Latest Topic News

Cross Examination (CX) Topic News:

NASA and Hawaii Partner for Space Exploration (Space Travel, May 31, 2011) NASA and Hawaii have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs.

House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Hearing (Satellite Spotlight, May 28, 2011) Summary.

Rendezvous with an asteroid: ASU to build mineral survey instrument (ASU, May 26, 2011) A newly announced NASA mission to collect a sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth will include an instrument built at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE).

NASA Plans to Send Astronauts to Deep Space (PC World, May 25, 2011) In what is possibly the greatest move since the end of the Apollo Program, NASA has decided to bring back the capsule-like spacecraft, similar to what was used in the Apollo, Mercury, and Gemini programs. Someday in the near future you may be able to go to the Pacific to see a manned-capsule returning to Earth as it’s hurling through the Earth’s atmosphere at break-neck speeds, then see the chutes pop open, and the craft land gently in the water.

Tapes Reveal President Kennedy’s Private Concerns Over Space Race (ABC News, May 25, 2011) Newly declassified White House tapes reveal surprising private misgivings by President John F. Kennedy about public support for the nascent U.S. space program, two years after he famously pushed to make landing on the moon a national priority.

Positivity: Pope’s speech to space station shows human side of space exploration (Catholic News Agency, May 25, 2011) Pope Benedict XVI’s planned satellite address to the crew of the International Space Station is a reminder of the humanity of astronauts and of the God-given curiosity that drives mankind to explore, Vatican astronomer Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., said.
Space crew lands safely on Kazakh steppe (Reuters, May 25, 2011) A Russian Soyuz capsule delivered an international trio of astronauts back to Earth Tuesday after six months on the International Space Station, parachuting through clear skies toward a safe landing on the Kazakh steppe.

What’s next for NASA? (WBOY12, May 24, 2011) The shuttle program is nearing its end, and NASA is preparing to preserve its legacy, and take the next step in U.S. manned space flight.

Training for harm’s way: Deploying Montana Guardsmen get taste of war (, October 24, 2010) Pfc. William Johnson of Great Falls sat in the gun turret of a Humvee on Tuesday, scanning a crowd of four men begging for water and throwing rocks at his vehicle. He shouted at them to back up before training his M-4 rifle on one of the men, stopping the crowd in its tracks.The men approaching his vehicle last week were fellow members of the 1-163rd Combined Arms Battalion, a Belgrade-based Army National Guard unit that is getting ready to send nearly 600 of its members to Iraq in early November.

Minnesota Guardsmen deploy to train Afghan Army (, October 21, 2010) ST. PAUL, Minn.– Twelve soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard will help train Afghan national troops during a deployment that will keep them away from home for more than a year.

Japan to Send Medics to Afghanistan, First Military Deployment, Kyodo Says (Bloomberg, October 24, 2010) Japan plans to send about 10 military medics to Afghanistan by the end of this year, Kyodo News said, citing unidentified military sources.They will provide training to the Afghan army’s medical staff in Kabul for six months, the report said. The team may be expanded and the mission extended, the report said.

Parliament to debate Afghanistan war (ABC Radio Australia, October 13, 2010) After a swinging attack against the Australian Prime Minister yesterday, including a claim that the Government is stabbing troops in the back, the federal Opposition is now calling for a return to bipartisanship on Afghanistan.

Report: Contracting Missteps Endanger Troops (, October 8, 2010) WASHINGTON — U.S. reliance on private security in Afghanistan that is poorly monitored and often results in the hiring of Afghan warlords is profiting the Taliban and could endanger coalition troops, according to a Senate report. Military officials warn, however, that ending the practice of hiring local guards could worsen the security situation.

Military drones aid CIA’s mission (Washington Post, October 4, 2010) The CIA is using an arsenal of armed drones and other equipment provided by the U.S. military to secretly escalate its operations in Pakistan by striking targets beyond the reach of American forces based in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.

Forces Must Ready for Future Conflict, Mullen Says (, September 30, 2010) America’s military forces must be ready for future conflicts, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today, underscoring what he calls the armed forces’ greatest challenge.

Gate Calls Development Integral to Security (, September 29, 2010) Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Rajiv Shah, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, told a meeting of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition that focused development is an integral part of American Foreign and security policies.

