Iran plans more war games in strait as sanctions bite
Robin Omeroy, Reuters – January 6, 2012
Iran announced plans on Friday for new military exercises in the world’s most important oil shipping lane, the latest in weeks of bellicose gestures towards the West as new sanctions threaten Tehran’s oil exports.
Energy-hungry Asian economies look to keep Iranian oil flowing in wake of US sanctions
Washington Post (AP) – January 6, 2012
China, the biggest buyer of Iran’s oil, has publicly rejected U.S. sanctions aimed at Tehran’s energy industry while American allies Japan and South Korea are scrambling to find a compromise to keep critical supplies flowing.
Denmark Assessing All Consequences of Imposing Iran Oil Embargo
Peter Levring, Bloomberg – January 6, 2012
Denmark’s Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said all consequences are being studied as the European Union deliberates whether to impose oil sanctions on Iran.
Rumor of N. Korean nuclear explosion prompt brief stock panic in South
Chico Harlan, Washington Post (Blog) – January 6, 2012
A rumor that an explosion occurred at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear facility set off a brief panic Friday in the South Korean stock market, illustrating one of the ways in which Seoul is vulnerable to its neighbor.
North Korea rebuffs Seoul overtures
Christian Oliver, Financial Times – January 6, 2012
North Korea has poured scorn on South Korea’s suggestion that there is a “window of opportunity” to rebuild inter-Korean ties, stressing its new leader will instead focus on strengthening its atomic arsenal and military.
Syrian media awaken despite clampdown
Alice Fordham, Washington Post – January 5, 2012
Throughout a nine-month-long uprising, Syrian authorities have exerted ever-tighter control over the media, routinely censoring and detaining reporters, bloggers and photojournalists. But despite the risks, a flurry of new outlets has emerged to tell stories suppressed by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Time to ratify nuclear test ban treaty
Stephen A. Cheney, CNN (Opinion) – January 5, 2012
Americans firmly believe in their commitment to ideals, principles and morality. New START is supremely representative of that. We should extend that commitment to ratification of the CTBT.
Obama’s Defense Drawdown
Wall Street Journal (Editorial) – January 6, 2012
President Obama yesterday put in a rare appearance at the Pentagon, flanked by the four service chiefs and his Secretary of Defense. Saying that now is the time to cash in a peace dividend, he unveiled plans for a significantly slimmed-down military. This dance was choreographed to convey strength. Everything else about it showed how domestic entitlements are beginning to squeeze the U.S. military.
World reacts to Obama’s new military focus on Asia
Scott Baldauf, The Christian Science Monitor (Blog) – January 6, 2012
Chinese newspapers call on China to assert itself, while India and African nations ponder the implications of becoming ‘strategic partners’ with the US.
Fewer, Better Nuclear Weapons Can Make the U.S. Stronger: View
Bloomberg (Editorial) – January 5, 2012
The benefits of a smarter nuclear-weapons policy will spread beyond the Pentagon. The Energy Department should be able to trim billions as well from its related spending, starting with a halt on a plutonium storage and production facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.