Wary U.S. uncertain of Israel’s Iran plans
Mark Hosenball & Phil Stewart, Reuters – December 7, 2011
The Obama administration does not know Israel’s intentions regarding potential military action against Iran, and the uncertainty is stoking concern in Washington, where the preferred course for now is sanctions and diplomatic pressure.
Nervous Gulf states look to one another amid mounting Iran tensions
Washington Post (AP) – December 6, 2011
It was a remark designed to send chills through Washington and its allies: an influential member of the Saudi royal family suggesting the kingdom could someday consider making its own atomic weapons if stuck between nuclear arsenals in Iran and Israel.
Time to add carrots to Iran policy menu
Brig. Gen. John Adams & Lt. Col. Chris Courtney, Politico – December 6, 2011
Talk of bombing Iran is again proliferating as a talking point among politicians who want to sound tough on national security. This happens every election season. It will no doubt be among the most repeated foreign policy themes in the 2012 campaign. But sounding tough should not be mistaken for smart policy.
Russia protests: Gorbachev calls for election re-run
BBC News – December 7, 2011
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has said Sunday’s Russian parliamentary election was marred by fraud and has called for a re-run
Top NATO official criticizes Russian threats to deploy missiles over US defense plan
Washington Post (AP) – December 7, 2011
Russian countermeasures to NATO’s ballistic missile defense system would be a waste of money because they would be aimed at an “artificial enemy,” NATO’s top official said Wednesday.
Republican Candidates Aim at Obama Foreign Policy
Richard A. Oppel, NYT – December 6, 2011
A small but revealing episode unfolded in the closing minutes of the last Republican presidential debate. After the candidates were asked to name the national security issue they most worry about, which had not yet been discussed, Rick Santorum cited radical Islamists in Central and South America.
U.S., China move to stop smuggling of nuclear materials
Reuters – December 7, 2011
The United States and China launched a radiation detection system at a Shanghai port on Wednesday, part of a global effort to halt smuggling of nuclear materials that can be used in bombs.
Obama Administration Urges Flat 2013-2017 Defense Spending Plan
Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg – December 7, 2011
The White House and Pentagon are near agreement on a draft five-year defense budget that flattens expenditures though 2017, with the lowest war spending since 2004, according to an Office of Management and Budget document.
Nuclear program cost: How much?
Al Kamen, Washington Post (Blog) – December 6, 2011
Our colleague Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, recently waded into the bitter fight over the costs of the U.S. nuclear program and awarded the Ploughshares Fund two Pinocchios — which is pretty bad — for estimating that the United States will spend $700 billion over the next 10 years on “nuclear weapons and related programs.”