North Korea vs Iran

Consider this comment that then-CIA Director, soon-to-be secretary of state, Mike Pompeo made last Sunday to Margaret Brennan, host of the CBS News program “Face the Nation.” Pompeo compared the deal Trump hopes to make with North Korea to the bargain Barack Obama and others struck with Iran:


“Most importantly the conditions are very different. The previous administration was negotiating from a position of weakness. This administration will be negotiating from a position of enormous strength with sanctions that are unrivaled against the North Korean regime.”

Many Americans think of these two countries simply as “rogue states,” the surviving two-thirds of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil,” but there are big differences between Iran and North Korea. In fact, Pompeo’s comparison between them isn’t one Trump should want us to make, because North Korea will be a much tougher problem to crack than Iran was — for any president. Why?

  • North Korea already has nuclear weapons. Iran doesn’t.
  • North Korea has enough military power without nuclear weapons to kill millions inside the borders of US allies. Iran doesn’t.
  • Kim likes isolation. His regime’s survival depends on his ability to isolate 25 million North Koreans from the rest of the world. Iran can’t afford isolation, because its long-term stability depends on the ability of Iran’s economy to deliver improved standards of living to the country’s 80 million citizens. That makes Iran much more vulnerable to sanctions than North Korea, because isolation chokes economic growth.
  • Kim will be watching how Trump handles the Iran deal. If Trump shreds it — or keeps threatening to do so — Kim will have reason to doubt he can ever commit to any agreement that Trump, or a future US president, might tear up.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO was experiencing "brain death," citing a lack of coordination and America's fickleness under Donald Trump as reasons to doubt the alliance's commitment to mutual defense. NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – was formed in the wake of World War II as a counterweight against Soviet dominance in Europe and beyond. Its cornerstone is that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. But disagreement about burden sharing has gained increasing salience in recent years. In 2014, the bloc agreed that each member state would increase their own defense spending to 2% of their respective GDP over the next decade. But so far, only seven of 29 members have forked out the money. Here's a look at who pays what.

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 200 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least eight Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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80: More than 80 percent of the electronic voting systems currently used in the US are made by just three companies, according to a new report which warns that they are regulated less effectively than "colored pencils."

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