Sydney Freedberg Jr./AOL Defense
The president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments has raised concerns that the administration’s strategic guidance released in January so far has failed to inspire operational realignment. He argues that the Air Force/Navy “AirSea Battle” concept should be explored from a resource-driven perspective to flesh out the Asia pivot.
South Korean president-elect Park’s declarations that she would soften five years of hard-line policy toward North Korea rang true with voters, even as they rejected her opponent’s calls for a more aggressive pursuit of reconciliation. A skeptical North Korea may quickly test the sincerity of Park’s offer to engage — possibly even before she takes office.
Mohammed Jamjoom and Hakim Almasmari/CNN
Yemen’s armed forces have a new look after President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi ordered major changes to both the military’s leadership and structure on Wednesday. As part of the restructuring, the elite republican guard and the first armored division will be absorbed into the country’s Defense Ministry.
Several Yemeni separatist groups have agreed to participate in national reconciliation talks that were part of a deal that saw former President Ali Abdullah Saleh resign in February 2012. “Many southerners complain northerners based in the capital Sanaa have discriminated against them and usurped their resources for decades.”
He only took office on December 1st, but Mexico’s new president is setting a furious pace. Having laid out sweeping changes to education and set up a new anti-corruption commission, Enrique Peña Nieto went on to unveil potentially far-reaching reforms of public security. He has thus taken aim at two of the country’s most notorious de facto powers: organised crime, and the mighty teachers’ union.
Russia’s main concern in Syria is the fate of the country and not that of President Bashar al-Assad, President Vladimir Putin has said. Speaking at his annual press briefing in Moscow on Thursday, Putin said he wanted to ensure that any solution to the conflict in Syria must prevent the opposition and government forces just swapping roles and continuing to fight indefinitely.
Mary Fitzgerald & Umar Khan/Foreign Policy
While heads are rolling in Washington over a damning independent report that found the U.S. State Department’s security planning to be “grossly inadequate,” tensions in Libya’s second largest city continue to rise. More than three months after the storming of the U.S. mission, Benghazi remains jittery and tense. Even in affluent neighborhoods, gunfire and explosions form an almost nightly soundtrack.
Both the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran said progress was achieved at a meeting last Thursday towards an agreement the IAEA says would allow it to resume a long-stalled inquiry into suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic state.
Otto Kreisher/AOL Defense
A study released Tuesday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that a decade of shrinking European defense forces and funding is likely to continue, threatening a defense industrial base already burdened by inefficiencies, national rivalries, and governmental tendencies to treat defense spending as “a jobs program.” Such trends continue to place a disproportionate burden on the U.S. military to provide resources to NATO.
BBC News Africa
In the last trial to be held by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Augustin Ngirabatware, a former minister and “key organizer of the 1994 genocide,” was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The ICTR has convicted 55 individuals since its establishment by the UN in 1994; it will only hear appeals until its dissolution in 2014.
John Fleck/Albuquerque Journal
The fiscal year 2013 Defense Authorization bill, completed this week and now awaiting final congressional approval, attempts to force the National Nuclear Security Administration to keep the moribund Los Alamos National Laboratory project on life support in the coming year. The bill allocates $70 million for the work and demands the agency commit to a plan to have the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility completed by the end of 2026.
It appears fairly certain that the constitution which Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s president, has presented to the people will win their endorsement in a referendum that is being held in two stages. Mr. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party may conclude they have a mandate to guide Egypt in an Islamist direction, away from more open, permissive ways. This line of thinking threatens to plunge Egypt into a protracted period of impoverishing instability.
ASP In the News
Global Security Newswire’s Rachel Oswald highlighted ASP’s recent event featuring former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Her article discusses how U.S. missile defense plans may adapt to developments in the Iran nuclear standoff. Click the link to read more.
A recent article in National Defense Magazine described the rising awareness of climate change as a national security threat in Asia, citing ASP’s latest report on climate change. Click the above link to find the article.
On Our Flashpoint Blog
By 2017 coal may surpass oil as the world’s leading source of energy. This is an alarming projection – making it unlikely that the world will make significant cuts to greenhouse gases in any reasonable time frame.
A rising number of Americans believe we need to address climate change, but proper national security means having the foresight to avoid threats before they manifest themselves. For climate change, we may already be too late – so we must adapt.