For all the Sturm und Drang over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, neither side has answered the crucial question the Trump administration faces if it abrogates the deal: ‘And then what?’
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
Political ‘spin’ is part of any negotiation process, including in discussions on the Iran Nuclear Agreement. While it can sometimes be useful, it is important to keep expectations in check to ensure that goals are both realistic and achievable.
US President Barack Obama’s recent announcement that the US will lift its embargo on exporting defence equipment to Vietnam grants Hanoi comprehensive access to the US defence market. Questions remain however, over the country’s readiness for the international defence market.
Washington has indicated that the death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mansour will bolster the peace process. However, it is doubtful that Mansour’s demise will advantage the Afghan government and its Western partners, either militarily or at the negotiating table.