Gates: No Doubts About War Strategy(, September, 24, 2010) WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that the Obama administration’s redrawn Afghanistan war strategy is sound, answering claims in a new book that the plan was a politically driven hodgepodge.

The Wars’ Continuing Toll (New York Times, September 20, 2010) The United States military has never been better at helping soldiers survive the battlefield with sophisticated advances in treatment and transportation. Service members who come home with psychic wounds and hidden traumas are still not getting enough support.

British troops leave volatile Afghan district (Yahoo News, September 20, 2010) KABUL, Afghanistan – Britain military handed the U.S. responsibility Monday for a dangerous district in southern Afghanistan that has been the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting by British troops for the past four years.

Mullen Gets Afghanistan Updates in Kabul (US Department of Defense, September 3, 2010The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed progress and challenges in Afghanistan with top military and diplomatic officials during a three-hour visit here today.

Obama ends Iraq combat effort: Time to turn page (Yahoo News, August 31, 2010) Opposed to the war from the start, President Barack Obama on Tuesday formally ended the U.S. combat role in Iraq as promised, declaring: “It is time to turn the page.”

‘New Dawn’ to open new potential for Iraq (US Army, August 26, 2010) When Operation Iraqi Freedom ends and Operation New Dawn launches Sept. 1, don’t look for a lot of fanfare as the mission officially moves from combat to stability operations, the top U.S. Forces Iraq spokesman told American Forces Press Service today.

Afghanistan war crimes trials urged (The Australian, August 12, 2010) The demand by Amnesty International was prompted by a UN report which showed the civilian death toll from the battle between insurgents and allied forces rose 31 per cent in the first six months of this year, largely due to the targeted killing of government supporters by insurgents.

South Korea Investigating if North Deployed Land Mines (NTI, August 11, 2010) South Korea is probing whether hundreds of land mines that turned up on its shores following recent flooding were intentionally released by North Korea.

Wikileaks results in Afghanistan: Update (The Examiner, August 10, 2010) As you undoubtedly heard, Wikileaks put on public display 76,000 secret documents about the war in Afghanistan.  Included are names and addresses of Afghans who work with the government and with the U.S. against the Taliban.

Obama, national security team hold meeting on Iraq (AFP, August 10, 2010) President Barack Obama convened his national security team Wednesday to discuss the situation in Iraq, with just three weeks to go before the official end of the US combat mission there. About 20 senior civilian and military officials were expected to attend the meeting with Obama in the super-secure White House situation room to consider the road ahead in a country whose leaders have still not formed a government five months after legislative elections.

Barack Obama is running out of Iraq for all the wrong reasons (The Telegraph, August 10, 2010) In his haste to withdraw America’s remaining combat troops from Iraq, President Barack Obama appears to have overlooked one rather vital consideration. The Iraqis are desperate for them to stay.

Ambassador hopeful Iraq will form government soon (Associated Press, August 10, 2010) The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Iraq said Wednesday that after five months of post-election “pushing and shoving” by Iraqi politicians, raising concerns about U.S. troop withdrawals, Baghdad may finally be headed to forming a new government.

Counter-Terorism vs. Counter-Insurgency in Afghanistan (American Thinker, August 11, 2010) The War on Terror is a chess game. America always is able to “check” the terrorists but can never achieve checkmate. Experts emphatically agree that a sole counter-terrorism policy will not work since the Taliban and al-Qaeda are constantly gaining new recruits. They feel that America will not succeed without the Afghans’ support.

U.S. and Iraqi Interests May Work Against Pullout (New York Times, August 10, 2010) Obama recently took credit for sticking to his pull-out deadline of the end of this year. The reality in Iraq may defy that deadline, because many American and Iraqi officials deem the American presence to be in each nation’s interest.

U.S. commander stresses importance of funding Iraq security forces (The Washington Post, August 10, 2010) The outgoing commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said Tuesday that Iraqi security forces will continue to rely heavily on American funding as the U.S. troop drawdown accelerates, forcing them to take on more responsibility. Gen. Ray Odierno and other American officials have been urging U.S. lawmakers to reconsider plans to substantially cut the amounts the military and State Department have requested for Iraq initiatives next year.

