What we are reading

posted by Kelvin Lum on April 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

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Afghan president may call early elections

AP

President Hamid Karzai says he is considering calling presidential elections a year early to lessen the strain on Afghanistan that could be caused by the departure of foreign combat troops at the same time as a national ballot.

North Korea Nuclear Test: How Will We Know? What Could Happen?

Brian Handwerk / National Geographic

North Korea’s apparently impending launch of its Unha-3 rocket—officially a satellite-delivery vehicle—has observers warily eyeing the rocket’s potential to carry another payload: nuclear weapons.

That possibility is even more troubling due to recent reports that the country may soon conduct a literally earthshaking underground nuclear-weapons test. How might such a test unfold? And what might we expect afterward?

Guns silent in hours after Syria truce deadline

Mariam Karouny and Dominic Evans / Reuters

Syrian troops held their fire in the hours after a U.N.-backed ceasefire took effect at dawn on Thursday, casting a silence over rebellious towns they had bombarded heavily in recent days.

Oil market tension ‘may be easing’

AFP

Tension on the oil market may be easing, the IEA said on Thursday in a report offering some hope for the global economy, but sanctions could cause production by Iran to “plummet”.

Sudan Troops Launch Offensive to Retake Oil Field

Nicholas Bariyo / Wall Street Journal

Sudanese troops, backed by paramilitary forces, have launched an offensive to regain control of the country’s largest oil field from South Sudan, marking a dangerous new stage of repeated border clashes.

U.S. Renews Debate Over Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Kate Brannen / Defense News

The debate over the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is heating up following the release of a National Academy of Sciences report, which says the United States is able to maintain a safe and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without testing.

A real opportunity to remold nuclear policies for this century

Lt. Gen Dirk Jameson, USAF (Ret.) / The Hill

It’s time for the United States to scale down the its stock of nuclear weapons. A new and effective strategy for deterring a nuclear attack can be achieved with a substantial reduction in our nuclear force.

Our present nuclear war-fighting strategy is outdated and geared against an enemy that hasn’t existed for 20 years – The Soviet Union.

Iranian-American Détente

Barry Blechman and R. Taj Moore / The Hill

A date finally has been set for a new round of talks between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P-5+1) – April 13th. This is good news, but it begs the broader question of how to resolve Iran’s conflict-prone relationships with the rest of the world.

The Annals of Chicken Diplomacy

Joshua Foust / The Atlantic

The government of Uzbekistan — no stranger to the bizarre and upsetting — recently made a truly head-scratching decision. A new voluntary service, according to a report in RFE/RL, now allows teachers and even some doctors to receive part of their salary in Serbian chickens.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

AMERICAN SECURITY QUARTERLY – April 2012

Nuclear Security Media Call with Ambassador Linton Brooks

Below is the recording of today’s media call with Amb Linton Brooks regarding the latest developments regarding nuclear security issues, including testing weapons, budgets and strategy.

ASP Podcast: Humanitarian Intervention, Energy and Gas Prices, plus the latest on Iran

ASP panel discusses the strategic issues surrounding humanitarian intervention, the role of Nato and Libya, what America can do to solve the oil-problem; finally linking all of these, we discuss the lastest on the Iranian nuclear talks.

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.

 

For more information, visit www.americansecurityproject.org. info@americansecurityproject.org

 

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