that every American — especially those Americans who are proud to wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces — should take great pride in.

This success has brought our nation, once more, to a moment of transition.  Even as our troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding.  Even as our forces prevail in today’s missions, we have the opportunity — and the responsibility — to look ahead to the force that we are going to need in the future.

Providing for “the force that we are going to need in the future,” however, does not mean cutting half a trillion dollar in defense funding, as the President proposes.

Writing in the New York Post, Heritage Foundation national security expert James Carafano explains why the United States is not in any kind of position to slash military funding, especially with things so volatile in the Middle East. Continue Reading »

Administration’s Lethargic Approach to Iran Puts America at Risk

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In Heritage Work

Iranian Nuclear Missile. Photo: AslanMedia/Flickr

The Obama administration once promised to impose “crippling sanctions” on Iran’s hostile regime. But now they’re aiming to dilute the economic sanctions Congress is proposing.

“[Congress’s] proposed sanctions, contained in an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, would penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), which is a major financier of Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and terrorism efforts,” says James Phillips, a leading expert on Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

The sanctions, he explains in a new analysis, are intended to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program and decrease the chances that Israel or the United States will be forced to take military action against Iran.

Continue Reading »

The American Idea Demands Missile Defense

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Wikimedia/US Navy

Creating a robust missile defense system would not only prevent America’s enemies from being able to harm us or our allies. It would also demonstrate our desire to rely on something nobler than mutually assured destruction for our safety–a concept central to the American idea.

In a new Heritage Foundation report, Baker Spring and Michaela Bendikova discuss the steps needed to enact comprehensive missile defense in the United States. Continue Reading »

Heritage on TV Today: Middle East Turmoil

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In Heritage Impact

James Phillips

James Phillips

At 2:45 p.m. Eastern on, Middle East expert Jim Phillips will discuss developments in Libya, Bahrain and Iran. (Read Phillips’ take on Libya in yesterday’s Morning Bell.)

Earlier today on Fox News’“Happening Now,” foreign policy analyst Peter Brookes offered his take on the situation in the Middle East.

Update: At 6:00 p.m. on CNN’s “Situation Room,” and also on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Phillips will discuss Libya and what will happen if Qadhafi leaves.

And in the 8:00 p.m. hour on Fox Business Network’s “Freedom Watch,” foreign policy analyst Peter Brookes will weigh in on Libya. 

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