Briefing Skipper: Brasilia, Iran, Falklands, Chavez, Syria
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Thursday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Under Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Brasilia, Brazil Friday and meet with a bunch of officials there. "I wouldn’t argue that Iran will be ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. Here are the highlights of Thursday's briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights of Thursday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
Under Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Brasilia, Brazil Friday and meet with a bunch of officials there. "I wouldn’t argue that Iran will be among the major issues we discuss with Brazil," Crowley said, "I would expect climate change to be on that list as well." The sanctions being sought will target the regime and protect the people of Iran, Crowley added.
But do sanctions really work? Crowley pointed to UN Security Council Resolution 1874, which seeks to limits arms transfers by North Korea. "Hardly a week goes by now where there’s not some announcement of an intercepted airplane here, shipment there, that we think is having an impact on the leadership in North Korea," Crowley said. What about the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons. "The sanctions themselves are not going to turn North Korea into a Jeffersonian democracy. I don’t think we’ve ever made that claim," Crowley said. "Why don’t you just say Libya and be done with it?" said one press corps member, trying to help Crowley out.
Former spokesperson Ian Kelly was reported out favorably by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now faces only one more hurdle before becoming the next U.S. Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Congrats, Ian!
The State Department is neutral on the dispute between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands (AKA the Malvinas). "To the extent that there is a dispute between Britain and Argentina over the status of the islands – whatever you want to call them – we believe that that should be handled through dialogue," Crowley said.
Crowley pushed back at accusations by one press corps member that the administration is being hypocritical by engaging with North Korea ad Iran, but not with Venezuela. "If President Chavez is seeking to have engagement on a higher level, I think we are open to that in theory, but it has to be grounded in a willingness of both countries to play a constructive role in the region," he said. Clinton Chavez could run into each other in Uruguay.
State Department is encouraged by the recent successes in capturing high level Taliban officials, but nobody is declaring victory just yet. "This still is an adversary of the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan that adapts as we do as well," Crowley warned.
There’s disappointment in the remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who mocked U.S. policy in the region Thursday. "We want to see Syria play a more constructive role in the region, and one step would be to make clear what Iran needs to do differently," Crowley said, "Unfortunately, there was no evidence of that today,"
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
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