Obama’s real achievement with the Iran deal

Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi write: One cannot help but feel sorry for President Barack Obama. After twenty months of painstaking negotiations with Iran and America’s coalition partners, hours of hearings on Capitol Hill, countless closed briefings for lawmakers, and scores of articles and opinion pieces about the nuclear deal, few if any have taken note of the President’s real achievement: Yes, he has blocked all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. But more importantly, he has proven to America that security is better achieved through diplomacy than through militarism.

This may sound obvious and redundant, but the very debate around the nuclear deal reveals how deeply rooted the mindset of militarism is in American political culture, despite its moral bankruptcy and questionable security utility.

In his speech at American University on August 5, Obama made clear that the Iran nuclear deal is a product of him leading America away from the damaging over-militarization of America’s foreign and national security policies following the September 11th attacks. “When I ran for President eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war – we had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place,” Obama said. “It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy.”

But a single foreign-policy achievement, however historic and momentous, a mindset does not change. [Continue reading…]

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