Iran bolsters retaliation capability in Persian Gulf, experts say
Joby Warrick, Washington Post – July 26, 2012
Iran is rapidly gaining new capabilities to strike at U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, amassing an arsenal of sophisticated anti-ship missiles while expanding its fleet of fast-attack boats and submarines, U.S. and Middle Eastern analysts say. The new systems, many of them developed with foreign assistance, are giving Iran’s commanders new confidence that they could quickly damage or destroy U.S. ships if hostilities erupt, the officials say.
Romney: Military option in Iran should not be ruled out
Ashley Killough, CNN – July 26, 2012
As Mitt Romney gets ready to depart London for Israel this weekend, the presumptive GOP nominee reaffirmed his position Thursday that military force would be an option, though only as a last resort, in trying to prevent Iran from building its suspected nuclear weapons program. “We will employ every means short of military power,” Romney said in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “We recognize that if all means are exhausted and fail, a military option will have to be considered.”
America’s Role in Helping Iran Develop its Nuclear Program
Matthew Fuhrmann, The Atlantic – July 26, 2012
Yes, the U.S. once aided Tehran’s civilian nuclear program, a reminder that even peaceful nuclear cooperation can have unintended consequences… The United States provided peaceful nuclear assistance to Iran from 1957 to 1979, when the two states were allies. Washington exported the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), enriched uranium to fuel it, and “hot cells,” which can be used to produce plutonium–a critical ingredient for making nuclear weapons. All of this aid was provided for civilian uses, but it ended up indirectly augmenting Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Op-Ed: The Failures of Missile Defense
Philip Coyle, The National Interest – July 26, 2012
Two recent scientific assessments of U.S. missile-defense efforts show that these programs are chasing scientific dead ends, unworkable concepts and a flawed overall architecture… In some cases, the gap between what the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has been touting and the scientific facts is astonishing. For example, in an August 2011 handout, the MDA says “We will achieve early intercept capability against MRBMs, IRBMs, and ICBMs from today’s regional threats by 2020 or sooner.” But one month later, the DSB concluded that early intercept in and of itself “is not a useful objective for missile defense.” In other words, DOD’s own scientists had to point out how far MDA has strayed from the basic physics of its systems.
Uranium facility construction to start a year before final cost estimate
Frank Munger, Knoxville News Sentinel – July 27, 2012
A firm cost estimate on the Uranium Processing Facility — reported to be the largest construction project in Tennessee history — won’t be available until September 2013, according to the project’s federal director, but site readiness is expected begin within the next couple of months at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.
Presidential Election News
Slovak Foreign Minister Chides Romney on Missile Defense
Julian E. Barnes, Wall Street Journal – July 26, 2012
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney attacked President Barack Obama’s administration this week for abandoning Poland and the Czech Republic by altering plans for an American missile defense system in Europe. But the Slovak foreign minister, in Washington this week for meetings with U.S. officials, said Thursday that Europe has fully embraced the new approach to missile defense and said Mr. Romney was dredging up settled debates.