Pressure builds on Iran at nuclear watchdog
Barbara Slavin, Asia Times – October 6, 2011
As Iran continues a slow march toward potential nuclear weapons capability, diplomatic action to contain the program is likely to shift to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose director general, Yukiya Amano, has taken a harder line than his predecessor about alleged military research by Iran’s nuclear scientists.
Is Israel Again Weighing an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Facilities?
Tony Karon, TIME (blog) – October 5, 2011
Panetta’s comments, coming barely a month after the U.S. reportedly agreed to deliver 55 bunker-busting GBU-28 bombs to Israel, were widely viewed as an “down, boy” message to any adventurist bomb-Iran impulses on the part of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
NORTH & SOUTH KOREA
South Korea’s new nuclear envoy heads to US for talks on North Korea’s atomic program
AFP – October 6, 2011
South Korea’s new chief nuclear envoy is heading to the United States for talks on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says Lim Sung-nam left on a three-day trip Thursday to meet with State Department and White House officials.
S. Korean Navy Says New Base Will Not Host US Military Vessels
Steve Herman, VoA – October 5, 2011
South Korean defense officials say a controversial proposed naval base, off the southern coast on Jeju island, will not allow permanent stationing of U.S. naval vessels. And, they say the facility, to be completed in 2015, is meant to deter North Korea, not China.
China and North Korea
David Cohen, The Diplomat (blog) – October 6, 2011
North Korea is a major diplomatic headache for Chinese leaders, and China is central to understanding the behaviour of the reclusive state. As tensions have risen again on the Korean Peninsula over the sinking of a South Korean ship and an exchange of fire between the two countries, all eyes have been on China.
Pakistan warns Afghanistan after pact with India
Munir Ahmed, AP – October 6, 2011
Pakistan warned Afghanistan to behave responsibly Thursday following Kabul’s move to sign a strategic pact with Islamabad’s archenemy, India, at a particularly sensitive time in relations between the two countries.
Afghans skeptical US will change Pakistan
Khan Mohammad Danishju, Asia Times – October 6, 2011
Following public allegations by a top United States commander that Pakistani intelligence is backing a feared insurgent group, some Afghan analysts say they doubt Washington has the will to sustain the pressure on Islamabad to curb extremism.
Panetta: No clear plan on end to Libya mission
Lolita C. Baldor, AP – October 6, 2011
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says there is no clear set of conditions in Libya that will trigger an end to the combat mission, but the operation will not be over if serious fighting and threats to the population continue.
Russia criticizes latest U.S. missile defense deal
Steve Gutterman, Reuters – October 6, 2011
Russia said on Thursday moves by the United States to create a NATO-wide missile shield could undermine its security, ramping up criticism of the project following a new deal that will see U.S. anti-missile warships deployed on the Spanish coast.
Spain to host U.S. missile defense ships
David Brunnstrom and David Alexander, Reuters – October 5, 2011
he United States and Spain announced an agreement on Wednesday to base U.S. anti-missile warships at Rota on the Spanish coast, strengthening U.S.-led plans for a NATO-wide missile defense system in Europe.
Panetta Urges Europe to Spend More on NATO or Risk a Hollowed-Out Alliance
Steven Erlanger, NYT – October 5, 2011
With the Pentagon facing severe budget cuts, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta asked NATO’s European members on Wednesday to heed the lessons of the Libya war and cooperate on much-needed defense spending in order “not to hollow out this alliance.”