Pentagon will appoint officer promoting ethics
Ernesto Londoño, The Washington Post – February 7, 2014
In his latest move on investigating the reasons behind scandals within the air force and navy, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced that the Pentagon will promote a senior office to enforce a culture of “ethical behavior and good moral character.” Hagel told reporters on Friday, “Ethics and character are the foundation of an institution and a society…they must be constantly emphasized at every level.” Hagel has yet to announce details on the additional actions he will take in dealing with the issue.
Bottom-Up Reporting Process
Global Security Newswire – February 7, 2014
In an effort to solve the recent cheating scandals within the U.S. nuclear force, Air Force officials have urged crew members to bring forward mission concerns, saying “this is a grassroots- level effort” and stressed using a bottom-up approach in finding the solutions. A total of five “Functional Cultural Working Groups” have been created, each with a different focus, and are set to report with each missile wing to discuss and identify any challenges.
Khamenei says U.S. is “controlling and meddlesome”
Mehrdad Balai, Parisa Hafezi, William Maclean, Reuters – February 8, 2014
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said on a speech this past Saturday that the U.S. would overthrow the Iranian government if it could, adding that the U.S. has a “controlling and meddlesome” attitude towards Iran. Marking the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Khamenei advised that the solution to Iran’s economic problems is not necessarily having sanctions lifted…but to rely on “infinite indigenous potentials.”
Iran agrees to give more information on detonator
George Jahn, The Washington Post – February 9, 2014
This Sunday, Tehran agreed to provide additional information to the IAEA regarding various experiments that had taken place inside a type of detonator. Three years ago, the IAEA developed concerns over such a detonator, worrying that the “development of such detonators and equipment is a matter of concern.” Other experts, like nuclear physicists, have claimed that the detonator most likely was used in oil extraction– not nuclear weapons related activity. Regardless of the fact, willingness to engage on the detonator issue has illustrated that Iran’s new political leadership is attempting to ease tensions over its nuclear program.
Obama urged to press French on Iranian business
Rebecca Shabad, The Hill – February 7, 2014
Senator Jeanne Shaheen has pushed President Obama to use the upcoming visit of French President Francois Hollande to discuss the business visits that French companies have taken to Iran. Shaheen wrote a personal letter to Obama, saying, “The [French] delegations risk undermining the international sanctions regime at precisely the wrong time.” Secretary of State John Kerry warned the French that they may visit the Islamic Republic, but they are not allowed to violate the current sanctions that are still in place at the moment.
Menendez, Lone Warrior
Jordain Carney, Global Security Newswire – February 7, 2014
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez who helped draft the “Kirk-Menendez Sanctions Bill” against Iran has criticized Republicans for writing a letter urging Harry Reid to allow for a vote on the suggested bill. Menendez was angered because apparently, writing such letters allows for the Iranian nuclear issue to become a partisan issue, and in Menendez’s view, the Iranian nuclear issue is “a bipartisan national security issue…an issue that we must approach in a spirit of bipartisanship and unity.” At this point, many consider the S. 1881 bill to be dead.
Republicans Push Obama to Call Russia out
Rachel Oswald, Global Security Newswire – February 7, 2014
Some House Republicans have urged President Obama to penalize Russia for recently violating the INF nuclear missile treaty, which was signed back in 1987. The President has acknowledged concerns with Russian compliance, but as of now, has not officially accused Russia of breaching the agreement. “Russian officials should not be permitted to believe they stand to gain from a material breach of this or any other treaty,” said several Republican leaders. The Obama Administration has raised the issue with Moscow privately, and is reportedly waiting for clearer answers.
Nuclear Security Summit Expectations
Dounglas P. Guarino, Global Security Newswire – February 7, 2014
Experts predict that the next Nuclear Security Summit, which is taking place this March in the Netherlands, may be much more successful in establishing international standards to “lock down” dangerous nuclear material than the two previous summits did. Some critics have said these summits have rarely done much to create any international standards for how exactly to lock down such materials, or define what must be done to secure them, but optimists are looking towards March to make some changes.