Whether It’s Romney or Obama, U.S. Will Consider Direct Talks with Iran
Tony Karon, Time – October 23, 2012
“It is essential for us to understand what our mission is in Iran,” Romney said in Monday’s foreign policy debate, “and that is to dissuade Iran from having a nuclear weapon through peaceful and diplomatic means.” His leverage of choice: “crippling sanctions” with the threat of military action as a last resort should Iran cross a red line toward developing “nuclear-weapons capability.” That’s broadly the same policy the Obama Administration has followed.
Obama opens door to bilateral negotiations with Iran
Julian Borger, The Guardian – October 23, 2012
President Obama has said the Iranian nuclear crisis could be resolved by bilateral negotiations between Washington and Tehran. In the course of the last of three presidential debates – which chiefly served to underline the striking similarities in the foreign policies of the president and his challenger, Mitt Romney – Obama appeared to open a new route towards a negotiated settlement to the worsening impasse over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Romney: Pay for defense spending with ‘ObamaCare’ repeal
Sam Baker, The Hill – October 22, 2012
Republican candidate Mitt Romney raised the issue of the healthcare reform law when asked how he will pay for a sharp increase in military spending. He said he would repeal it and dramatically scale back other healthcare programs.
Britain to double number of drones in Afghanistan: report
Reuters, Chicago Tribune – October 22, 2012
Britain is to double the number of armed drone aircraft flying combat and surveillance operations in Afghanistan, the Guardian reported on Tuesday. In a new squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), five Reaper drones will be sent to Afghanistan and be in operation within six weeks, with control coming, for the first time, from terminals and screens in Britain, the newspaper said.
Mullah Abdul Rahman, Taliban Commander In Northern Afghanistan, Captured
Reuters, Huffington Post – October 23, 2012
A high-level Taliban commander in northern Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Rahman, has been captured in a joint Afghan-NATO operation, police said on Tuesday. “Rahman was involved in heightening insecurity in Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan provinces,” said Kunduz province police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Husseini. “He encouraged insurgents to plant roadside bombs and stage high-profile attacks on Afghan officials.”
Syria: Little hope for Eid ceasefire as conflict spills across borders
Arthur Bright, Christian Science Monitor – October 22, 2012
An Arab League official says hopes for a cease-fire in Syria over the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha are “weak,” as President Bashar al-Assad shows little indication of support for the concept, despite his words in favor of a ceasefire.
Quit bashing Beijing — China’s rise is good for America
Donald Gross, Salon – October 22, 2012
The routine scapegoating of China — which no less a figure than Henry Kissinger, the architect of U.S. rapprochement with Beijing in the 1970s, has called “extremely deplorable” — is targeted at vulnerable people who have suffered deeply from the effects of the economic recession.
Calm reaction in China to U.S. debate
Calum McLeod, USA Today – October 23, 2012
“No matter who takes office, their policy toward China will be similar to today’s, especially in the trade area, because the main theme of the relationship is still cooperation, not confrontation,” said Jin Yinsong, a Beijing-based investment adviser for China Jianyin Investment Securities, a large brokerage.
U.S. says Myanmar “on right track” over North Korea arms ties
Reuters – October 22, 2012
The United States believes that Myanmar is on the right track towards giving up its remaining military ties with North Korea but recognizes it will take time, the U.S. envoy for the North Korean nuclear dispute said on Monday.
North Korea’s Nuclear War Plan: “Go Nuts” and ‘Dig in”
James R. Holmes, The Diplomat – October 23, 2012
Knowing that a small force is vulnerable to preemption, the North Korean leadership might embrace a launch-on-warning doctrine. Once the military detects signs of an attack, that is, commanders will cut loose against designated targets. Threatening to go nuts at the slightest affront has been a staple of North Korean diplomacy ever since…well, ever since there has been a North Korea. Adopting such a posture—and putting prospective adversaries on notice that Pyongyang has adopted such a posture—thus would make Seoul and Washington think twice before essaying forcible counterproliferation.