Briefing Skipper: Clinton, Medvedev, Okinawa
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Tuesday’s press briefing by Department Spokesman (and OSCE representative nominee) Ian Kelly: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave for Brussels tomorrow afternoon, where she will attend a North Atlantic Council foreign ministers ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. Here are the highlights of Tuesday's press briefing by Department Spokesman (and OSCE representative nominee) Ian Kelly:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Tuesday’s press briefing by Department Spokesman (and OSCE representative nominee) Ian Kelly:
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave for Brussels tomorrow afternoon, where she will attend a North Atlantic Council foreign ministers meeting, a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, and a NATO-Russia Council working lunch. She will meet NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as well as with the newly appointed Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, and Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere and other EU leaders. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke is already in Brussels and will meet with his various interlocutors.
- Kelly acknowledged that discussions among allies are going on about "civilian coordinator" in Afghanistan who would be placed near Karzai, a key idea that will be discussed in Brussels."I just wanted to get that on the record, that this is not in any way an attempt to undercut or bypass the Afghan government," Kelly said.
- Nothing good to report on the status of the U.S.-Russian agreement to transit lethal materials through Russian space on the way to Afghanistan. There have now been exactly two flights and "I’m not sure exactly what the plans are for more flights," Kelly said.
- Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sent a letter to Obama containing a draft treaty proposal for European security, which the U.S. Is now reviewing. "We believe any proposal must build on the existing body of commitments we have developed together over three decades, as well as central structures such as the OSCE and NATO," Kelly said.
- On a separate issue with Russia, no deal yet to complete a follow on to the START treaty and no deal yet on a "bridging" mechanism that could keep verification in place, but work is ongoing. The treaty and verification regimes expire Saturday and Kelly wouldn’t promise something will be done by then. But he did say "we believe that we can keep some of the – not all of them, but some of these verification measures in place via a politically binding agreement." In other words, not a legally binding agreement.
- The next U.S.-Japan working group session to discuss the Okinawa basing issue will be Dec. 3 and 4 in Tokyo and the U.S. Delegation will be led by Kevin Maher, State’s Japan desk chief, who used to be part of the Okinawa consulate.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America
The peace plan is a big deal—and it’s no accident that China brokered it.
The U.S.-Israel Relationship No Longer Makes Sense
If Israel and its supporters want the country to continue receiving U.S. largesse, they will need to come up with a new narrative.
Putin Is Trapped in the Sunk-Cost Fallacy of War
Moscow is grasping for meaning in a meaningless invasion.
How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests
And why there’s less to Beijing’s diplomatic breakthrough than meets the eye.