Iran facing new U.S. sanctions
Joby Warrick, Washington Post – June 29, 2011
The Obama administration on Thursday accused Iran of assisting Syria’s government in its brutal crackdown on demonstrators, listing names of Iranian security officials that the White House says helped train and arm Syrian police to attack peaceful protesters. Sanctions unveiled by the Treasury Department identified Iran’s national police force and a pair of senior Iranian officials, one of whom allegedly traveled to Damascus in April to offer expertise on dealing with the country’s protest movement, White House documents showed. While the United States has previously accused Iran of backing the crackdown, Thursday’s statement was the first to provide specific names and dates.
Iran Arming Iraqi Groups Attacking U.S. Troops, Gates Says
Viola Gienger and Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg – June 30, 2011
Iran is furnishing new, more deadly weapons to Shiite Muslim militias targeting U.S. troops in Iraq as part of a pattern of renewed attempts to exert influence in the region, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.The U.S. has raised the attacks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and others, said Gates, who leaves office today. Gates will be succeeded by Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Saudi will seek nuclear arms if Iran gets them – report
Reuters – June 30, 2011
Saudi Arabia has warned NATO that it would pursue policies that could lead to “untold and possibly dramatic consequences” if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, a British newspaper reported on Wednesday. The Guardian newspaper quoted Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington and Britain, speaking to senior NATO officials earlier this month at an unpublicized meeting at a British air base.
Disarming News: NK Leads UN Conference
Evan Ramstad, Wall Street Journal- June 30, 2011
For the next few weeks, the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament will held by, yes it’s true, North Korea.
Are Pakistan’s nukes safe?
Tom Wright, Wall Street Journal- June 29, 2011
President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday the first steps in a gradual plan to extract the U.S. from the Afghanistan war, including an initial withdrawal of as many as 5,000 troops next month, defense officials say.
Pakistan orders US out of drone base
Declan Walsh, Guardian-June 30, 2011
Pakistan has stopped US drone flights from a remote airbase in the western province of Balochistan and ordered US personnel to vacate it, the defence minister has said.
New estimates of U.S. war costs: $4 Trillion
Jason Ukman, Washington Post- June 29, 2011
Amid a growing debate over how to bring down the government’s debt, a new study has concluded that U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan has cost up to $4 trillion over the past decade.
It Has to Start With Them
Thomas Friedman, New York Times – June 25, 2011
When President Obama announced his decision to surge more troops into Afghanistan in 2009, I argued that it could succeed if three things happened: Pakistan became a different country, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan became a different man and we succeeded at doing exactly what we claim not to be doing, that is nation-building in Afghanistan. None of that has happened, which is why I still believe our options in Afghanistan are: lose early, lose late, lose big or lose small. I vote for early and small.