The Corner

In SOTU, National Security Gets Short Shrift

And what we find deserves some examination. For example:

And it is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program — and rolled parts of that program back — for the very first time in a decade.

In fact, the interim agreement has not halted or rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. At most, it has slowed it — by a single month. As I point out in my most recent piece on NRO: “If Iran’s rulers faithfully comply with every commitment they have so far made, at the end of this six-month period, they will be about three months — instead of two months — away from breakout capacity.”

The president added:

We are clear-eyed about Iran’s support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, which threaten our allies.

Actually, Hezbollah — funded and instructed by Iran’s rulers — threatens us, too, having murdered more Americans than any other terrorist organization except al-Qaeda.

If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.

Yes, but surely the question is not whether we can negotiate but whether we can negotiate successfully. And right now, that remains very much in doubt.


And in tight-knit communities across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after twelve long years, is finally coming to an end.

Does it not matter how that war ends — with a favorable outcome, or with the Taliban (closely allied with al-Qaeda) poised to take back control of Afghanistan?

— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security.

Clifford D. MayClifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...


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