Turning Points in Afghanistan and Pakistan (The Atlantic, August 9, 2010) The devastating floods in the Punjab and the Taliban’s brazen killing of aid workers in Northeastern Afghanistan might mark the molting of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in the region.

Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban (Time, July 29, 2010) As the war in Afghanistan enters its ninth year, the need for an exit strategy weighs on the minds of U.S. policymakers. Such an outcome, it is assumed, would involve reconciliation with the Taliban. But Afghan women fear that in the quest for a quick peace, their progress may be sidelined.

U.S.-Japan Security Partnership Continues to Weaken (The Trumpet, July 27, 2010) In recent years the partnership between the United States and Japan has become strained, particularly over a dispute regarding the location of a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa. So charged has this issue become among the Japanese populous that the country’s former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was forced to resign in June over his inability to resolve it. Following Hatoyama’s resignation, some analysts expressed optimism in the ability of his successor, Naoto Kan, to resolve the military base issue, and repair relations with the U.S. The results of parliamentary elections in July, however, have cast a shadow over these hopes.

Understanding Turkey Today (The Center for American Progress, July 26, 2010) Turkish foreign policy over the past two months is sparking debate among analysts and commentators in Europe and the United States, with many of them wondering aloud whether Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government no longer shares strategic goals with the rest of the Western world. Their concern? That Ergodan now sees Iran, China, and the Arab countries as are more natural allies for Turkey.

Stumbling Into a Proxy War With Iran in Afghanistan (The Huffington Post, July 22, 2010) Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered a speech recently that underscores a risk we have been highlighting recently, that the present direction of U.S. policy is raising the risks of renewed civil war in Afghanistan, which would simultaneously be a regional “proxy war” between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, on one side, and Iran, on the other.

US and Iran are competing in Iraq (Gulf News, July 23, 2010) The two foreign powers are both intent on installing a friendly government in Baghdad, but neither have yet succeeded.

US to draw down diplomats in Iraq in next 3-5 years (AFP July 22, 2010)- The United States plans to pare back its vast diplomatic presence in Iraq in the 3-5 years after the US military leaves at the end of 2011, the likely next US ambassador there has said.

United States concerned about Myanmar-North Korea military ties (CNN, July 22, 2010) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed U.S. concerns about Myanmar’s reported military ties to North Korea and its potential impact on the region during a visit to Vietnam Thursday.

U.S. Military Exercises With South Korea Unsettling The Whole Region (Business Insider, July 22, 2010) Ahead of this weekend’s military exercises involving South Korea and the United States, the North Koreans have warned these movements pose a “grave danger” to the area.

North Korea denounces US sanctions (Aljazeera July 22, 2010) North Korea has denounced a new set of sanctions imposed by the United States in an attempt to stem Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

Japan: Decision on U.S. Base Not Likely Before November (New York Times, July 20, 2010) Japan’s Defense Minister announces that the decision on relocating the American air base in Okinawa may not be made until November. This delays a decision that has strained US-Japan relations for several months.

Spy chief-nominee warns of more North Korean attacks (Reuters, July 20, 2010) – North Korea’s alleged sinking of a South Korean warship earlier this year may herald a “dangerous new period” of direct attacks by Pyongyang on the South, the retired general nominated to be U.S. President Barack Obama’s intelligence chief said on Tuesday.

Iraq Stumbles Toward Vote Recount (Washington Post, April 29, 2010): An election recount in Baghdad will start on Monday and may take three weeks, Iraqi officials said on Thursday, further delaying the formation of a new government as U.S. troops prepare to leave.

Iraq to Push UN for End to Payment of War Reparations to Kuwait (Bloomberg Businessweek, April 29, 2010):  Iraq said it will step up efforts to be released from the payment of war reparations to Kuwait, imposed by the United Nations Security Council in 1991 in response to the Iraqi invasion of the neighboring country.

Iraq Eyes Near Doubling Oil Production (Associated Press, April 29, 2010): Iraq says it aims to almost double its oil output to 4.5 million barrels per day by 2014.

Kuwait Woos Top Oil Firm (Reuters, April 29, 2010): The world’s fourth-largest oil exporter Kuwait is looking to entice big oil firms back with new deals.

Report: Too Few Troups in Afghanistan (United Press International, April 29, 2010): Even with additional U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan, combat levels are inadequate to conduct operations in most key areas, a Pentagon report indicates.

