U.S. talks with Iran must be based on concrete steps by Tehran: Kerry
talks with Iran must be based on concrete steps by Tehran: Kerry Reuters News | Oct 03, 2013 Recommend this article 0 By Lesley Wroughton TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that the United States hopes to engage with the new Iranian administration, but Tehran must first prove it is willing to end the stand-off over its nuclear weapons program. If Iran intends to be peaceful, “I believe there is a way to get there,” Kerry told a news conference in Tokyo after a meeting of U.S. and Japanese defences and foreign ministers. Kerry expressed hope that engagement with President Hassan Rouhani’s government can succeed but said nothing would be taken at face value. Discussions would be based on a series of steps that guarantee “we have certainty about what is happening,” Kerry said. In a charm offensive at U.N. meetings in New York last week, Iran expressed willingness to resolve the 10-year-old dispute with the United States over its nuclear program, a move that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed as a ruse concocted by a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Addressing Netanyahu’s concerns over talks with Iran, Kerry said: “We are firmly determined that Israel’s security remains paramount.” He dismissed suggestions that the United States was being played by Iran. “There is nothing here that is going to be taken at face-value and we’ve made that clear,” Kerry said. “The president has said, and I have said, that it is not words that will make a difference, it’s actions, and the actions are clearly going to have to be sufficient.” The United States, Israel and other countries accuse Iran of using its nuclear program to try to develop the capability to produce weapons. Iran says the program is for peaceful purposes only. “It would be diplomatic malpractice of the worst order” for the United States not to explore opportunities, said Kerry, who met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations last week, the highest-level official meeting between the United States and Iran in more than three decades. “We are going to look very very carefully at this. We hope it could work because we think the world would be better off,” Kerry said, adding: “A country that genuinely wants to have a peaceful program does not have difficulty proving that it is in fact peaceful, so this ought to be able to be done.
Good News: The United States Still Isn’t a Failed State
Like ecstasy, Molly is said to give a lengthy, euphoric high with slight hallucinogenic properties. In reality, however, the promised pure MDMA experience “doesn’t exist,” said Payne. ‘SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT’ Most of the Molly is one of several synthetic designer drugs that have been flooding the U.S. and European marketplace from chemical labs primarily based in China, Payne said. “A lot of people are missing the boat here,” he said. Molly could be anything … 80 to 90 percent of the time we are given a chemical or substance believed to be Molly, we’re finding most of the time it is something completely different.” Four recent deaths attributed to Molly have thrust the club drug into the national spotlight. On August 31, a 23-year-old Syracuse University graduate and a 20-year-old University of New Hampshire student died after taking what they believed to be Molly during an electronic music concert in New York City. The deaths, and several other reported overdoses, prompted the Electric Zoo festival to cancel the final day of the concert. A University of Virginia student died at a rave in Washington, D.C., the same weekend, after taking what her friends said was Molly. Days earlier in Boston, a 19-year-old woman died in a club and three concert-goers overdosed at the waterfront, police said. In Atlanta, this weekend’s TomorrowWorld music festival organizers warned on its website of zero-tolerance for MDMA use, but noted: “If you or someone around you has taken something that you are concerned about or need help, it is important that you tell our staff.
Why the United States should merge its Ground Forces
Either way, hes not going to have that chance over the next couple of weeks; his plan to use these upcoming qualifiers for further World Cup prep is unraveling, and quickly so. Lets look at the first-choice players who will not be available, or who will be limited in their fitness and abilities due to recent injuries: Michael Bradley could return to the training field for Roma this week, but his ongoing ankle injury makes a trip to the United States seem less and less likely. Everybody should know by now that Bradley is the one absolutely indispensable piece to this U.S. puzzle, so any efforts at a top performance begins with their midfield glue. Clint Dempseys hamstring issue (Where did he get this thing? No one seems to know.) has kept the U.S. attacker out of Seattles last two matches. Even if Dempseys condition improves, Seattle is likely to lobby for keeping him, for playoff positioning and Supporters Shield pursuits next week. Considering Dempsey is Major League Soccers top wage earner, it seems like a reasonable request. (MORE: U.S. Soccer and Jones refute reports of injury) Jermaine Jones status may be up in the air; reports out of Germany say surgery will have Jones on the shelf for a few weeks. But Jones and U.S. Soccer are refuting those reports, so stay tuned on this one. Either way, if Jones has a knee issue, its fair to wonder if Schalke will be excited about extra travel and matches that are, officially speaking, meaningless.
