North Korea May Be Preparing Economic Changes
Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times – September 5, 2012
North Korea said on Wednesday that it would convene its Parliament later this month in an unusual session that South Korean analysts said may officially introduce Kim Jong-un’s program to revitalize his country’s moribund economy. Since taking over the leadership after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in December, Mr. Kim has repeatedly stressed the need to improve the living standards of his impoverished people. He vowed in April, during his first speech, that he would ensure that his people would “never have to tighten their belt again.”
Iran Supplying Syrian Military via Iraqi Airspace
Michael Gordon, The New York Times – September 5, 2012
Iran has resumed shipping military equipment to Syria over Iraqi airspace in a new effort to bolster the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, according to senior American officials. The Obama administration pressed Iraq to shut down the air corridor that Iran had been using earlier this year, raising the issue with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq. But as Syrian rebels gained ground and Mr. Assad’s government was rocked by a bombing that killed several high officials, Iran doubled down in supporting the Syrian leader. The flights started up again in July and, to the frustration of American officials, have continued ever since.
In Iran, Sanctions Taking Toll on Sick
Najmeh Boxorgmehr, Washington Post – September 4, 2012
The tightening of U.S. banking sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program has had an impact on all sectors of the economy but is increasingly hitting vulnerable medical patients as deliveries of medicine and raw materials for Iranian pharmaceutical companies are either stopped or delayed, according to medical experts.
US Arms Makers to Meet Pentagon on Looming Budget Cuts
Reuters – September 4, 2012
Top U.S. aerospace and defense contractors are set to meet the Defense Department this month to discuss concerns about the impact of automatic budget cuts due to take effect in January unless Congress acts to repeal or delay them, the top executive of the industry’s main trade group said on Tuesday. The meeting, set from Sept. 18, will bring together Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the 18-member executive committee of the Aerospace Industries Association, said Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association.
Chinese, Indian Defense Ministers Hold Wary Meetings
Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times – September 4, 2012
Visiting defense ministers traditionally stop at New Delhi’s India Gate war memorial and lay a wreath in memory of Indian soldiers who lost their lives in past wars. Some analysts saw Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie’s decision this week to steer clear of the monument as symptomatic of the wary military relations existing between the two Asian giants.
Boeing Sees Sales of Joint US-Israeli Missile Shield
Jim Wolf & Karen Jacobs, Reuters – September 5, 2012
Boeing Co foresees global demand for a ballistic missile-defense shield it is co-developing to help guard Israel, the head of the company’s military business said on Tuesday. Israel is getting set for the first full flight test of its Arrow anti-missile system using a new high-altitude interceptor called Arrow 3. “As we prove out that technology, and show that it’s not only affordable but effective, we think there will be additional global market opportunities for that capability,” Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive of Boeing’s defense, space and security arm, told Reuters.
Presidential Election News
America’s Wars, Military Feature Prominently at Democratic Convention
Scott Wilson, Washington Post – September 4, 2012
Elaine Brye is a military mom. Four of her five children are serving in the U.S. armed forces. Her father was a veteran of three wars, her husband an Air Force pilot who served in Vietnam. The couple moved to Kabul the year before President Obama’s election to help an Afghan airline improve its business. In other words, Elaine Brye is the kind of speaker who used to be featured at Republican conventions. Her role here Tuesday night — introducing Michelle Obama, whose husband Brye supports — offered a stark illustration of the new place America’s wars occupy in the tight presidential race and the important role those who have been touched by the wars are playing in the campaign.