Gutting Iran Sanctions
WSJ – December 7, 2011
The Obama Administration claims its economic sanctions will bring Iran’s nuclear program to heel short of war. So why is it working behind the scenes to neuter the latest sanctions that passed the Senate last week, 100-0?
The Gulf Between Washington and Jerusalem Over Iran
Jefferey Goldberg, The Atlantic – December 7, 2011
I have to say that I’m beginning to have doubts about the Obama Administration approach to this issue. I have fewer doubts about President Obama himself: I think he understands the potentially catastrophic consequences of an Iran with nuclear weapons. But I think there are people around him who are convincing themselves that either 1) a nuclear Iran is containable; or 2) the sanctions regime currently in place will be sufficient to stop Iran.
NORTH & SOUTH KOREA
U.S. envoy urges N. Korea to continue nuclear talks with S. Korea
Lee Haye-ah, Yonhap News – December 8, 2011
The U.S. special envoy on North Korea urged the communist country Thursday to continue talks with South Korea over its nuclear weapons program, indicating it is an “essential” first step toward a resumption of multilateral nuclear disarmament talks.
US envoy on North Korea hopes for another round of talks between Washington and Pyongyang
Washington Post (AP) – December 8, 2011
The new U.S. envoy on North Korean affairs says he hopes for another round of talks between Washington and Pyongyang. But Glyn Davies said Thursday that the United States is “not interested in talks for talks’ sake.” He didn’t elaborate.
US military winds down Iraq withdrawal
AlJazeera – December 8, 2011
There is almost nothing left of this sprawling military base near Nasiriyah, once a main hub for operations in southern Iraq, now reduced to more or less a fortified truck stop on the road to Kuwait.
NATO, Russia still deadlocked on missile defense; Russia warns time running out
Washington (AP) – December 8, 2011
Russia and NATO remain deadlocked on a long-running dispute over the alliance’s plan for a missile shield for Europe, officials said Friday, and Russia warned that time was running out for an agreement.
Putin Accuses Clinton of Instigating Russia Protests
David M. Herszenhorn & Steven Lee Myers, NYT – December 8, 2011
Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday accused Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of instigating protests over the results of Russia’s parliamentary elections by baselessly criticizing the vote as “dishonest and unfair” and he warned that Russia needed to protect against “interference” by foreign governments in its internal affairs.
Poll: GOP enthusiasm for 2012 dips
Tim Mak, Politico – December 8, 2011
Republican enthusiasm for voting in the 2012 presidential elections has dropped in the past few months, while Democratic fervor has stayed about the same – meaning that the large excitement gap the GOP has enjoyed is tightening, a new survey finds.
Gingrich: John Bolton will be my secretary of state
Stephen Dinan & Seth McLaughlin, WT – December 7, 2011
Courting conservatives in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said he would ask former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton to be his secretary of state should he win the White House.