Afghans Protest after U.S.-Led Forces Kill Parliamentarian’s Kin (Miami Herald, April 29, 2010): Irate demonstrators burned tires and blocked traffic in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday after U.S.-led forces killed an armed relative of an Afghan lawmaker during a night raid on her home, according to military and Afghan officials.

Is Karzai Heading for the End Game? (Foreign Policy Journal, April 29, 2010): During the last few weeks a barrage of criticism for the West, NATO, and the United Nations has poured out of Kabul. The man roaring in anger and giving vent to his frustration was none other than the darling of the West until about a year ago – Mr. Hamid Karzai.

Iraqi Leader Warns Nearby Nations Against Meddling (Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2010): As Iraqi blocs travel the region, and with Iran speaking out on coalition formation, Maliki warns neighbors not to meddle.

U.S. Extends Indictment Against Kuwaiti Firm (Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2010): Kuwait logistics firm Agility said Tuesday the U.S. has extended an indictment against the company to two of its subsidiaries-DGS Holdings and DGS KSCc.

New U.S. Commander for Iraq (Associated Press, April 13, 2010): The senior U.S. general in Iraq since 2008, Gen. Ray Odierno, will be succeeded by a leading Pentagon general at the end of the summer, military officials said Monday.

South Korea PM Calls Japan’s Territorial Claim Foolish (Xinhua, April 13, 2010): South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan on Tuesday called Japan’s renewed territorial claim over a set of disputed islets “foolish”.

The Best Way to Deal with Hamid Karzai (Washington Post, April 13, 2010): Mr. Karzai should never have been allowed to take office through a massive and well-documented fraud. But removing him, overnight and forcibly, or over time, through steadily escalating pressure, would only invite instability.

China Pledges to Work with U.S. on Iran Sanctions (New York Times, April 13, 2010):  President Obama secured a promise from President Hu Jintao of China on Monday to join negotiations on a new package of sanctions against Iran, administration officials said, but Mr. Hu made no specific commitment to backing measures that the United States considers severe enough to force a change in direction in Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama Urges Turkey, Armenia to Implement Normalization Deal (Daily News, April 13, 2010): U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Turkey and Armenia to put into effect a stalled deal to normalize their relations.

Turkish Energy Minister Denies U.S. Uranium Clean Out in Turkey (Today’s Zaman, April 13, 2010): Turkish energy minister has denied reports that the United States cleaned out an unidentified amount of highly-enriched uranium in Turkey last year as part of a wider effort in eighteen countries worldwide.

Japan Seeks Answers over Chinese Warships (Financial Times, April 13, 2010): Japan’s defence minister on Tuesday called for efforts to establish the intentions of an extraordinarily large group of about 10 Chinese warships and submarines that passed through international waters near Okinawa last weekend.

Turkish PM Won’t Back Iran Sanctions (CNN, April 12, 2010): Turkey’s prime minister declined to support President Barack Obama’s push for tough new sanctions against Iran but said his country was willing to act as a mediator in the diplomatic standoff over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

For Good of Afghanistan War, U.S. Seeks Truce with Hamid Karzai (Christian Science Monitor,  April 12, 2010): The Obama administration is trying a new tack with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai that is bigger on carrots and smaller on sticks.

Turkey’s Current Account Gap Widens to $2.6 Billion (Business Week, April 12, 2010): Turkey’s current account deficit widened in February from a year earlier, the fourth consecutive expansion, as renewed economic growth pulled in more imports of raw materials.

Shale Drilling Offers New Hope for Turkish Energy (Huffington Daily News, April 12, 2010): A new method of obtaining oil and natural gas through shale has increased hopes of a significant rise in global natural gas and oil fossil fuel reserves. The Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO, has entered the picture with a possible collaboration with a US company for the drilling of shale.

Obama’s Summit Goal: Keep Nuclear Weapons Away from Terrorists (Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 2010): The security summit that begins in Washington Monday aims to ensure that nuclear weapons and weapons-grade materials are put under lock and key to prevent terrorists from getting them.

Rights Groups Call for Reform of Iraq Media Regulations (Free Speech Radio News, April 12, 2010): The group said that the regulations fall short of international standards of freedom of expression and called them a threat to the safety of media workers.

