Israel to Iran: Jewish State Can Defend Itself
George Jahn, Huffington Post – September 19, 2012
A senior Israeli official warned Iran on Wednesday to stop its “direct and blunt threats” against his country, telling a 155-nation nuclear conference the Jewish state is ready to defend itself against any nation that menaces its existence. Israeli nuclear chief Shaul Chorev avoided any suggestion that his country was contemplating a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities – a scenario that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is increasingly suggesting may be necessary to stop what he says is Tehran’s path toward atomic arms.
Talk to Iran’s Leaders, but Look Beyond Them
Ray Takeyh, New York Times – September 19, 2012
The latest tussle over red lines and deadlines on Iran’s nuclear program obscures some of the genuine dilemmas now confronting the international community. For a long time, the major powers had hoped that imposing strenuous sanctions on Iran could produce an interlocutor willing to negotiate honestly and to adhere to an exacting arms control agreement. But time may no longer permit the patient exercise of coercive diplomacy.
Does Romney Know Anything About Nukes?
Steve Clemons, The Atlantic – September 19, 2012
Joe Cirincione, one of the nation’s sharpest minds on nuclear weapons policy, just highlighted in Foreign Policy yet another big gulp moment in the viral video of Mitt Romney triggering shock and awe (wrong kind of awe though) across the political world. Cirincione speculates, based on the recording, that Mitt knows little of nukes and even less of dirty bombs. And the difference matters, big time.
North Korea: What’s Next is Off the Plan
Jeffrey Robertson, Asia Times – September 20, 2012
All states prepare for national emergencies. North Korea is no different. National emergency response planning is universal. State authorities know that one day, sooner or later, a high-impact event will occur. They know that it could potentially have a major impact upon the population, affecting their way of life, their beliefs and their opinion regarding the legitimacy of state authority. Accordingly, state authorities plan and prepare to rapidly respond to and recover from such events. On December 17, 2011, North Korea experienced such an event.
Virginia Senate Candidates Can’t Stop Defense Cuts
Robert McCartney, Washington Post – September 19, 2012
Federal defense spending fuels a large chunk of Virginia’s economy, so it’s unsurprising that U.S. Senate candidates George Allen (R) and Timothy M. Kaine (D) are both passionately opposing heavy-handed cuts in the Pentagon budget now scheduled to take effect Jan. 2. The two rivals have repeatedly raised the issue as they campaign. Each uses the word “devastating” to describe the impact in Virginia. The topic is practically certain to come up in their Thursday debate in Fairfax County.
Israel, Syria Trade Accusations at U.N. Nuclear Meeting
Fredrik Dahl, Chicago Tribune – September 19, 2012
Syria, itself suspected of illicit nuclear activity, accused the West at a major U.N. meeting on Wednesday of double standards in implicitly condoning an Israeli atomic arsenal and warned of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Israel hit back at the annual assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by saying Syria and its ally Iran were “known for their clandestine pursuit of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.”
Swiss Nuclear Smugglers Who Helped CIA Foil Libya Set to Avoid More Prison in Plea Bargain
Associated Press – September 18, 2012
Three Swiss engineers accused of participating in a global nuclear smuggling ring are set to avoid further prison time, in part because they helped the CIA bust the network that was supplying Libya’s atomic weapons program. Prosecution documents released Tuesday outline a plea bargain agreement under which Urs Tinner, 46, his brother Marco, 43, and their 74-year-old father, Friedrich, would accept the charges against them in return for prison terms that are shorter than the time they have already spent in investigative custody.
What Happens When the U.S. Leaves Afghanistan?
Carmen Gentile, USA Today – September 20, 2012
Today’s Afghan army will fight just as ferociously against Taliban fighters, but Adil and others say it can’t defeat them under the current U.S. military strategy that calls for the withdrawal of all combat forces by the end of 2014. “When the coalition forces leave, there will be a lot of problems for us,” Adil says in the halting English he learned at an Afghan university.
Russia Cuts Kyrgyz Debt for Military, Power Deals
Gleb Bryanski and Olga Dzyubenko, Reuters – September 20, 2012
Russia agreed on Thursday to write off nearly $500 million in debt due from Kyrgyzstan in exchange for a package of deals that will extend Moscow’s military and energy footprints on the volatile fringes of the former Soviet Union. As Kyrgyzstan confirmed plans to close a U.S. base used to fly troops in and out of Afghanistan after Washington’s lease expires in 2014, President Vladimir Putin secured a 15-year extension to Russia’s lease on its own base in the country.