- Mark quoted by The Atlantic on May 18, 2018:
Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who is a critic of the JCPOA, told me the Trump administration is going to pursue a maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime. “And, of course, that only works if you also use financial and economic coercion, and that only works if you deter European and other companies from returning to Iran because if Iran ends up with tens of billions of dollars from international companies, then your maximum pressure campaign is a failure,” he said.
Read the article here.
- Mark quoted by Huffington Post on May 12, 2018:
Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, said the war in Iraq resulted partly from a perception that economic sanctions on Saddam, imposed after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, were rapidly losing effectiveness. “I think the opposite is true now,” Dubowitz said, noting that Trump appeared to favor tougher economic pressure on Iran, not military action.
Read the article here.
- Mark quoted by The New York Times on May 12, 2018:
“Pompeo was not a nixer,” said Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an outspoken critic of the deal. “He had a very high threshold for fixing it, but he also had credibility to present that to the president.”
Read the article here.
- Mark on Fox News discussing the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit:
Eric: Mark, is this a meaningful step or is it symbolic considering so much of the site is collapsed from explosions?
Mark: Well, Eric, I think it’s both symbolic and meaningful. The last nuclear test in September reportedly has collapsed that site anyway. The North Koreans have already developed nuclear weapons on their way to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles – so I don’t think there’s much new, or anything meaningful substantively in this decision. But, symbolically, I think Kim Jong Un is certainly trying to signal to the United States that he may be prepared to do a deal.
Eric: Yeah, who thought after all these years that they would ever want to actually close that? What else should we see? You know they’ve got ballistic missile development, for example. He’s pausing it, but he hasn’t stopped it. He hasn’t moved to dismantle that capability.
Mark: We have to be very careful. The Kim regime has been out-playing U.S. negotiators for decades. They promised in 1992 that they would stop their nuclear program. They promised in ’94. They promised in 2005. They’ve been gaming us for many, many years. We’ve got to be very, very cautious. We have to absolutely insist that they denuclearize and that it be rapid and complete and verifiable and irreversible.
Eric: You’re right – they pulled the wool over the eyes of several administrations – the Clinton administration. President George W. Bush took them off the state-sponsor of terrorism list. That’s a carrot, and all they did is take a baseball bat to us. And now they’ve met President Trump – you know rocket man – and with the president’s threats, do you think that has really gotten in Kim Jong Un’s head where he’s looked up and gone, “uh-oh, I better do something.” – because we were actually giving him a concession just by having the president meet with him one-on-one.
Mark: I think it’s a big concession. I mean, this meeting on June 12 in Singapore between President Trump and Kim Jong Un could end up being one of the greatest reality shows we’ve had in decades. I think the U.S. government should charge $39.95 for it, and we could probably pay off our national debt. It’ll be a fascinating summit. But I think the president has been right and the maximum pressure campaign really squeezing the regime economically, trying to bring the Chinese on board to join that economic squeeze, and also making it very clear that all options are on the table. So the real question that Kim Jong Un will have to assess is if President Trump is serious or is he a paper tiger – or, probably more accurately – a Twitter tiger.
Eric: As for that meeting, what has to happen there? Let me play a soundbite for you from John Bolton who was with us for 15 years at the Fox News Channel on Sundays. He predicted that there’s one thing to talk about and that is denuclearize. And if Kim doesn’t say yes, then no meeting or end of meeting and the president walks out. Here’s what Ambassador – now National Security Advisor – John Bolton told me in March.
John Bolton: That’s talking about denuclearization. Anything else is just a waste of time. It’s a short meeting.
Eric: What do they say?
John: “Okay, fine.”
Eric: What are the chances of Kim saying, “okay, fine – I’m going to give up my nuclear capability”? Most people don’t see that happening at all.
Mark: I think if past is prologue, there is very little chance. Unless Kim Jong Un assesses that President Trump is serious about squeezing his regime and potentially taking him to the brink of regime collapse, I think Ambassador Bolton was exactly right: There’s only one thing to talk about, which is permanent, verifiable, complete, and rapid denuclearization. No more games. This isn’t Barack Obama negotiating with the Iranians where he gives massive concessions up front and gives the Iranians patient pathways to nuclear weapons and ICBMs. This has got to be denuclearization so that this brutal regime is not left with the capacity or the materials to produce nuclear weapons and affix them to ICBMs to hold our cities hostage.
Eric: Okay, so finally – Mark, what’s your prediction? Do we get a big announcement after the meeting, or is it a big announcement of future announcements? What do you think is going to happen?
Mark: It’s hard to say, Eric. This is really unprecedented – sitting down like this. They haven’t prepared the groundwork, I think, sufficiently to have any sort of detailed sense of where we’re going to come out on this. But, again, it’s really going to have to be Kim’s assessment of whether this President is serious, unlike previous presidents in using all instruments of American power to stop the Kim regime from holding our cities hostage. So, I expect an announcement, and hopefully it’s an announcement of denuclearization. If it’s not, Ambassador Bolton was right: short meeting. Walk away from the table. Continue the maximum pressure squeezed.