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Dip Cap Scenarios ?

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Are there any good dip cap scenarios? Like is syria still relevant (or even viable)? Maybe something with Iran? IDK just post some ideas, i have a good dip cap file, but not any specific scenario to model it around. Thanks a bunch!

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Iran is the best dipcap scenario now and for the foreseeable future.

 

1. Great uniqueness evidence - there's tons of good cards out there that say the US is completely occupied with Iran / it's our number one priority / any shift away would jeopardize diplomacy. Iranian hardliners recently expressed support for diplomacy and the accord proves that we can make progress (even though the accord doesn't really do anything). Very good evidence indicates that Obama wants to make Iran his legacy after his failure to engage congress (this also provides another link - congressional success encourages Obama to refocus domestically). 

 

2. Timeframe - A good bulk of the literature states that if a big diplomatic deal isnt landed before the accord expires in May, there's a good chance that we'll erupt in conflict. See congressional support to add strict sanctions if diplomacy fails. This is THE window of opportunity and there's been a lot of rhetoric put into this 6-month period, which means that now is make or break for the US-Iranian relationship for the next few years. Once the accord ends, there's some evidence (not very good, but whatever) that says that Israel will strike Iran and there are a lot of good impact scenarios that stem from that. This is another reason why dipcap is key - to pacify and moderate Israel.

 

3. Iran is just an awesome impact. 

 

4. Link - Several modules are available for Iran specifically. You can cheat and make this a more basic diplomacy DA rather than dipcap exclusively. ie. use China/Russia DA links and read cards that Chinese/Russian support is critical to working through the Iranian nuclear program. 

 

Here's some (imo) cool cards:

 

Even if diplomatic capital isn’t key, Obama thinks it is; if he doesn’t think he has any, he won’t push

BBC 9

[“Obama offers Iran 'new beginning'†http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7954211.stm]

US President Barack Obama has offered "a new beginning" of engagement with Tehran in an unprecedented direct video message to the Iranian people. "My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us," Mr Obama said. An advisor to Iran's president welcomed Mr Obama's message but said Washington had to fundamentally change policy. Relations between Iran and the US have been strained over Tehran's controversial nuclear activities. The US fears Iran's uranium enrichment programme is a cover to build atomic weapons, a charge Iranian officials deny. Mr Obama, like his predecessor, wants Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme, but is trying to build up diplomatic capital before confronting the issue, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus

Lack of congressional success is motivating Obama’s shift to foreign policy

Shapiro 13

“Obama Shifts To Foreign Policy Goals During Second Term†ARI SHAPIRO November 18, 2013 http://www.npr.org/2013/11/18/245847591/obama-aims-to-accomplish-foreign-policy-goals-during-2nd-term

Historian Julian Zelizer of Princeton says one reason foreign policy often moves to the front burner in a second term is that domestic policy goals become much harder to reach.¶ "Even after re-election, presidents don't have that same kind of enthusiasm behind them in the next four years," Zelizer says. "Congress is often much more willing to cause problems for a president on the domestic front. They're just not as scared of him."¶ That's certainly true of President Obama. His gun bill fell to a filibuster in the Senate, immigration seems stuck in the House and pretty much everyone in Congress has panned the way his health care plan rolled out.¶ "I think foreign policy just isn't as much under the control of Congress, so there's always that opportunity even when things get very stifled for second-term presidents," he says.

US has diplomatic capital because of recent shift away from attempts to engage Latin American socialism

Cardenas 14

 â€œIs Obama's Latin America Policy Finally on Track?†JOSÉ R. CÃRDENAS; has more than two decades of experience in the Washington political process and inter-American relations. He has served in senior positions in the U.S. Department of State, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he served as Acting Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean and oversaw nearly $1 billion in U.S. development assistance to the region. At USAID, he managed the U.S. response to two humanitarian emergencies involving hurricane-stricken Haiti and Cuba. He also supported increased democracy assistance to Nicaragua at a time when the government was increasing pressure on the democratic opposition. At the State Department he served as Chief of Staff, Senior Advisor, and Speechwriter for the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and managed several public diplomacy initiatives. At the National Security Council, he participated in the drafting of two presidential speeches on the Western Hemisphere, and was an integral member of the team that planned both President Bush’s March 2007 five-nation trip to the region and the 2007 White House Conference on the Americas. He was also the lead drafter of a National Security Policy Directive on Cuba. He has served as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (2003), representing the Secretary General on election-monitoring trips abroad, and as a Senior Professional Staff Member of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (2002), where he authored a well-received trip report on Colombia and the United States heavy investment in the Plan Colombia security and counter-narcotics initiative; JANUARY 13, 2014 http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/13/is_obamas_latin_america_policy_finally_on_track

Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue is one of the more astute observers of Latin American affairs in Washington. His analyses are usually a reliable barometer on the prevailing inside-the-Beltway sentiment on U.S.-Latin America relations. The concluding paragraph of his recent article on the Obama administration's failed policy to develop good relations with Ecuador's obstreperous President Rafael Correa thus merits particular attention. Shifter writes: In the second Obama administration, a slight shift can be discerned. U.S. officials now appear somewhat less inclined to invest scarce diplomatic resources in repairing relations with Ecuador and other unfriendly governments. Rather, the focus is on deepening ties with allies in the region, especially Pacific Alliance members -- Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Chile -- and, of course, Brazil, given its strategic importance. If that is the case, it would mark a huge and welcome turnaround in U.S. policy toward Latin America. For five years, administration policy has been just that: squandering scarce diplomatic resources in a misguided effort to establish normal relations with the region's leftist leaders (presumably as a way to expiate the historical sins of the United States in Latin America -- real and imagined -- or at least deny justification for these populists' anti-American behavior.) Now, the administration should not be begrudged for at least making the effort in its first few months. The problem is that the administration clung to this policy long after it became painfully clear that governments in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia had no interest in reciprocating. The result being that, rather than leading to any moderation of these governments' behavior, it only emboldened them to further trample on democratic institutions, concentrate power, and openly snub U.S. attempts to cooperate on important issues like counter-narcotics. I have written repeatedly on Shadow Government that U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere are best served instead by embracing those countries that have made the choice to look forward rather than backward and pursue (at some cost internally) an outward-looking trade regime. Clearly, there is not much time left in this administration, but late is better than never. Last week, it announced an encouraging new initiative "Look South," which is described as "a coordinated federal government effort" help U.S. companies do business with Mexico and the other 10 partners with which the United States has free trade agreements in Latin America. Indeed, the best answer to the mess of pottage that the Rafael Correas of the region are offering their citizens is to demonstrate the tangible benefits of democratic pluralism, open economies, and free trade. Admittedly, countering demagoguery is not easy, but the laws of economics have a way of exposing these false messiahs --- witness the disaster that Venezuela is today. The administration needs to help demonstrate that there is indeed an alternative; it is not easy, but it does work if countries are willing to make the commitment. This is not to argue that the United States should ignore what is going on in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Whether the administration likes it or not, democrats abroad look to the United States for solidarity when their fundamental rights are being trampled on by their governments. The administration needs to speak out on principle in order to provide some semblance of international scrutiny to the anti-democratic actions of these populist governments; the returns will be worth it.

 

Iranian diplomacy is the lynchpin of American engagement strategy, failure in Iran turns the case – consistent and sustained engagement in Iran is key

Cooper 10

“U.S. Encounters Limits of Iran Engagement Policy†HELENE COOPER February 15, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/world/middleeast/16engage.html