It’s Time for the U.S. Army to Leave Korea (CBS, April 12, 2010):  The ground component of U.S. Forces Korea, which costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars a year to maintain, is an equally unaffordable political liability on the South Korean street.

Anti-American Anger Grows in Afghanistan (The Globe and Mail, April 12, 2010): Anger over civilian deaths has hobbled Western efforts to draw support away from the insurgency.

Iran Urges UN Inquiry Into U.S.-Led Military Actions in Afghanistan and Iraq (Xinxua, April 12, 2010): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday demanded a UN probe into the presence of Western powers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Parliament Demands Karzai Fill Afghan Cabinet Positions (Washington Post, April 11, 2010): Afghanistan’s parliament has given President Hamid Karzai ten days to name candidates to fill 11 cabinet vacancies, the latest sign of the once-docile body’s increasing tendency to challenge the president.

Obama Signs Landmark Nuclear Weapons Treaty (BBC News, April 8, 2010): US President Obama and Russian President Medvedev have signed a historic nuclear weapons treaty which could reduce their stockpiles significantly.

Nuclear Terrorism Is Most Urgent Threat (CNN, April 8, 2010): We know that terrorist groups have been trying to buy, build or steal a bomb.

Reducing the Role of Nukes Does Not Threaten U.S. Security (Xinhua, April 7, 2010):  As America’s new nuclear strategy makes headlines across the world, pundits, politicians and scientists in the United States have been debating whether reducing the role of nuclear weapons in deterring a non-nuclear attack serves national security interests.

Europe’s Emotions Are Mixed on Tactical Nukes (ABC News, April 7, 2010):  One often overlooked point could still spark a rift in NATO in coming weeks: the deeply unpopular arsenal of hundreds of U.S. tactical nukes deployed in Europe.

The Iraq War: Still a Massive Mistake (Chrstian Science Monitor, April 5, 2010): The Iraq war is now being declared a success by some who point to recent progress. But the March 7 elections won’t change the tremendous cost in lives, money, US image, and geopolitics.

Nearly Half of Japan’s Voters Support No Party (Washington Post, April 5, 2010): Nearly half of Japan’s voters support no political party, according to a poll released on Monday, a sign of mounting frustration with both ruling and opposition parties ahead of an election expected in July.

U.S. Wants Kuwait’s Agility to Pay $750 Million (Reuters, April 5, 2010): The Kuwaiti firm, formerly Public Warehousing Co K.S.C., is in talks to resolve an indictment accusing it of overcharging the U.S. Army on supply contracts in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan.

Accidental NATO Killings in Afghanistan Cap Tense Week (Washington Post, April 4, 2010): The accidental killing of six Afghan soldiers by German allies Saturday marked an unfortunate conclusion to a week of strained relations between the Afghan government and the West.

Turkey: Invoy to Return to U.S (New York Times, April 3, 2010): Turkey said on Friday that it was sending its ambassador back to Washington, a month after he was recalled to protest against a resolution by Congress to declare that the mass killings of Armenians during World War I constituted genocide.

Obama Confident of Securing Broad Support for More UN Sanctions Against Iran (Washington Post, April 3, 2010): President Obama said Friday that “all evidence indicates” Iran is pursuing the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, but he expressed confidence that the United States could muster broad international support for a new round of U.N. sanctions designed to curtail Tehran’s atomic ambitions.

Commission to Examine Level of Contractors in Iraq (Associated Press, March 29, 2010): The independent Commission on Wartime Contracting wants to know whether American contractors in Iraq are adequately reducing the number of employees in the country as U.S. troops are withdrawn.

A Majority of Americans Approve of Obama’s Afghanistan Effort (Vanity Fair, March 29, 2010): A recent Washington Post poll finds that 53 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan.

Prominent Iraq Politicans Fail to Win Seats (Associated Press, March 29, 2010): Several prominent Iraqi politicians – long considered untouchable – failed to win seats in the country’s March 7 election, according to lists published Monday, reflecting voter dissatisfaction with the country’s political class

Turkey Makes a Case Against Sanctions on Iran (Reuters, March 29, 2010): Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he did not favor imposing economic sanctions to pressure Iran into showing that it has no covert nuclear weapons program.

