Security Contractor at Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plan Fired after Intrusion by Activists
AP – October 1, 2012
The security contractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee was fired Monday after authorities said three protesters cut through fences and vandalized a building in an unprecedented break-in. Security contractor WSI Oak Ridge said it has started winding down operations and will transfer its protective force functions to B&W Y-12, the managing contractor at the plant, over the next several weeks. The Department of Energy had earlier recommended that WSI’s contract be terminated.
Korea Peninsula Could Face Thermonuclear War, North Tells UN
Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols, Reuters – October 1, 2012
U.S. policy toward North Korea has made the Korean peninsula the most dangerous place on the planet because a “spark” there could ignite a nuclear war, a senior North Korean official told the U.N. General Assembly on Monday.
Iran May Still Be Years Away From Any Nuclear-Armed Missile
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – October 2, 2012
Iran already has enough low-enriched uranium for several atomic bombs if refined to a high degree but it may still be a few years away from being able to build a nuclear-armed missile if it decided to go down that path. Israel’s warning last week that Iran will be on the brink of developing a nuclear weapon by mid-2013 seemed to refer to when it could have a sufficient stock of higher-grade uranium to make a quick dash to produce a bomb’s worth of weapon-grade material.
What If We’re Wrong on Iran?
Roger Z. George, LA Times – October 2, 2012
As the U.S. contemplates whether to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, intelligence community leaders should be asking themselves a question: What if we’re wrong?
Analysis: Obama, Netanyahu Got What They Hoped For at UN Meeting
Louis Charbonneau, Reuters – October 1, 2012
U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to get what they hoped for at the annual U.N. General Assembly after closing ranks to send a message to Iran that it may face war over its nuclear program. Obama and Netanyahu did not meet with each other at the United Nations, where leaders and foreign ministers from the world body’s 193 member states have gathered since last week to give speeches and hold private talks to resolve conflicts and boost trade.
Why It Matters: Defense Spending
Robert Burns, AP – October 2, 2012
Is the U.S. spending enough money on defense, and is it spending it in the right ways? In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the money spigot was turned wide open, pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and expanding the armed forces. Now that’s changing, and an important issue in the election is whether budget cuts have gone too far.
Persian Gulf States Speed Up US Missile Shield
UPI – October 1, 2012
As tensions swell in the Persian Gulf, the United States is pressing its fractious Arab allies to accelerate efforts to establish an integrated missile defense network to counter the threat of Iran’s growing ballistic arsenal. That would add considerable weight to U.S. anti-missile defenses in the region, recently reinforced, in any conflict with the Islamic Republic.
NATO Could Speed Up Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan
Jennifer Rowland, Foreign Policy – October 2, 2012
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen told The Guardian on Monday that the international coalition could withdraw troops faster than originally planned, as troops’ morale declines due to rising “insider attacks” by Afghan forces against their NATO counterparts.