From Mideast Peace to Iran to Syria, Obama Faces Familiar World of Problems in Second Term
AP – November 8, 2012
Now that his re-election is secured, President Barack Obama has a freer hand to deal with a world of familiar problems in fresh ways, from toughening America’s approach to Iran and Syria while potentially engaging other repressive countries such as Cuba and North Korea and refocusing on moribund Middle East peace efforts.
Syrian President Vows to ‘Live and Die’ in Syria, Warns Against Foreign Invasion
Holly Yan and Hamdi Alkhshali, CNN – November 8, 2012
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insists he will “live and die” in Syria, even as countries offer him safe passage in exchange for halting a gruesome civil war. “I’m not a puppet, and I was not made by the West to go to the West or to any other country,” he told Russia Today TV. “I am Syrian. I was made in Syria and to live and die in Syria.”
Turkey to Request NATO Missile Defense on Syria Border
Jonathon Burch and Gulsen Solaker, Reuters – November 7, 2012
Turkey is to make an imminent official request to NATO to station Patriot missiles along its border with Syria, a senior Turkish foreign ministry official said on Wednesday. NATO-member Turkey has already bolstered its own military presence along the 910-km (560-mile) border and has been responding in kind to gunfire and mortar shells hitting its territory from fighting between Syrian rebels and Syrian government forces.
Red Cross Says it Cannot Cope with Syria Emergency
Jim Muir, BBC – November 8, 2012
The Red Cross has said it “can’t cope” with the worsening situation in Syria. “The humanitarian situation is getting worse despite the scope of the operation increasing,” said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Meanwhile, President Assad has told Russian TV that he will not leave Syria as suggested by the UK prime minister.
Afghanistan: Bombing Attacks Kill 20
Slobadan Lekic, AP – November 8, 2012
Roadside bombs and a suicide bomber killed 20 people in a spate of attacks across Afghanistan on Thursday, officials said. The deaths came even as armed clashes between insurgents and Afghan security forces have decreased as the fighting season winds down with the advent of cooler weather in the mountainous nation.
China Submarines to Soon Carry Nuclear Weapons, Draft US Report Says
Jim Wolf, Reuters – November 8, 2012
China appears to be within two years of deploying submarine-launched nuclear weapons, adding a new leg to its nuclear arsenal that should lead to arms-reduction talks, a draft report by a congressionally mandated U.S. commission says.
Iran’s Nuclear Motives Revisited
Eric M. Tope, Foreign Policy Journal – November 8, 2012
Iran’s motives for acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, provided they aim to do so, are still insufficiently analyzed by mainstream commentators. Overly pessimistic and ill- supported assumptions about Iran’s aggressive intentions have misconstrued the debate, while Tehran’s potentially more pragmatic motives have gone unnoticed.
Iran Hints at Possible New Delay in Atom Power Plant’s Operation
Reuters – November 8, 2012
Iran’s first nuclear power plant will become fully operational by early 2013, its energy minister was quoted as saying, more than two months after Russia said it was up and running normally following decades of delay. The plant near the town of Bushehr on Iran’s Gulf coast is a symbol of what Tehran says is its peaceful nuclear ambitions. The West suspects the Islamic Republic is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability and imposed tough sanctions on it.
Russia Hopes for US Flexibility on Missile Shield
Max Seddon, AP – November 8, 2012
Russia expects Barack Obama to show more flexibility in a dispute over U.S. missile defense plans in Europe following his re-election as president, a top official said Thursday. The controversy over the planned missile shield has strained the relations between the U.S. and Russia.
S. Korean Presidential Frontrunner Willing to Meet North’s Leader
Steve Herman, VOA – November 8, 2012
South Korea holds a hotly-contested election December 19 to choose a successor to President Lee Myung-bak. He is limited to a single five-year term under South Korea’s constitution. Park Geun-hye, the front-runner from the governing party, spoke to correspondents in Seoul Thursday for the first time during her current run.