Nuclear deal? New North Korea and Iran pact raises international concern
Donald Kirk, Christian Science Monitor – September 21, 2012
North Korea and Iran appear to be increasing their dealings in nuclear technology and missiles with each other under a breakthrough agreement reached between the two nations in Tehran three weeks ago. “It’s likely the tempo of shipments of technology to Iran has increased,” says Bruce Bechtol, a former US intelligence official and author of two books and other studies on North Korea’s military buildup. “We have seen a large number of North Korean scientists visiting Iran.”
South Korea Fires Warning Shots at Fishing Boats From North
Martin Fackler, New York Times – September 21, 2012
South Korean patrol boats fired warning shots at North Korean fishing vessels in contested waters in the Yellow Sea on Friday, but the North’s boats fled without casualties, the South Korean military said.
Pakistan film protests: Ten die in Karachi and Peshawar
BBC News – September 21, 2012
Five people were killed in the port city of Karachi and a further five died in the north-western city of Peshawar, hospital officials said. Protesters also breached the diplomatic enclave in the capital, Islamabad, near the US embassy.
Iran Atomic Official Says Iran Used False Data to Fool Spies
Rick Gladstone and Christine Hauser, New York Times – September 20, 2012
Iran’s top atomic energy official said in an article published Thursday that because of foreign espionage, his government had sometimes provided false information to protect its nuclear program, which Western powers and Israel have called a cloak to develop a nuclear weapons capacity.
Iran displays new air defense system said to be made to confront US warplanes in Gulf
AP, Washington Post – September 21, 2012
Iran on Friday displayed a new, all-Iranian-made air defense system, saying it was designed to confront American warplanes in case of a U.S. attack on the country. The system was on show during a military parade in Tehran commemorating the start of the Iraq-Iran war 32 years ago.
U.S. doesn’t support tying Iraq aid to cooperation on Iran
Reuters, Chicago Tribune – September 20, 2012
The State Department said on Thursday it did not support a suggestion from a prominent senator that future U.S. assistance to Iraq be made conditional on Baghdad’s cooperation in stopping Iranian aircraft suspected of ferrying weapons to Syria. “We’ve been very clear about our ongoing conversation with the government of Iraq, and our view that they either need to deny overflight requests for Iranian aircraft going to Syria or to require that such flights land in Iraqi territory for inspection,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news briefing.
U.S. Troop Surge In Afghanistan Over, Panetta Says
Lolita C. Baldor, Huffington Post – September 21, 2012
The 33,000 additional U.S. troops that President Barack Obama ordered to Afghanistan to tamp down the Taliban attacks nearly two years ago have now left the country, but a new wave of deadly insider attacks and a reassessment of how NATO troops partner with Afghans have raised questions about how well the military strategy is working. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced on Friday the troops had come out, declaring the surge had accomplished its mission.
2 candidates’ views on defense
Michael O’Hanlon, Politico – September 19, 2012
So how do Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama stack up against each other on the enormously important question of U.S. military spending and broader defense strategy? If the argument was just one of Democratic incumbent against Republican challenger, I’d assume the country couldn’t go too far wrong, regardless of who won. But with the trillion-dollar deficits, looming sequestration and other woes afflicting the policy process, I’m less sure things will work out.