Hagel’s Plan for the Military in the Post-War Era
Kevin Baron, Defense One – November 5, 2013
In an hour long speech, Defense Secretary Hagel laid out what he believes are the most important security challenges facing the US now that the war in Iraq has ended and the war in Afghanistan is coming to a close. During his speech, Hagel placed emphasis on global leadership and the responsible use of force. He also discussed six areas of focus for the budget reduction efforts going forward as a result of the Defense Department’s own budget cuts and those of sequestration.
Disruption of Regular Appropriations Threatens DoD Projects
Megan Scully, Roll Call – November 5, 2013
Congressional inability to come to a long term budget agreement is threatening to delay major Defense Department projects due to uncertainty as a result of Congressional reliance on continuing resolutions. One such project that may be disrupted by budgetary uncertainty is the Ohio Replacement Project. The current continuing resolution limits spending to 2013 levels for the rest of FY 2014; this comes at a critical time when the ballistic missile submarine is requiring additional funding for research and development.
Iran FM says nuclear deal possible this week
Al Jazeera– November 5, 2013
Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that he is optimistic that the P5+1 talks scheduled for November 7 and 8 could yield a possible deal on Iran’s nuclear program. He hinted that the Iranian negotiation team was ready to come to talks with a proposal, but he expressed some doubt over whether the US would come to the talks ready to negotiate. Two days prior to this statement, Iran’s Supreme Leader gave his support for negotiators but also questioned whether or not results would come from the talks.
Iran invites U.N. nuclear chief, hopes for deal
Yeganeh Torbati and Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – November 5, 2013
Iran has invited the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit Iran on November 11. As of right now, Director General Yukiya Amano is considering the invitation but has not confirmed if he will travel to Iran. The invitation is seen by some as progress on stalled discussions focusing on inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.
US checking accuracy of Syrian arms document
AFP – November 6, 2013
US officials are combing through the 700-page declaration of Syria’s chemical weapons to verify if the entire stockpile was actually reported by the Syrian government. US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, has stated that previous dealings with the Syrian government have made the US very skeptical of the regime. The US previously raised questions about the number of chemical weapons sites reported by the Assad regime.
Exclusive: Syrian chemical weapons mission funded only until end of month
Anthony Deutsch, Reuters – November 5, 2013
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has announced that it will run out of funding for the oversight of destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile at the end of the month. The organization has so far raised about $13 million for its mission in Syria; however, it will need a significant infusion of funds to begin destroying Syria’s 1,300 ton stockpile. It is not yet clear where the funding will come from to complete the rest of the operation.
North Korea Seen to Be Improving New ICBM Mockups
Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire – November 5, 2013
North Korea has unveiled new mockups of ICBM technology at its annual military display in Pyongyang. Last year the mockups were criticized by experts as being poorly put together; however, this year, significantly fewer design discrepancies were apparent. It is unclear if these advances in mockup design have translated into advances in North Korea’s actual missile development.
U.S., international partners remove last weapons-grade uranium from Hungary
Oak Ridge Today– November 4, 2013
The US Department of Energy has successfully removed the last remaining stockpile of highly enriched uranium from Hungary. The amount of highly enriched uranium that was removed was capable of being used in nine nuclear weapons. The materials were originally used by Russia to fuel a research reactor in Budapest which was converted from using highly enriched uranium to using low enriched uranium.