Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."


Successful negotiations require three elements—an acceptable and achievable objective, effective leverage, and convincing the other party that if you cannot reach an acceptable result by a date certain you will walk away from the negotiation and resort to other means. All three are lacking in ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)


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18 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community


    A military strike against Iranian facilities is not out of the question, even though Tehran has reached agreement on a probe with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, says Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
    Michael Toron, ICTOA Site [http://www.rt.com/news/iran-attack-israel-barak-962/ ]

    My Comment: People keep forgetting what happened to six million Israelis during the Second World War. This time, they will not allow any country to intervene and cause another 2.5 million Israelis to disappear again. With couple of nuclear devices made by the help and assistance of Pakistan, North Korea, China, and so on.

    Posted by Dr James Afshar Jafsharcpp

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense Industry Network


    I thought we do not negotiate with terrorists ? Iran is and has always shown terrorism towards the U S A

    Posted by Paul Daly

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Network

    That is true, yet negotiations continue. What do you advise?

    Posted by Jack Sigman

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community


    Six million Jews not Israelis, were murdered in death camps specifically designed for the purpose, not by aerial bombardment, nor by nukes.

    The targets for nuclear devices starts with the enemy’s nuclear capabilities first, which includes airfields. After that comes the rest of the enemy’s strategic defense capabilities to render the enemy defenseless to further nuclear strikes. The temptation to strike at an enemy’s capitol and major population centers forfeits the first strike and guarantees a massive retaliatory multi-national nuclear response.

    It’s like having a duel with hand grenades inside a closet.

    Posted by Gordon Fowkes

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Professional Discussions

    Discussion: Iran, Talks and Sanctions II

    Ed: Thanks for relocating yor post.

    I do not believe that in Moscow the P5+1, or at least the western members of the group, will settle for less than the IAEA-verifiable halt to enrichment above 5 percent as a first, confidence-building measure, against the lifting of some sanctions (the range of liftable sanctions may be slightly enlarged compared with whar was offered in Baghdad). The P5+1 will still consider all Iranian uranium enrichment, including that below 5 percent, as illegal since Iran’s NPT enrichment rights were suspended by an unanimous UN Security Council. Again this as I stressed in other posts is in no way the goal of the negotiation, which is the verifiable dismantling of all aspects of Iran’s nuclear weapon program, but only reciprocal confidence-building steps without which the talks will go nowhere and be terminated.

    Iran may not be convinced that in the absence of an agreement by November, and an, interim agreement by July or August, the US will strike at Iranian nuclear and ancillary installations, but the Iranian leadership is wrong. The US must dop more to show that the Iranians are wrong.

    The Obama administration is fully aware that it may not be able to prevent a unilateral Israeli strike by then, which would be highly damageable to US and Western interests in the Gulf. Although the US made it clear it is opposed to such unilateral action, it would be held responsible for the Israeli action, which the US’s Arab allies -the Arab front against Iran- are not prepared to countenance (they would accept, and even possibly welcome, US military action in the event of a failure of Iran to negotiate seriously). The disruption in oil supplies to the West would be serious and the Iranian programme probably not fully halted, or halted only for a time. Israel, even if she can use bases in Azerbaijan, does not have in the US view this capability.

    A US strike would first take away Iran’s naval assets in the Gulf, seriously reducing Iran’s possibilities of stopping the flow of Arab oil through the Gulf, and take out Iran’s integrated air defenses. Contrary to Israel, US action would not be limited to one strike: the US has the ability to strike again and again until such time as installations are fully destroyed.

    Certainly the Obama administration would prefer an agreement to military action, but it takes two to tango. The view that sanctions don’t work and only hurt the Iranian people is belied by the fact that when the sanctions started to hurt the Iranian economy where it really hurts -its connections to the international banking system and her oil exports- Iran did come to the negotiating table. We don’t know whether Iran is really prepared to dismantle her nuclear weapon program or is just playing for time, but we will know soon enough.

    I do agree that Iran will not yield until she is fully convinced that the US is prepared to take military action. One way to do it is to reinforce the already considerable US naval presence in the Gulf and start positioning more aircrafts, although the presence of F-22 Raptors in the UAE has already given Iran something to think about, and to carry out very visible military drills there.

    Posted by Giles Raymond DeMourot

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Professional Discussions

    Discussion: Iran, Talks and Sanctions II

    PS: This piece is interesting:

    “Mitt Romney struggles to differentiate his foreign policy from the president’s”


    Posted by Giles Raymond DeMourot

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran


    Yes, you are probably right. Is there any reason why Iran would want to negotiate with the U.S. I thought we were No.#2 only behind Israel on their hate list.

    Posted by Jason St. Germaine

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Forum



    Sadly USA as well as EU showed especially the last15 years
    In almost every international as well as in some national
    conflicts that they are “playable” s long time
    before they leave the negotiation table.

    Some totalitarian states learned
    “by examples of this cat and mouse games”
    That A: The international community is very divided,
    Security Council of UN is partly to blame.
    And B: Proves also that many “Western” Security experts
    and political advisers know sadly to say very little about
    how others think and reason.
    To assume that all others think the same way as ?!?
    what is aspected in the international Diplomacy.
    Is thinking in a “narrow” box !
    It is a partly cultural thing and most people who have much
    experience from some parts of the world would agree with Me.

    If You not show strength…You are weak.

    Sadly that is sometimes the case that even
    very well educated people live by that rule.

    If We all had the same standards regarding
    this the World would be a better place.

    With peace and respect.