He went so far as to claim that the Department of Defense (DoD) could save around $20 billion a year. Nevertheless, absent in Hackworths column was a coherent blueprint for how the DoD could effectively unify its ground components into a cohesive service because Hackworth did not flesh out his strategic vision for what 21stCentury wars may look like. Which raises a very salient question as to what Americas strategic priorities should be. In a perceptive op-ed, Mark Fitzgerald, David Deptula and Gian P. Gentile aver that the United States must choose to go to war as a last resort and not a policy option of first choice. To this must be added another imperative. The United States Armed Forces must prioritize homeland defense as its primary mission and rethink the mistaken belief that the United States can somehow secure its interests through lengthy military occupations of foreign lands. Thus, this newly merged service must redirect its focus towards countering cyber warfare and CBRNe (Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear and explosives) attacks and should work towards bolstering its counterterrorism (CT) capabilities. This is because, due to the convergence of the global community , the United States may be vulnerable to attacks from within by homegrown terrorists and drug cartelsall of which may wreak havoc and may even cripple Americas domestic infrastructures. Reorientation of its mission focus may also require that the new service reconfigure its size. After all, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey wrote inForeign Affairs, Washington should remember that the size of the armed forces is not the most telling metric of their strength. One solution is to adopt the so-called Macgregor Transformation Model (MTM) centered around the combat group concept which may reduce the strength of the new service yet in the end produce a force that has greater combat capability[and] more sustainable. This model may provide the United States with a deployable fire brigade in the event of a national emergency or an international crisis. Already, the bases from which to adopt this viable model exist in the form of Army brigade combat teams (BCTs) and Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) of various sizes . Should the United States decide that it needs to project its hard power abroad to guard its interests, it could deploy the Special Operations Forces (SOF) components of the new service in tandem with UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to selectively target and neutralize potential threats. While the SOF and UAV surgical raids should not be viewed as substitutes for deft diplomacy, they canprovide cheaper and selective power projection capabilities . Moreover, doing so could minimize the risks inherent in power projection and anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) missions which may potentially mire the United States in messy and protracted conflicts. Last but not least, this new service could buttress interoperability and capabilities of allied forces around the globe through military-to-military exchanges.
United States roster falling to pieces ahead of remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers
Yes, it is putting the kibosh on services as basic as food programs and flu shots . But no, the United States is still not a failed state, much as many people seem to be enjoying asking the question –at least not according to the judgment of the folks at the Fund for Peace, who put together the annual Failed States Index in collaboration with FP. The United States currently ranks a solidly not-failed 159th out of 178 states on the Fund’s annual index , which orders countries based on how they score across 12 indicators , and it would take a big hit to push America into failed territory. The shutdown, depending on how long it goes on, could cause the United States to at least rise a few spots in next year’s rankings (the higher the ranking, the more instability). Congress’s inability to agree on a spending plan has consequences for several indicators of “failedness” where the U.S. has already not been faring too well of late, Krista Hendry, executive director of the Fund, told FP. It’s a demonstration of an increasingly factionalized elite, it leads directly to a deterioration of public services, and it doesn’t exactly do the economy any favors, or strengthen perceptions about the legitimacy of the state. But hey, we have a lot going for us! General rule of law holds — federal courts are still hearing cases, and prison guards are still on the job. Essential services have been preserved; mail, for instance, is still being delivered. Our federalized system means states are still capable of running their own schools and hospitals without federal aid. “We still have air-traffic controllers in the towers, we still have military that are on call and as ready as they were yesterday. Essential services are all still going to function,” said Failed States Index Co-Director J.J. Messner.