What we are reading

What we are reading

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U.N. pressures Syria to heed peace plan


Syria said Thursday that it had taken several steps to comply with a peace plan championed by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, including the withdrawal of troops from three regions and the expansion of Red Cross humanitarian access.

Analysis: In Iraq, oil majors play north versus south

Patrick Markey and Peg Mackey / Reuters

In the weeks before Iraqi Kurdistan revealed that Exxon Mobil had signed up to explore for oil there, executives at rival Shell faced a dilemma over whether or not to join the U.S. oil major in its foray north and risk angering Baghdad

Iraq’s fugitive vice president in Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Al-Shihri / AP

Iraq’s fugitive vice president arrived Wednesday in Saudi Arabia hours after he vowed in a television interview that he would return home

Rare Earth Supplies in U.S. to Meet Defense Needs, Pentagon Says

Gopal Ratnam / Bloomberg

Domestic rare earth supplies will meet the U.S. defense industry’s needs by 2013 for the materials that go into military motors and electronics, according to a Pentagon report sent to Congress.

Exclusive: China ship insurer deals new blow to Iran oil exports

Randy Fabi / Reuters

A major Chinese ship insurer will halt indemnity cover for tankers carrying Iranian oil from July, dealing a blow that narrows the insurance options for Tehran’s main export already constricted by payment barriers caused by Western sanctions

U.S. Sees Iran in Bids to Stir Unrest in Afghanistan

Thom Shanker, Eric Schmitt and Alissa Rubin / New York Times

Just hours after it was revealed that American soldiers had burned Korans seized at an Afghan detention center in late February, Iran secretly ordered its agents operating inside Afghanistan to exploit the anticipated public outrage by trying to instigate violent protests in the capital, Kabul, and across the western part of the country, according to American officials

Egypt Brotherhood hopeful promises clerics a role

Maggie Michael / AP

The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egypt’s presidency is lobbying hard for support of ultraconservative Muslim clerics, promising them a say over legislation in the future to ensure it is in line with Islamic law, as he tries to rally the divided Islamist vote behind him

Greece Urged to Sell ‘Virtual’ Solar Power to Help EU Meet Goals

Sally Bakewell / Bloomberg

Greece, planning a 20 billion-euro ($26 billion) solar venture, would do well to sell the power “virtually” to help other European countries offset more- polluting generation, according to an adviser to the project

Why We Should Focus on Economics in Afghanistan, Not on Fighting

Joshua Foust / The Atlantic

If there’s a magic formula for success in Afghanistan, we haven’t found it. Building up tribal militias and local security forces, our standard militarized efforts, don’t seem to be working. After nearly 11 years of military intervention, we’ve learned that developing and stabilizing a war-torn country requires more than just military operations. While military action has its role, what Afghanistan needs is not more militias, more armies, or more fighting — what it needs is more politics and more economics.

The Watergate Exxon’s famously expensive gas

John Kelly / Washington Post

The World’s Most Famous Gas Station sits right next to the world’s most famous office building. The Watergate Exxon it is called and TV reporters from around the globe troop there — to Virginia Avenue NW where it eases into Rock Creek Parkway — to babble about how expensive gasoline is these days.

UPCOMING EVENT: Nuclear Security Media Call with Ambassador Linton Brooks

On Our Flashpoint Blog


Gold: The Nuke Review: March 28- April 5

As the P5+1 gears up for its first summit with Iran in more than a year, Iran dismisses Istanbul as the summit’s location. Read this story and more in this week’s Nuke Review.

About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges.

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