Iran nominee seen as olive branch to United States
Marcus George and Paul Taylor, Reuters — July 30, 2013
If Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani wanted to signal his determination to rebuild relations with the United States and strike a “grand bargain,” he could hardly do better than pick Mohammad Javad Zarif as his foreign minister.
Liberal Democrats Move to Torpedo Iran Sanctions Bill
John Hudson, Foreign Policy — July 29, 2013
With the House of Representatives expected to vote on a tough Iran sanctions bill on Wednesday, a cohort of liberal Democrats are staging a last-ditch effort to stop it…In a letter obtained by The Cable, Reps. Jim McDermott, John Conyers, Keith Ellison and Jim McGovern urge the House leadership to delay the vote on the bill which they fear could jeopardize the Obama administration’s renewed effort to engage Iran’s newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani on the country’s nuclear program.
S. Korea, U.S. agree to continue sanctions efforts against North, Iran
Yonhap News Agency — July 30, 2013
South Korea and the United States agreed Tuesday to continue their cooperation on implementing sanctions against nuclear-ambitious North Korea while seeking further assistance from China in pushing for the anti-Pyongyang sanctions, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Tuesday.
Confusion over reports that Carter heading to N. Korea
Andrew Rafferty, NBC News — July 29, 2013
U.S. officials on Monday denied confirmation of reports that former President Jimmy Carter was traveling to North Korea and said any such venture would be considered “a private trip,” a White House spokesperson said.
South Korea Plans Aid for North
In-Soo Nam, The Wall Street Journal — July 29, 2013
South Korea’s government came into office this year vowing to take a two-track approach toward North Korea–a tough response to military provocations coupled with continuous humanitarian aid irrespective of political wrangling. On Sunday, Seoul made good on the latter half of its promise when it announced $7.4 million in aid for the North.
Editorial: Opportunity for talks with North Korea should not be wasted
The Asahi Shimbun — July 30, 2013
…The vital question now is how Tokyo, Washington and Seoul should take advantage of the first opportunity for dialogue since Kim Jong Un took power…About five years have passed since the six-party talks were suspended. Resuming full-scale discussions among the six countries requires the time-consuming process of gradually reducing distrust between North Korea and its negotiation partners.
Pentagon Furlough Days Inflated
Daniel Halper, The Weekly Standard — July 30, 2013
When Congress was debating implementation of the sequester, the Pentagon released a report saying that if the cuts were to kick in, civilian personnel could be furloughed for 22 days — nearly a month’s worth of work. But now that the sequester has kicked in, those furlough days appear to have been inflated.
DoD To Unveil Strategic Review Findings
Emelie Rutherford, Defense Daily — July 30, 2013
The Pentagon plans to share details this week of its extensive review of how its budget would be impacted by budget cuts…The release of information likely will come before a House Armed Services Committee (HASC) hearing Thursday morning, which is specifically on the strategic review…
Commentary: Sequester Weakens Military, Fails to Address Real Pentagon Waste
Bob Ridder, Roll Call — July 29, 2013
For most of last year, Democrats and Republicans in Congress agreed that the sequester was a defense calamity that would undermine military readiness and break faith with our troops and veterans. It’s hard to watch their prediction come true while the real waste at the Pentagon goes unchecked.
Opinion: How US, Russia can agree on missile defense
Kevin Ryan and Simon Saradzhyan, Christian Science Monitor — July 29, 2013
Relations between the United States and Russia today remind one of the report from the well digger, “We hit bottom and have started to dig.” Whether it’s over issues like leaker Eric Snowden or Syria and Iran, the US and Russia seem to end up on opposite sides of most major problems. But that trend could soon reverse – at least regarding [missile defense].