Washington Begins to Plan for Collapse of Syrian Government
Helene Cooper, New Yrok Times – July 18, 2012
With the growing conviction that the Assad family’s 42-year grip on power in Syria is coming to an end, Obama administration officials worked on contingency plans Wednesday for a collapse of the Syrian government, focusing particularly on the chemical weapons that Syria is thought to possess and that President Bashar al-Assad could try to use on opposition forces and civilians.
U.S. can defeat any Iranian effort to block oil shipping: Panetta
David Alexander, Reuters – July 18, 2012
The United States has the military capacity to defeat any Iranian attempt to shut down sea commerce in the oil-rich Gulf region and will hold Tehran directly responsible for shipping disruptions, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.
5 Israelis Killed in Bulgaria; Netanyahu Blames Iranians
Nicholas Kulish, New York Times – July 19, 2012
A tour bus carrying beachbound Israeli vacationers exploded in a fireball on Wednesday outside an airport in the Bulgarian city of Burgas, killing at least six people and wounding dozens more in what Bulgaria, Israel and the United States called a terrorist bomb attack. Israel quickly blamed Iran and promised a firm response.
Panetta hails F-35 jet as key for UK, U.S.
Jim Wolf, Reuters – July 18, 2012
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft represents the “future of tactical aviation” for U.S. and British forces, as Britain prepares to take delivery of its first test aircraft.
Republicans want to spare Pentagon from agreed-upon cuts
Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times – July 18, 2012
Congressional Republicans have launched a drumbeat of opposition to Pentagon cuts they agreed to last summer as part of the debt deal with President Obama, and want to shift the burden of cuts to food stamps, school lunches and other domestic programs.
Navy shows off ‘great green fleet’
Jeanette Steele, U-T San Diego – July 18, 2012
The secretary of the Navy got into a MH-60 helicopter Wednesday whose rotor blades were running on a mix of animal fat and algae, in addition to old-fashioned fossil fuel.