Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Posts Tagged ‘Condoleezza Rice’

Rice and Gates on Iraq: No Tied Hands for Next President

Posted by K.E. White on February 14, 2008

The Iraq War’s United Nation authorization is just about up. In its place, the Bush administration is working out a “status-of forces” agreement to continue the U.S. military mission in Iraq. 

Such “status-of-forces” agreements do no require Congressional approval, unlike treaties which require a two-thirds Senate majority.

 

Naturally the question becomes: What will the twilight Bush administration lump into this “status-of-forces” agreement? 

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sought to answer this question, and quell any Congressional concerns over whether or not such an agreement would morph into a lasting troop commitment or security guarantee. 

From Wednesday’s Washington Post

First, some background. Whenever American troops are stationed or temporarily present on foreign soil, a number of legal questions arise, ranging from the overall scope of their mission to the minutiae of day-to-day life — from authority to fight to rules for delivering mail. In more than 115 nations, we have individually tailored status-of-forces agreements. These agreements are crafted to take into account circumstances in each host country as well as the unique requirements and missions of our forces there.

In Iraq, the presence and role of the United States and our coalition partners have been authorized by U.N. resolutions. The current U.N. authorization expires at the end of this year, and Iraq has indicated that it will not seek an extension. It would rather have an arrangement that is more in line with what typically governs the relationships between two sovereign nations.

In these negotiations, we seek to set the basic parameters for the U.S. presence in Iraq, including the appropriate authorities and jurisdiction necessary to operate effectively and to carry out essential missions, such as helping the Iraqi government fight al-Qaeda, develop its security forces, and stem the flow of lethal weapons and training from Iran. In addition, we seek to establish a basic framework for a strong relationship with Iraq, reflecting our shared political, economic, cultural and security interests.

Nothing to be negotiated will mandate that we continue combat missions. Nothing will set troop levels. Nothing will commit the United States to join Iraq in a war against another country or provide other such security commitments. And nothing will authorize permanent bases in Iraq (something neither we nor Iraqis want). And consistent with well-established practice regarding such agreements, nothing will involve the U.S. Senate‘s treaty-ratification authority — although we will work closely with the appropriate committees of Congress to keep lawmakers informed and to provide complete transparency. Classified briefings have already begun, and we look forward to congressional input.

In short, nothing to be negotiated in the coming months will tie the hands of the next commander in chief, whomever he or she may be. Quite the contrary, it will give the president the legal authority to protect our national interest — and the latitude to chart the next administration’s course.

Want to know more status-of-forces agreement? Check out this Global Security article.

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US-India Nuclear Deal Derailed and Threatening India’s UPA Government?

Posted by K.E. White on September 25, 2007

The Asia Times Online reports on the imperiled nuclear deal, and how it might just take down Prime Minister Manmohan Singh:

A speeded-up negotiation process with the IAEA and the NSG is likely to muddy the waters of the UPA-left talks and might lead to their collapse. The Communist Party of India recently warned that if the government held talks with the IAEA on a safeguards agreement at its general conference in Vienna, the CPI would regard it as a “breach of trust”.

Indian Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar did address the IAEA meeting last week, but refrained from making a specific mention of the US-India nuclear deal during his speech. However, he held informal consultations with IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei and nuclear officials from different countries.

It is uncertain, however, if the deal will sail smoothly through the IAEA, and especially the NSG.

Although the IAEA bureaucracy, and ElBaradei in particular, is sympathetic to the deal, the agency’s board of governors may not be unanimous in conceding India’s demand for a special safeguards protocol, which limits inspections on Indian facilities to the period during which they receive imported supplies. Typically, the IAEA demands safeguards in perpetuity.

Reuters reports on an October deadline for Singh’s government to approve the deal, lest new elections are to be called:

India’s government and its communist allies are eyeing ways out of their face-off over a nuclear pact with the United States, but failure to grasp these straws will spark a fresh crisis next month, officials said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition faces an informal end-October deadline to start working on the next steps needed to clinch the deal, and if the row with left parties opposed to it is not resolved by then early polls may be called, they said.

Singh does not need to have the Indian parliament approve the deal, but he risks forcing elections if he does not get his Communist allies on board with the deal. Will Singh get an agreement from the left, or will he risk snap elections which could not only shoot down the deal but take him out of a job?

And just in case you were wondering, the US-India nuclear deal is a top priority of the fading Bush administration. From Condoleezza Rice’s interview with Reuters:

“I am not worried about my legacy. With 14 months to go, I’m worrying about what we’ve yet achieved on the Palestinian-Israeli track, the North Korean nuclear issue, the India civil-nuclear deal and trade agreements. We have got a big agenda,” Rice told Reuters Editorial Board in an interview, text of which was released by the State Department.

Let’s have a little score-card:

Israel-Palestine peace process = fat chance

North Korea Nuclear Crisis = contained after years of botched policy, but also greatly intractable

Trade Agreements = Democrats run Congress

US-India Nuclear Deal = no means a sure bet

But it is nice to here that Iraq isn’t dominating Rice’s agenda; there are other issues that could use a year of smart policy.

Posted in Condoleezza Rice, IAEA, India Nuclear Deal, Monmohan Singh, NSG, Nuclear | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »