Exam Said to Be Leaked to Guards at Nuclear Site
Matthew Wald, New York Times – November 1, 2012
The security guards at a nuclear weapons plant who failed to stop an 82-year-old nun from reaching a bomb fuel storage building earlier this year were also cheating on a recertification exam, according to an internal investigation by the Department of Energy, which owns the weapons plant.
Romney’s defense budget is unrealistic
Winslow T. Wheeler, The Hill – November 1, 2012
Mitt Romney’s proposal to boost defense spending until it reaches “a floor of four percent of GDP [gross domestic product],” as he proclaims at his official website, is an insult to history.
Rebalancing Our National Security
The Task Force on a Unified Security Budget, Center for American Progress – October 31, 2012
The members of our Task Force agree with the near-universal consensus that sequestration is more about political maneuvering than sound budgeting practice. But we argue that the amount of cuts to the Pentagon budget mandated by both parts of the debt deal is readily achievable with no sacrifice to our security—if the cuts are done in a thoughtful manner over the next decade. We also agree that some of those savings in the U.S. defense budget should be redeployed to other parts of the federal government, specifically to those non-military programs that help our nation defend the homeland and prevent global crises from escalating into military confrontations.
U.S. seeks patriotic computer geeks for help in cyber crisis
Jim Finkle, Reuters – October 31, 2012
The Department of Homeland Security is considering setting up a “Cyber Reserve” of computer security experts who could be called upon in the event of a crippling cyber attack. The idea came from a task force the agency set up to address what has long been a weak spot — recruiting and retaining skilled cyber professionals who feel they can get better jobs and earn higher salaries, in the private sector.
Iran’s supreme leader warns bickering politicians
Thomas Erdbrink, Boston Globe – November 1, 2012
In his clearest warning that political infighting by his subordinates must end, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Wednesday that their public disputes would be treated as treason. Complaining that the increasingly open public fights between the executive branch of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and high-ranking officials in the legislative and judicial branches were providing ammunition to ‘‘foreign media and enemies,’’ the ayatollah, who has the last word on affairs of state in Iran, set the clearest red line ever to those running the country’s day-to-day matters.
Domestic politics shaping the international debate over a nuclear Iran
Walter Pincus, Washington Post – October 31, 2012
Domestic politics can make all the difference when it comes to the idea of taking military action against Iran’s nuclear program. Just look at the elections in the United States, Israel or even Iran. The latest example is the interview Monday with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak by the Daily Telegraph in Britain. He said a step in Iran reported recently “allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth [meaning an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities] by eight to 10 months.”
Iran’s Threat In America’s Backyard
Lawrence J. Haas, International Business Times – November 1, 2012
The recent launch of talks between Iranian and Argentine officials over how to improve relations between their countries is troubling enough from a moral standpoint — but the strategic implications are even worse.
Was a North Korean General Really Executed by Mortar Fire?
Michael Madden, Foreign Policy – October 31, 2012
The latest gallows gossip from Pyongyang recounts the execution of fifty-something Kim Chol, the nom de guerre of a deputy defense minister. South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo reported in late October that Kim was one of several senior Korean People’s Army officials executed or arrested after Kim Jong Un’s accession following the December 2011 death of his father Kim Jong Il. According to the paper, during North Korea’s official three-month mourning period, Kim Chol enjoyed liquor in the company of a female colleague in the North Korean military, a violation of Kim Jong Un’s explicit warning against “singing or dancing, merrymaking or recreation.” If the story is accurate, Kim Chol and his comrades were killed by mortar rounds fired at point-blank range.
UN Chief ready to engage North Korea’s nuclear issue
Joseph Kim, Press TV – November 1, 2012
Though urging North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons, Ban said the UN “will continue to do its utmost to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea.” Experts argue, this may be the only thing that can be done.Still, some analysts suggest Ban has a better chance in talks with North Korea because of a common heritage.
No, Obama Did Not Abandon Poland
Stephen J. Flanagan, Foreign Policy – October 31, 2012
In the foreign policy debate last week, Governor Mitt Romney repeated an assertion he’s made throughout the campaign: that, in “pulling our missile defense program out” of Poland, President Obama failed to stand by a key NATO ally. This charge is simply untrue. Not only does Obama still plan to deploy missile defenses in Poland, he has done as much, if not more, than his predecessor to bolster the security of U.S. allies in Central and Eastern Europe.