Russia sends warships to Syria for possible evacuation
Russia sent warships to the Mediterranean to prepare a potential evacuation of its citizens from Syria, a Russian news agency said on Tuesday, a sign President Bashar al-Assad’s key ally is worried about rebel advances that now threaten even the capital.
Syria Says Opposition Could Use Chemical Weapons
Edith M. Lederer, AP – December 17, 2012
Bashar Ja’afari reiterated in letters, circulated Monday, to the U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the Syrian government is “genuinely worried” that foreign countries could provide chemical weapons to armed groups “and then claim they had been used by the Syrian government.”
Annual Assessment of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile
The Annual Assessment process of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile is the authoritative method for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE NNSA) to evaluate the safety, reliability, performance and military effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile, and it is a principal factor in our ability to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent without nuclear explosive testing.
Number the Nukes
Bill Gertz, Free Beacon – December 14, 2012
A former commander of Russia’s nuclear forces warned the Obama administration this week that China’s short-range nuclear missiles are undermining the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia.
How to cut $100B from the defense budget
Lawrence Korb, Politico – December 17, 2012
In order to make a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and put the country on a more sustainable fiscal path, political leaders from both sides of the aisle agree that some cuts to discretionary spending must be part of the package. The defense budget, which accounts for about half of all discretionary spending, should bear a significant percentage of these reductions.
North Korea launched rocket but may see few buyers
AP – December 18, 2012
y successfully firing a rocket that put a satellite in space, North Korea let the far-flung buyers of its missiles know that it is still open for business. But Pyongyang will find that customers are hard to come by as old friends drift away and international sanctions lock down its sales.
Iran defiant on enrichment ahead of possible nuclear talks
Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters – December 17, 2012
ran will not stop higher-grade uranium enrichment in response to external demands, its top nuclear energy official was quoted as saying on Tuesday, signaling a tough bargaining stance ahead of planned new talks with world powers.
National Security Brief: Obama May Announce Top State, Defense Nominees This Week
ThinkProgress – December 18, 2012
The Washington Post reports that President Obama would like to announce his new national security cabinet picks on Friday, but administration officials said that plan would be dictated by the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel (NE) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) are reportedly the frontrunners to become Secretary of Defense and State, respectively.