Russia Developing New Long-Range Ballistic Missile
Agence France-Presse, Defense News – December 14, 2012
Russia is developing a new intercontinental ballistic missile, the military announced Dec. 14, in an apparent attempt to remind the United States of Moscow’s rocket capacities.
Susan Rice withdraws as candidate for secretary of state
Karen DeYoung and Anne Gearan, Washington Post – December 13, 2012
U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice withdrew her name Thursday as President Obama’s leading candidate for secretary of state, saying the administration could not afford a “lengthy, disruptive and costly” confirmation fight over statements she made about the extremist attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
Nuclear weapons suddenly easier with ‘wonder fuel’
Steve Elwart, WND – December 11, 2012
The International Atomic Energy Agency has identified the radioactive material thorium as a fuel to power existing and new electrical generation plants, but a new study shows that along with this plentiful “wonder fuel” comes a dangerous weapons proliferation risk.
U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran’s nuclear energy chief
Reuters – December 13, 2012
The United States stepped up pressure on Iran on Thursday over its nuclear program, imposing sanctions on seven companies and five individuals, including Iran’s atomic energy chief.
Iran negotiator says not optimistic on nuclear talks with West
Nidhi Verma and Frank Jack Daniel, Reuters – December 14, 2012
A member of Iran’s nuclear negotiation team said talks between Iran and big Western powers were unlikely to yield results and it doesn’t make sense for Tehran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent fissile purity.
Official: Iran, nuclear watchdog group deal close
Chelsea J. Carter and Saskya Vandoorne, CNN – December 14, 2012
The head of a U.N. nuclear watchdog group said Friday a deal with Iran over its nuclear program is likely in January, an agreement that will also allow inspectors to gain access to a military complex where Tehran is believed to be testing nuclear materials.
Syria: Russia backtracks on comments that Assad’s days are numbered
Alex Spillius, The Telegraph – December 14, 2012
Russia has contradicted remarks by one its own senior diplomats admitting that the end of the Bashar al-Assad regime was a possibility, a view which had been welcomed by the United States and the Syrian opposition.
U.S. troops will man Patriot batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria
Ernesto Londoño, Washington Post – December 14, 2012
he United States authorized on Friday the deployment of 400 troops to man two Patriot missile-defense batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria, a move that could put American troops near the front lines of the Arab country’s escalating civil war.
China Calls for “Moderate” Response to North Korean Rocket Launch
Voice of America – December 13, 2012
China has reiterated that any U.N. response to North Korea’s rocket launch should be “prudent and moderate,” after the U.S. urged Beijing to pressure Pyongyang to adhere to its international obligations.
What North Korea’s Rocket Launch Tells Us About Iran’s Role
Tom Gjelten, NPR – December 14, 2012
U.S. analysts say the North Koreans’ main goal was not to put a satellite into orbit, but just to see all three stages of their rocket work, to show that the rocket could carry its payload a long distance. That it did. In the last test, in April, the first rocket stages worked as designed, but the third stage failed. Charles Vick, a missile expert at GlobalSecurity.org, credits the North Koreans with learning from their past mistakes.
North Korea’s boys’ toys are not a threat – but our reaction to them is
Simon Jenkins, The Guardian – December 13, 2012
North Korea has fired a big rocket into the sky, put a satellite in orbit and then splashed the rocket into the sea. How much should I care? Not much. How much should we all care? The answer is not much.
Pentagon Budget Is a Weapon Against Iran, Terrorists
Bloomberg – December 13, 2012
Congress ignored many of the biggest financial issues facing the Pentagon: base closings, major troop reductions, the future of megadollar programs such as the Ford-class supercarrier, reforming retirement benefits and the Tricare health-care system. It won’t have that luxury much longer; with or without sequestration, getting the U.S. fiscal house in order will mean an end to military spending at more than 4 percent of gross domestic product.
Q&A: What does the future hold for Afghanistan?
Kyle Almond, CNN – December 13, 2012
Insurgents are still a “resilient and determined” threat, according to a Pentagon report released this week. Afghan security forces must be fully trained to take over for U.S. troops. And the two countries have to come to an agreement over what kind of troop presence the U.S. will have in 2014.
Enhanced U.S. Nuclear Weapon Stockpile Surveillance Tools
Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, State Dept – December 13, 2012
The use of data from surveillance of our nuclear weapons enables us to predict how the weapons will perform over time without nuclear explosive testing. This capability has improved significantly over the past decade and provides us with the capability to ensure an effective nuclear stockpile.