Michele Bachmann: Force an option against Iran after alleged US-based assassination plot
Shira Schoenberg, Boston Globe – October 30, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann would not rule out the use of force in responding to an alleged Iranian attempt to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States.
Daniel Byman, Foreign Policy (Blog) – October 28, 2011
Incredulity has been the most common response to reports that Iran plotted with Mexican drug traffickers to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, at a Washington, D.C. restaurant. Given past U.S. intelligence failures, the opacity of the Iranian regime, and the seemingly clumsy nature of the operation, it is easy to dismiss the Obama administration’s allegations that Iran planned such a risky attack. But there are plenty of reasons to think that the Islamic Republic’s senior leadership was responsible for the plot.
The Bloated Nuclear Weapons Budget
NYT Editorial – October 29, 2011
Twenty years after the end of the cold war, the United States still has about 2,500 nuclear weapons deployed and 2,600 more as backup. The Obama administration, in an attempt to mollify Congressional Republicans, has also committed to modernizing an already hugely expensive complex of nuclear labs and production facilities.
NORTH & SOUTH KOREA
Kim Jong-il to North Koreans in Libya: Don’t bother coming home
John M. Gilona, LA Times – October 31, 2011
Worried they might return with provocative tales of a populist uprising that just toppled another Middle East dictator, strongman Kim Jong-il has issued a decree to North Koreans in Libya – don’t bother coming home.
Lee says he won’t use inter-Korean relations for political gains
Yonhap News – October 31, 2011
President Lee Myung-bak said he won’t use inter-Korean relations for his political gain, saying his principles remain firm that North Korea should give up its nuclear programs before Seoul can help the impoverished nation rebuild its broken economy.
Outgoing negotiator calls for realistic approach to NK
Kang Hyun-kyung, Korea Times – October 30, 2011
Wi Sung-lac was South Korea’s longest-serving chief nuclear negotiator since the six-party talks to terminate North Korea’s nuclear program were launched in the early 2000s.
Nuclear powers plan weapons spending spree, report finds
Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian – October 30, 2011
The world’s nuclear powers are planning to spend hundreds of billions of pounds modernising and upgrading weapons warheads and delivery systems over the next decade, according to an authoritative report published on Monday.
10 reasons why Russia still matters
Graham Allison & Robert D. Blackwill, Politico (Opinion) – October 30, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner recently delivered a fiery indictment of Russia and the Obama administration’s entire “reset” in Russian policy.
Russia Does Not See Deal on NATO Missile Shield Before 2012 Summit
Global Security Newswire – October 31, 2011
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko on Monday dismissed hopes that his nation and NATO could reach agreement on European missile defense collaboration before the Western military bloc’s May summit, RIA Novosti reported
The dangerous debate over cutting military spending
Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post (Opinion) – October 30, 2011
We shouldn’t gut defense. A central question of our budget debates is how much we allow growing spending on social programs to crowd out the military and, in effect, force the United States into a dangerous, slow-motion disarmament.
GOP presidential candidates share foreign policy strategy
Mark Z. Barabak, LA Times – October 30, 2011
In a campaign dominated by talk of jobs and the economy, the Republican presidential field has settled on a unified approach to foreign policy: Ignore it for the most part, unless forced to discuss. Then criticize President Obama.