Instead, administration officials say, the biggest benefit of Mr. Obama’s engagement policy now is not dialogue or understanding with adversaries, but simply a defusing of a worldwide view that the United States is part of the problem, a demonstration that the problem is Tehran’s intransigence, not Washington’s pique.¶ “What the president has achieved is that he has outed Iran,†a senior administration official said Friday. He said Iran, by refusing to respond positively, had exposed itself as uninterested in a better relationship with the United States.¶ That is now the central point of the new White House outlook on engagement, and it extends, administration officials say, to Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba as well. Mr. Obama, for instance, was criticized for shaking hands with Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, at a summit meeting in Trinidad and Tobago last year, but White House officials say that gesture has helped with Latin American views of Mr. Chávez’s anti-American rhetoric.¶ In the months ahead, administration officials hope they will benefit from a global perception that Mr. Obama has reached out to North Korea, Cuba and even Syria.¶ The United States is on the verge of returning an ambassador to Syria five years after the American ambassador was recalled to protest Syria’s suspected involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon. While Washington and Damascus are still far apart on issues like the Arab-Israeli peace process and militant Islamic groups like Hezbollah, administration officials say they are hoping for a warming relationship.¶ In the case of Cuba, progress has been slower. While Washington and Havana have had some talks on migration issues, and Cuba allowed American medical flights from Haiti to pass through Cuban airspace, there is no sign yet of any real thaw. But there, again, White House officials insist that at least Mr. Obama has not given Cuban leaders the opportunity to hold up the United States as a convenient target.¶ But Iran is where the administration is pinning most of its hopes about the perception of American engagement. At a news briefing on Thursday, the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, presented this latest metamorphosis of the administration’s thinking: that engagement is not necessarily about the two adversaries, but rather, about the worldview on America. The White House, he said, is trying to get Russia and China to join the United States, Britain, France and Germany — a group referred to in diplomatic circles as the P5+1, for the permanent five members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany — in imposing harsher sanctions against Iran for its pursuit of a nuclear program. While it remains unclear whether the effort will succeed, Mr. Gibbs said Mr. Obama’s outreach to Iran had paved the way for a united Security Council resolution.¶ “We would not be here unified in the P5+1 were it not for engagement,†Mr. Gibbs said. “Because we engaged, it demonstrated to the world that the choices that Iran made were choices that it alone had to vouch for.â€

 

Israel will strike Iran in May if diplomacy before then fails

Lendman 13

“Provoking Iran†Stephen Lendman 11-30-13 http://rense.com/general96/provo.html

US/Israeli saber rattling is planned. On November 27, Time magazine reported it. "Israel and US to Hold Military Exercises When Iran Deal Ends," it headlined.¶ According to an anonymous "high-ranking Israeli officer:"¶ "The strategic decision is to continue to make noise." It'll come to a head in six months. It's when the interim agreement expires. It's renewable by mutual consent. It remains to be seen what happens.¶ "In May," said the Israeli source, "there's going to be a joint training exercise. It's going to be big."¶ "The wind from the Americans into the Israeli sails is, 'We will maintain our capability to strike in Iran, and one of the ways we show it is to train.' "¶ "It will send signals both to Israel and to the Iranians that we are maintaining our capabilities in the military option."¶ "The atmosphere is we have to do it big time. We have to do a big show of capabilities and connections."¶ Washington and Israel hold lots of joint war games. They're strategically timed. They send messages to adversaries of both countries.¶ According to Time:¶ "(F)ull-throated US participation in a May 2014 joint exercise would stand in especially vivid contrast to what transpired in the last large joint exercise: Washington quietly scaled back its level of participation, amid fears that Israel was growing too bold."¶ Its threats to attack Iran unilaterally ring hollow. For now, diplomacy gets room to work. According to the anonymous Israeli source:¶ "The focus will be to gather intelligence in order to reveal a fraud, and not to (do it) for an attack."¶ "At the same time, Israel shows signs of working to rehabilitate the military option," said Time.¶ Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Securities (INSS) maintains close ties to Israel's government and military.¶ Many of its professionals have government and/or IDF backgrounds. Retired Major General Amos Yadlin heads INSS. Israel helps fund it.¶ On October 3, it published a report titled "If Attacked, How Would Iran Respond?"¶ It suggests the threat of major Iranian retaliation is exaggerated. It believes a regional war is unlikely. It may be wishful thinking on both counts.¶ Yadlin voiced qualified support for Geneva. Israel has time to explore options, he said. He was a pilot in June 1981.¶ He was involved in destroying Iraq's Osirik nuclear reactor. It was under construction at the time.¶ He believes Israel can strike Iranian nuclear facilities successfully. It can handle the blowback, he believes.¶ Yiftah Shapir is an INSS research fellow. Israeli plans to strike Iran are longstanding, he said.¶ "Many people have been working on this option for many, many years, and I don't think they can think of anything else," he stressed.¶ Israel has formidable weapons. It has nuclear, chemical and biological ones. It has long-range fighter-bombers and missiles.¶ It has deep-penetrating bunker busters. It has other sophisticated US supplied weapons and technology. It developed its own. It has a longstanding history of belligerence. So does America.¶ Geneva temporarily constrains things. At issue is for how long? Washington and Israel deplore peace. They prioritize conflict and instability. It serves their mutual interests.¶ Current Netanyahu bluster is red meat for loyal constituents. Rhetoric lacks credibility. Actions alone matter.¶ Israel and Washington have longstanding plans to attack Iran. They can be implemented straightaway if ordered. Not now. Maybe later.¶ Giving peace a chance isn't in the vocabulary of either country. How long diplomacy takes precedence bears close watching.

