N. Korea’s nuclear standoff tops agenda at security forum in China
Yonhap News – September 26, 2012
Long-standing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program will top the agenda of an annual security conference that brings together all key regional players committed to resolving the communist country’s nuclear drive, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.
What 371 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride could mean to Iranians
Gordon Lubold, Foreign Policy – September 27, 2012
Lost in the debate on Iran is the human cost of a strike against the country’s nuclear sites, according to a new report published by an Iranian-American with a background in industrial nuclear waste and chemicals. Khosrow Semnani argues in “The Ayatollah’s Nuclear Gamble,” that striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, where the IAEA has verified an inventory of 371 metric tons of uranium hexafluoride, could have devastating effects on tens of thousands, and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iranians, who would be exposed to highly toxic chemical plumes and even radioactive fallout.
Netanyahu brings fears about Iran nuclear ambitions to UN, believes sanctions have failed
AP, Washington Post – September 27, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make his case against Iran before the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, arguing that time is quickly running out to stop the Islamic Republic from becoming a nuclear power and the threat of force must be seriously considered.
Compromise on Missile Shield Possible – Vershbow
RIA Novosti – September 26, 2012
A compromise with Moscow on U.S. missile defense system in Europe is possible despite the current deadlock, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on Thursday. Several prominent Russian researchers and military experts have recently supported NATO’s claims that the alliance’s plans are not targeting Russia, Vershbow said.
China nuclear reactor program to resume in fourth quarter : report
Reuters – September 25, 2012
China’s ambitious reactor building program is set to resume in the fourth quarter following a suspension imposed after Japan’s March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, official media reported on Wednesday. The Shanghai Securities News, citing government sources, said new safety regulations were about to be published, paving the way for China to launch new projects for the first time since an earthquake and tsunami left the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex in northeast Japan on the verge of meltdown.
Michele Flournoy, Obama Adviser: Afghanistan Insider Attacks Are Sign Of ‘Taliban Desperation’
Joshua Hersh, Huffington Post – September 26, 2012
Michele Flournoy, a former top Pentagon official and current foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama’s campaign, said Tuesday that insider attacks by Afghan troops against their American partners are a “very occasional” problem and a sign of “Taliban desperation.”
The Real Pivot
David Barno, Foreign Policy – September 25, 2012
Last week marked a major inflection point in the war in Afghanistan. NATO decided to suspend joint operations with Afghan forces below the battalion level, while the last of the 30,000 U.S. “surge” troops returned home. After eleven years of conflict, the United States and its allies now stand at a fork in the road. They can continue to press ahead with an increasingly risky advisory effort, where the remaining 68,000 U.S. troops would continue widespread partnering with Afghan forces. Or they can start shifting now to a much-reduced military effort aimed at supporting the Afghan military in combat differently while protecting broader U.S. interests with smaller counter-terror forces.
Paul Ryan Says President Obama’s Policies ‘Project Weakness’
John Parkinson, ABC News – September 26, 2012
At a rally this evening here in the Rocky Mountain State, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan sharpened his criticism of President Obama’s leadership as commander-in-chief, telling this military-friendly crowd that the president’s policies “project weakness abroad.” Obama proposals to cut defense spending, Ryan said, would scale back missile defense and directly cost Colorado almost 18,000 jobs.