    Posted by Walther Metzler

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense Executive Network


    There are other ways to make life difficult for the Iranian regime.

    1.Give arms and help to Khurds,Azheri,Baluch,Pashtu people.That should keep the Mulah’s busy.Remove MJk from the terrorist list.Recognize an indipendent Baluchistan,Recognize an Kalat Iran has huge reserves of Gas.Us should supply gas from our fields and turkmanstan Iran is week.Continue defection of their nuclear staff.,

    Posted by Allen Bahn

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:



    Thank You for sharing this Ed!

    Posted by Milly Strodtman

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community


    Dear Sir:

    Thank you so much for your clarification about six million Jews.
    What you are suggesting [Third World Nuclear War] is what civilians are telling the president to scare him so much to ….his pants! And that’s why he hasn’t been able to take a serious and decisive action so far. Mullahs in order to go to paradise would strongly use their devices against Israel as soon as they can.

    Posted by Dr James Afshar Jafsharcpp

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Friends of Republican Candidates (The FORCE)


    Well stated – dead on.

    Posted by Frank Grantham

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Council for Emerging National Security Affairs


    Disagree. Losing would be to open up yet another front in Afghanistan – as if the Pak border isn`t bad enough – adding Iran as the other front would be disastrous. We already have supply problems.

    Also, we`ve been hammering them with computer viruses and even the targeted killing of some scientists – all of which are BETTER options than outright military engagement.


    Posted by Mubin Shaikh MPICT

  14. Bob says:

    For some reason Obama thinks we can dialog with terrorist nations, not to mention apologizing to them. We need to stick with the Ronald Reagan approach of zero negotiation with them.

  15. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Heritage Foundation


    Ed, I could not agree more. The US is simply “kicking the can down the road,” and providing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with laughing stock as he prepares to “wipe Israel off the face of the map.” Our “Sergeant Schultz” approach (know nussing, see nussing, hear nussing) can’t go on forever; it will eventually be too late. Even though it proved worthless, Neville Chamberlain at least came home with an agreement with the nazis; Iran is simply intransigent.

    Posted by Ronald Bouwman

  16. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense Industry Network


    Wow! Powerful….But, USA policy unfortunately made the decision to focus its effort on the left (Iraq) and right (Afghanistan) flanks instead of the center- Iran government, a criminal led state since 1980 (distinct from the “people of Iran” a great and intelligent civilization.) Unfortunately, the people of Iran (many diverse groups/tribes) suffer the most under that regime and should not be the ones to suffer in another war. An internal revolt against the regime in Iran would be best and most effective – and we all (the whole free world) do too little to that end. As we saw in Iraq (now an ARAB state government under heavy Iranian government/Shia influence) and, as we will see in Afghanistan, the results and effect of our policies and wars produced little positive in the those region and few, if any useful, lasting changes (sure, we killed “a lot of bad guys”….but we could have done that through surgical strikes anyway and not at the expense of our economy, bottom-line, my assessment is that we lost more then we gained.). Surgical strikes (as in Libya) are a clear message, The present led Iran Regime will NOT become our “friend, even with the passing of time.

    Posted by COL (R) Donald H. Zedler

  17. John Laszakovits says:

    Does anyone believe that Iran would use a nuclear weapon against Israel? The repercussions from an attack on Israel are severe enough to deter such an attack. Iranian leaders have the capacity to attack Israel today but have not launched an attack to date because they fear Israel’s capacity for counterattack, which would be devastating for the Iranian people.
    So would a nuclear weapon change this balance in power? I think not. Iran would only use the nuclear weapon if they were sure that they could sufficiently reduce the retaliatory capability, that they could weather the surviving return strike, and that they had the support of the Arab world. Israel has extensive survivable offensive capability. While Iran can harden its military and war factories, its millions of people are much more vulnerable to attack than Israelis. The government could fall if it fails to protect the population and allows the revolutionary spirit to get out of control. Arab support would certainly wane once the radioactive fallout rains across the borders.
    The US still relies heavily on Mideast oil and wraps its foreign policy doctrine around maintaining the flow of oil. If you agree that Iran will eventually become a nuclear weapon power, then it is time to accept that the balance of power in the Middle East will shift and US foreign policy must adapt. We must do something to reduce our vulnerability now – our dependence on foreign oil. Negotiation will fail. It is time to walk away and prepare for change.

  18. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni


    I for one do not see the specter of nuclear war hanging over the Arab World. I continue to believe that, at US insistence, drum beating about this outcome is simply fear mongering and an attempt to generate a self-fulfilling prophesy all of which amounts to basic political posturing. More useful conversations would focus all in the community of democratic nations, and most importantly Israel, to understand that there has been a sea change in Arab consciousness. The possibilities and unknown outcomes are what are worthy of serious conversation. Regrettably, as evidenced by our rhetoric, we have not kept up with this sea change and are still thinking in arcane post Cold War political ways. On a positive note, one lesson learned from the Cold War is that once a nation joins the nuclear community, they have entered into a game of restraints, for to take the first strike position and execute makes the striking nation a pariah in the world community and punishment becomes easy to apply. This applies regardless who strikes first; the consequences are dire for both the attacker and the attacked. A steady hand at the helm and futuristic strategic thinking, which recognizes the possibilities offered to reshape Mideast relations, including opportunities for new Arab Israeli relations are far more constructive moving into the future than focusing on whether or not Iran has nuclear weapons. The world knows how to deal with them; we’ve been doing it for 65 years.

    Posted by Tony Kopacz

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