Pivot to Asia doesn't thump the link - it's actually part of Obama's Iran strategy

Francis 14

“Why Obama’s Big Pivot to Asia is a Myth†DAVID FRANCIS; The Fiscal Times; January 9, 2014

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/01/09/Why-Obama-s-Big-Pivot-Asia-Myth#sthash.no0jOy7y.dpuf

But there’s one problem with the Asian pivot; it’s a carefully constructed myth. “It’s really more rhetoric than reality and more rhetoric than resources,†says Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow on Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation. “On the one hand it’s a good strategy as it’s important to prioritize Asia for the United States because Asia is so vital to U.S. interest, diplomatically, economically and militarily. That said, there’s not a lot of meat behind it.†Benjamin H. Friedman, a research fellow in defense and homeland security studies at the CATO Institute, concurs with this assessment. He said that the pivot is more of an effort to draw attention away from military pullbacks in Europe and the Middle East than it is a true effort to make Asia more strategically important. Related: Will the US Be Aced Out of A New Asian Alliance? “All strategies tend to have … sort of a combination of public relations and speeches and documents to steer the foreign policy enterprise of the U.S. in a new direction. It puts a gloss on things … but we don’t see a lot of big changes being made that show a commitment to Asia,†he said. A closer look at actions on all three fronts shows why the pivot is a myth. Military - The United States already has 28,000 troops in South Korea, so adding 800 doesn’t substantially change the force. According to Friedman, the real proof of DOD spending priorities is in their budget. While it might appear that the Air Force and Navy -- the two forces who would benefit from the pivot - are making out better than the Army in the coming years, that’s not the case. Related: Washington’s Mess Damages U.S. Global Standing The funding formula that DOD uses to allocate its annual budget hasn't changed; any extra cash the Army got during the Afghan and Iraq wars came out of supplemental war spending. “We’re not seeing a fundamental shift in budget from the Army to the Air Force and Navy. If we were doing a serious pivot we would see that shift,†Friedman said. Friedman added that many of the exercises that the Pentagon touts in the region have been ongoing for years. Because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, no one was paying attention. Economically - The Obama administration likes to tout the Trans-Pacific Partnership meant to increase trade with Asian nations of evidence of the economic pivot. But in reality, TPP talks precede the Obama presidency by years. Related: Why the Global Economy Could Go Off the Rails in 2014 “The economic aspect was left from the Bush administration. The reality is contrary to Obama’s assertion. We are not back in Asia. The reality is we never left Asia,†Klingner said. Diplomatically - The White House often says evidence of its diplomatic shift to Asia is the number of meetings held between U.S. and Asian diplomats. Klingner said this is a ploy. “But anyone who’s even been in a meeting can tell you: attending more meetings doesn’t mean success. There’s a lack of tangible successes that the admin can point to rather than attendance,†he said. In a recent paper, Friedman said that State Department planning documents also reveal lack of action. “As the State Department’s Inspector General Office recently noted, the pivot has had no obvious organizational or budgetary manifestation in the State Department, aside from the creation of an Ambassadorship and permanent mission for [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations]. Foreign assistance to the region is actually down almost 20 percent since 2010,†Friedman wrote. 

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