US officials: US, allies weighing military options if Syria uses chemical weapons
AP, Washington Post – December 3, 2012
The White House and its allies are weighing military options to secure Syria’s chemical and biological weapons, after U.S. intelligence reports show the Syrian regime may be readying those weapons and may be desperate enough to use them, U.S. officials said Monday.
NATO warns Syria not to use chemical weapons
Dominic Evans and Adrian Croft, Reuters – December 4, 2012
NATO told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons in his fight against encroaching rebel forces would be met by an immediate international response.
North Korea confirms rocket plans to UN shipping agency
BBC News – December 4, 2012
North Korea has confirmed the details of its planned rocket launch this month, says the UN’s shipping agency. The launch is set for between 10 and 22 December, from 07:00 to 12:00 local time (22:00 – 03:00 GMT), said the International Maritime Organisation.
North Korea divides South’s presidential hopefuls in TV debate
Jack Kim, Reuters – December 4, 2012
South Korea’s two main presidential contenders clashed on Tuesday in a debate over security policy as North Korea readied a rocket launch that is timed to coincide with the South’s December 19 election.
Terrorist attacks have more than quadrupled since 2001, with top targets Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan: survey
Reuters – December 4, 2012
The number of terrorist attacks each year has more than quadrupled in the decade since September 11, 2001, a study released on Tuesday said, with Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan the most affected. The number of annual deaths in attacks, however, peaked in 2007 — the height of the Iraq conflict — and has been falling ever since. The survey reported 7,473 fatalities in 2011, 25 percent down on 2007. That figure included dead suicide bombers and other attackers.
Chinese firm in illegal nuclear exports to Pakistan
BBC – December 3, 2012
A Chinese government-linked company has pleaded guilty to illegally exporting high-performance coatings from the US to a nuclear power plant in Pakistan.
U.S. denies Iran’s reports of captured drone
Yeganeh Torbati and Daniel Fineren, Reuters – December 4, 2012
Iran said on Tuesday it had captured a U.S. intelligence drone in its airspace over the Gulf in the last few days, but the U.S. military quickly denied having lost any unmanned aircraft in the Middle East.
NNSA exceeds nuclear weapons dismantlement goal
John Huotari, Oak Ridge Today – December 4, 2012
The National Nuclear Security Administration announced today that it exceeded its goal for dismantling nuclear weapons in the federal fiscal year that ended in September. In a press release, the NNSA said it had reached 112 percent of its goal, although it didn’t give specific information on the number of dismantled weapons.
Obama Calls on Russia to Renew Weapons Pact
Peter Baker, New York Times – December 3, 2012
President Obama called on Russia on Monday to renew a two-decade-old nuclear disarmament program that Moscow has threatened to cancel as the two sides try to figure out the future of a rocky relationship now that elections in both countries are behind them.
Defense industry acknowledges likelihood of Pentagon budget cuts
Marjorie Censer, Washington Post – December 4, 2012
As negotiations to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff” drag on, some defense industry executives have begun to acknowledge that avoiding significant cuts to weapons programs may be impossible over the long term.