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Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown sat down with the Center for National Policys President Scott Brown to apply Dr Browns multi-faceted experience to the worlds current issues and challenges Dr Brown was Secretary of Defense under President Carter from 1977 to 1981 a negotiator on SALT I and SALT II and has been a member of the Defense Policy Board which advises the current Secretary of Defense With decades of experience Dr Brown spoke about possible upcoming conflicts in the world and how the United States should respond to these contentions As a person who views international relations through the realist school lens Dr Brown believes that the United States should operate foreign relation on the premise of values and interests With respect to the Arab spring and other events in the Middle East the neoconservative thought of preeminent intervention is outdated and defunct US indirect intervention in Libya and sanctions against Iran and Syria are preferable strategies in dealing with security threats Egypts struggle between the Mohamed Morsis government and the military contributes to the sustained instability Syria continues to remain unstable and just as with Egypt and Iran the political instinct is to become more authoritarian rather than democratic He believes that things must get worse before they can become better and its important to reflect how we can act in such circumstances The United States might benefit in the short term if Bashir Assad were to be directly overthrown as Iran loses an ally but we must deal with the long-term transition of power within Syria to a democracy In general Dr Brown supports humanitarian aid and not long-term national engagement Local conflicts become international once the issue of nuclear weapons enters the discussion and Dr Brown reflects on how intervention should be scaled based on the nation in question North Korea and Iran were discussed as polar opposite in prioritizing the diplomatic approach Relatively stable states two of whom already possess
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