Links – With Some Very Long Reads

I might not be able to post for a while, so here are some things to keep you busy.

You may have read or read about David Samuels’s profile of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. Here is my Twitter take; I may write more if I have the time. Samuels has been highly critical of the Iran deal and advocated bombing Iran, but the Times seems to have ignored that. Too bad Margaret Sullivan is no longer public editor there. Here is Ben Rhodes’s response to some of what is in the article. Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the reporters named by Samuels as “retailing” the administration’s line on Iran, clarifies his position. Neither of the reporters (Laura Rozen is the other) was contacted by Samuels or the Times before the piece was published. The Times has not substantively responded to any of this. Goldberg quotes responses to him from Jake Silverstein, the Times Magazine’s editor, who seems to be saying that the article didn’t say what it did. Fred Kaplan’s take. Joe Cirincione.

Part of the problem is that Samuels wove his opinions so thoroughly into and around quotes from others that it is hard to untangle the two. I give an example in my Twitter take, but the article is shot through with that kind of thing. It is an editor’s responsibility, however, to assure clarity between reporting and opinion. The Times seems to have fallen down badly in that responsibility.

Added May 11, 2016: Suzanne Maloney works through the facts of the negotiations and how they were communicated, noting Samuels’s unsupported opinions along the way.

Donald Trump, The Bomb, and Ronald Reagan.

Al Qaeda is about to establish an emirate in northern Syria.

More on disposing of those 34 tons of plutonium.

Unilateral or bilateral nuclear reductions? A good discussion of both cases.

The Russian-speakers of Narva, Estonia: First Narva, then Estonia, then (maybe) Russia.


Now the long reads. I have skimmed most of these, read only a few.

Jeffrey Lewis: Applying New Tools to Nonproliferation: A Nuclear Detective Story

Keir Giles: Russia’s ‘New Tools’ for Confronting the West

Matthew Kroenig: Russia’s Nuclear Threat and What It Means for NATO

Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson: Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion

International Crisis Group: Russia’s Choices in Syria

Faisal Itani and Aaron Stein: Turkey’s Syria Predicament


Top photo of Ben Rhodes and President Barack Obama from here.


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