Weekly Briefing – March 1-7, 2015

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Friday, March 6th, 2015 @ 10:53PM

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Right: TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and senior negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi described the removal of all sanctions against Tehran as a precondition for a comprehensive deal with the world powers, underlining that Tehran is standing on its positions firmly.

On the Road to a “Very Bad Deal” with IranRachel Ehrenfeld – It looks as the Obama administration and the Iranian regime have joined to belittle the message of Israel’s Prime Minister’s to Congress against a bad deal with Iran. In Washington, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said: “I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said the Israeli prime minister’s Tuesday night address at the US Congress against Iran, showed no “respect or the world nations’ power of understanding and reasoning…more

Obama’s Iran AgendaRachel Ehrenfeld – As part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented opposition to Israel’s Prime Minister’s address to Congress on March 3rd, the White House claimed his speech would negatively impact a deal with Tehran. But on Friday, February 28th, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested the speech would have no influence on the negotiations. If this is the case, why has the Administration gone out of its way to vilify Netanyahu? Congressional objection to the deal would unlikely prevent this President from signing an executive agreement to legitimize the super-terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran, to facilitate its nuclear agenda and to propel it’s activities towards the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel…more

How Dangerous is Putin’s Russia? Norman BaileyOn a scale of zero (not at all) to ten (existential threat to the world), Putin’s threat is an eight. It would be a serious mistake to assume he is merely blustering. Since taking control in 2000, President Putin has spent these fourteen years consolidating dictatorial power internally, rebuilding the Russian armed forces and security services, encouraging technological development in such areas as cyber-operations, recentralizing the Russian economy under state dominance, and probing soft spots on Russia¹s periphery, such as the cyber-attack on Estonia, the invasion of Georgia, and the annexation of Crimea...more …

The Obama Persian MysterySol W. Sanders – Obscured by all the hullabaloo over the Congressional speaking invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the more fundamental mystery of the Obama Administration’s Iranian strategy. Laying aside the increasingly evident incompetence of the political hacks, wordsmiths and other amateurs the President has surrounded himself as foreign policy advisers, there is still the unanswered question of what Obama intends with his policy toward Tehran. The pettiness of the White House stance toward Netanyahu notwithstanding,…more

The Conduct & Funding of ISIS – Feb. 26–March 4, 2015 The Meir Amit Intelligence And Terrorism Information Center – Destruction of historical relics: In the past two decades, following the rise of Al-Qaeda and additional Salafist-jihadi organizations, graves have been destroyed and Moslem and non-Moslem statues have been smashed in various places around the world. Thus, for example, a huge statue of Buddha was destroyed by the Taliban in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in 2001 (the tomb was restored only a decade later); in 2012, Muslim cultural institutions were destroyed by Ansar Dine in Timbuktu.…more

Of Great Illusions And The End of HistoryNorman A. Bailey – The 20th century was undoubtedly the bloodiest and most violent in the history of the world. Continual warfare, regional or worldwide, covering the entire period from 1914 to 1991, including three world wars (the so-called Cold War being the third) and the first use of nuclear weapons. Massacres, genocides, and mass-starvations covering almost all of Europe, as well as Turkey (the first), Rwanda, Cambodia. China, Ukraine, Russia, Korea and elsewhere. Forced exchanges of populations and huge refugee crises in many countries of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. .…more

News & Analysis

Iran Promoting Terrorism, taking over Iraq: Saudi FM – Arab News

Sisi: Egypt falls, so does the Middle EastAsharq Al-Awsat

Yemen: Two rulers, two capitals Nasser Arrrabyee and Haytham Nuri

The Minsk II Agreement: Implications of a (Shaky) CeasefireZvi Magen, Sarah Fainberg and Olena Bango-Moldovsky

Predicting the ‘Dangerousness’ of Potential Terrorists Brian Michael Jenkins and Jean-Francois Clair

Sharing Information About Threats Is Not a Cybersecurity Panacea Martin C. Libicki

Outcry and fear as Pakistan builds new nuclear reactors in dangerous Karachi – Tim Craig

The Surrealism of Realism: Misreading the War in UkraineAlexander J. Motyl,

‘Beat the Jews, Save Russia’ – An Ugly Old Slogan Returns in Putin’s RussiaPaul Goble

The Anti-Semitism We Never Talk AboutDavid Hazony

SEC Warns Firm Leaders on Cybersecurity Policies Financial Planning

Capitol Hill

House-

Armed Services Committee – The President’s Proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force Against ISIL and U.S. Policy, Strategy, and Posture in the Greater Middle East.

Energy & Commerce Committee – Hearing: Understanding the Cyber Threat and Implications for the 21st Century Economy

Foreign Affairs Committee  –  Ukraine Under Siege

Armed Services Committee –  Cyber Operations: Improving the Military Cyber Security Posture in an Uncertain Threat Environment.

Armed Services Committee – U.S. Policy, Strategy, and Posture in Afghanistan: Post-2014 Transition, Risks, and Lessons Learned.

Energy & Commerce Committee – The 21st Century Electricity Challenge: Ensuring a Secure, Reliable and Modern Electricity System.

Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies – Industry Perspectives on the President’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Proposal.

Senate-

Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces – Subcommittee Hearing: U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, Programs, and Strategy.

Energy & Natural Resources Committee – United States Arctic Opportunities Hearing.

Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation – Russian Aggression in Eastern Europe: Where Does Putin Go Next After Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova? 

Judiciary Committee – Oversight of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Ensuring Agency Priorities Comply with the Law.

GAO Reports

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board: Improvements Needed to Strengthen Internal Control and Promote Transparency. GAO-15-181

Information Security: FAA Needs to Address Weaknesses in Air Traffic Control Systems. GAO-15-221

CRS Reports

Egypt: Background and U.S. RelationsJeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs

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