National Security and the Philippine Typhoon
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the USS George Washington and her battle group to the Philippines to provide humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the typhoon. Already, about 90 U.S. Marines and sailors are on the ground providing support.
Benjamin H. Friedman & Christopher A. Preble / The New York Times
Over 20 years after the Cold War, America’s nuclear arsenal remains bloated. Recent improvements in missile technology and international politics allow deeper reductions. The real problem is Washington’s outdated nuclear strategy, and the internal Pentagon politics that drives it.
Afghanistan opium harvest at record high – UNODC
Afghan opium cultivation has reached a record level, with more than 200,000 hectares planted with the poppy for the first time, the United Nations says. The UNODC report said the harvest was 36% up on last year, and if fully realized would outstrip global demand.
Nigeria: US ‘to name Boko Haram as a terrorist group’
The US State Department is expected to designate the Nigerian Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, as a foreign terrorist organization. The group began its insurgency in 2009, and targets both the military and civilians, including schools, and frequently clashes with the Nigerian armed forces.
Chinese power play: Xi Jingping creates a national security council
Kathleen McLaughlin / The Christian Science Monitor
A communiqué released at the end of a key meeting of the Chinese government indicated a national security committee will be established to perfect the national security system. To some, the council’s creation is seen as strengthening the position of President Xi Jingping, giving him a freer hand to address domestic and international crises.
The surprising reasons why gas prices are falling sharply
Brad Plumer / The Washington Post
Gasoline prices have dropped to their lowest level in nearly 3 years. Some reasons for this decline are attributed to: the typical rise in the summer and drop in the winter of gasoline prices, the increased supply of gasoline, fewer refinery disruptions, and low demand for gasoline.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
Complications at the Second Round of P5+1 Talks
Joshua Kyle Miller
At the end of negotiations on November 9th, the P5+1 countries and Iran struggled to agree upon all aspects of the new draft despite having made significant progress. Objections by France brought into question a few aspects of the draft, leaving the issues to be addressed at the next meeting on November 20th.
LOST at Sea
Current disputes between the Dutch and Russian governments highlight the need for the U.S. to accede to the UN Law of the Sea Treaty.
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