Despite Downed U.S. Drone Claims, Iran War Talk May Be Overblown
Tony Karon, Time Magazine (Blog) – December 5, 2011
Anyone cut off from all news media for the six months before December 2011 could be forgiven for imagining we’re in the opening stages of a war between the West and Iran. Sunday’s headline was Iran’s claim to have captured a sophisticated U.S. surveillance drone that American officials concede may have gone missing along the Afghan-Iran border recently.
Australia expands sanctions against Iran amid suspicions country is developing nuclear weapons
Washington Post (AP) – December 5, 2011
Australia has expanded sanctions against Iran amid growing concerns over the country’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
Saudi may join nuclear arms race: ex-spy chief
AFP – December 5, 2011
Saudi Arabia may consider acquiring nuclear weapons to match regional rivals Israel and Iran, its former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal said on Monday.
NORTH & SOUTH KOREA
South Korea and U.S. Differ on Nuclear Enrichment
Choe Sang-Hun, The NYT – December 5, 2011
Over the past year, Washington and Seoul have held low-key but highly sensitive talks on whether South Korea should be allowed to do what the Americans have long tried to stop North Korea from doing: enrich uranium and reprocess spent nuclear fuel.
U.S., Russia To Raise Differences On Missile Defense
Mike Shuster, npr – December 5, 2011
The U.S. and Russia ratified a news arms control deal just last year. But when NATO and Russian officials get together in Brussels this week, they will deal with the increasingly thorny issue of missile defense.
U.S. suggests Russian elections neither free nor fair
Arshad Mohammed & Nerijus Adomaitis, Reuters – December 6, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested Russia’s elections were neither free nor fair as she made a broad plea on Tuesday for digital freedoms at a European security gathering.
Indonesia brings atom test ban “closer to global law”
Reuters – December 6, 2011
Indonesia’s parliament ratified a treaty to ban nuclear weapon tests on Tuesday, a move which the head of the agency set up to monitor the pact said brought it a “significant step closer to becoming global law.”
If Anything, $700 Billion Underestimates U.S. Nuke Spending in Next Decade
Bruce Blair, Time Magazine – December 5, 2011
This week the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler assigned two Pinocchios to the Ploughshares Fund estimate that the United States will spend upwards of $700 billion on nuclear weapons programs over the next decade. My take on this debate, based on a Global Zero study, comes down in favor of Ploughshares.
US senators call for full review of Pakistani ties
Reuters – December 5, 2011
Two senior Republican senators called on Monday for a thorough review of U.S. relations with Pakistan, declaring that all security and economic aid to Islamabad must be reconsidered.