29 August 2012
Guidelines for laying down red lines
The strategic signal de jour of tough-minded national security officials and mavens is the “red line” –whether drawn in the sand of the Syrian desert against chemical weapon threats; laid down around South China Sea islands against belligerent assertions of sovereignty; or sent through cyberspace as a centrifuge-disabling virus.
Afghan President Moves to Replace Security Chiefs
President Hamid Karzai dismissed the national intelligence chief Wednesday, and lawmakers said he will submit nominees to replace the defense and interior ministers who were removed earlier this month by parliament.
Avoiding Creeping Defeat in Afghanistan: The Need for Realistic Assumptions, Strategy, and Plans
The US is not losing the war in Afghanistan in the classic military sense. The US, its allies, and Afghan forces still win virtually every direct military encounter. The problem is that this is a political war where the political impact of combat, politics, governance, and economics are far more important than tactical success in directly defeating the enemy.
Marines vs. Zetas: U.S. Hunts Drug Cartels in Guatemala
Robert Beckhusen/Danger Room in Wired
Two hundred U.S. Marines, equipped with four UH-1N Huey helicopters and arms, have deployed to Guatemala with a mission of tracking down local Zetas operatives.
China defense chief plans rare India trip, to discuss border
China’s defense minister is due to visit India next week to seek deeper military ties, in a rare trip seen as a sign Beijing wants to stabilize its heavily fortified Himalayan border as it deals with growing friction in the South China Sea.
Libya interior minister withdraws resignation
After resigning from his post as Interior Minister two days ago, Fawzi Abdelali has reversed his decision, declaring that his departure from the government could contribute to greater insecurity in the country.
More Than a Dozen Die in 2 Attacks in a Russian Republic
New York Times
A suicide bombing in the Republic of Dagestan on Tuesday killed seven as President Putin honored victims of Muslim extremism in Tartarstan and vowed to defeat terrorists in Russia.
Ban rejects Morocco’s calls to replace Western Sahara envoy
Al Arabiya English
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his support for U.N. envoy Christopher Ross after repeated Moroccan allegations of biased mediation in the Western Sahara dispute.
Broward faces climate-change fears with detailed plan for future growth
South Florida counties are working furiously to avoid that worst-case scenario, planning for climate change and sea level rise in earnest, as they face their fears that parts of this region will be under water in a matter of decades.
West urges Arabs not to target Israel at UN nuclear meet
Western envoys are urging Arab states not to berate Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at the U.N. atomic agency’s annual conference, fearing this could imperil wider efforts for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, diplomats say.
Hurricane Isaac is a Rainmaker for a Parched Heartland
New York Times
One hurricane won’t end this summer’s drought (or save scorched crops). But the inland drenching predicted in an arc from Louisiana north through Illinois and Indiana will surely be welcomed.
IAEA’s Iran Task Force Established to Investigate Weapons Allegations
The U.N. nuclear agency has created a special Iran Task Force of nuclear weapons experts, intelligence analysts and other specialists focused on probing allegations that Tehran has been – or is – secretly working on developing atomic arms, according to an internal document shared with The Associated Press.
AEI – American Enterprise Institute for Public Pol : Iran’s Hard and Soft Power in Afghanistan
On 3 August Iran’s embassy in Kabul hosted an iftaar dinner for a group of Afghan media officials to discuss establishing a “union of journalists” to coordinate the work of pro-Iran media in Afghanistan.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Enough Bickering: Let the Sun Shine on the Free Market
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly stated that U.S. government support to six American solar and wind power projects violates free trade rules as outlined by the WTO. The U.S. has responded in turn, but the trade dispute over renewable energy materials misses a larger point.
The Nuke Review: August 20 – August 27
Amidst heightening tensions over its nuclear program, Iran unveiled last week improvements to several weapons systems, including a next generation Fateh-110 short-range missile equipped with a new guidance system.
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