Turkey Gets Clinton Pledge on Genocide Resolution (The Washington Post, March 29, 2010): U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has assured Turkey the White House opposes a congressional resolution labeling the World War One massacres of Armenians in Turkey as genocide, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Kuwait Posts Budget Surplus of $8.3 Billion (Business Week, March 29, 2010): Kuwait posted a preliminary budget surplus of 8.3 billion dinars ($28.7 billion) in the 11 months through February, the Finance Ministry said.

Japan Offers U.S. New Proposal on Okinawa Military Base (Voice Of American, March 29, 2010): The Japanese foreign minister is meeting with top U.S. officials to discuss the replacement of a military base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

Seoul Watching Closely for North Korean Leader’s Possible Visit to China (Yonhap News, March 29, 2010): South Korea is watching closely for signs of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s possible visit to China, an official said Monday, as his recent tour of provincial areas fueled speculation that a Chinese trip may be imminent.

South Korea, Japan Can Build Nuclear Weapons Quickly (The Korean Times, March 18, 2010): South Korea, like Japan, has the technology to build a nuclear arsenal quickly if it decides to do so, a U.S. defense report said Thursday.

Taliban Hit Back in Marja with a Campaign of Intimidation (New York Times, March 18, 2010): The Taliban have begun waging a campaign of intimidation in Marja that some local Afghan leaders worry has jeopardized the success of an American-led offensive there meant as an early test of a revised military approach in Afghanistan.

South Korea, U.S. Conclude Joint Military Exercises (Xinhua News, March 18, 2010): South Korea and the United States wrapped up Thursday their annual joint military drills denounced by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a preparation for invasion, while the DPRK showed no unusual military move, military authorities here said.

Japan Noda: U.S. Shouldn’t Punish China Over Yuan (Reuters, March 18, 2010): Japan’s deputy finance minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Thursday that China needs to understand global calls for a more flexible yuan, but that Washington should not resort to sanctions to make this happen.

U.S. Urges Ally Turkey to Join Iran Sanctions Push (Reuters, March 17, 2010): The United States urged Turkey on Wednesday to support more sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program, saying Ankara could face consequences if it moves out of step with the international community.

Commander Says Tough Year Ahead for Troops in Afghanistan (The Hindu, March 16, 2010): David Petraeus, commander of U. S. Central Command, told Congress Tuesday the military faces a tough year ahead in Afghanistan, but violence level there is unlikely to rise as high as the 2006 peak in Iraq.

U.S. May Keep Headquarters in Northern Iraq (Epoch Times, March 16, 2010): Gen. David Petraeus who oversees U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan said on Tuesday that the military is on course to reduce the number of U.S. forces to 50,000 by the end of August.

Japan, China Reduced Holdings of U.S. Treasury Debt in January (Business Week, March 15, 2010): China and Japan, the two biggest foreign holders of Treasuries, reduced their positions of U.S. government debt in January as a measure of demand for American financial assets fell to a six-month low.

Lincoln-Douglas (LD) Topic News:

NFL: Nuclear Weapons

Iran increases enriched uranium ahead of global meeting over nuclear programme (, October 24, 1010) Iran has announced it has substantially increased its enriched uranium stockpile, only a month ahead of scheduled negotiations with global powers on its controversial nuclear programme.

Clinton lost nuclear codes, claims ex-aide (Financial Times, October 22, 2010) Bill Clinton lost the secret codes that would be used to authorise a US nuclear strike during the last year of his presidency, a new book has alleged.

PM: Imagine what Iran would do if it had nuclear weapons (Jeruselem Post, October 22, 2010) “We have a state in the East that expending every effort to develop nuclear weapons in order to destroy us,” said Netanyahu. He continued during his speech to say, “Today, the influence [of the Islamic Regime] is found in Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, South America and Africa. This is what it has achieved without nuclear weapons, imagine for yourselves what it would do if it had nuclear weapons.” “The international community must ensure that this type of weapon does not fall into Iranian hands,” Netanyahu added.

Use of nuclear weapons means end of humanity – Castro (Rianovosti, October 21, 2010) The use of nuclear weapons mean the end of humanity, Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro said in a video address released on the Cubadebate website on Thursday.

Tony Blair: “Personally, I Think Israel Would Not Allow Iran to Get Nuclear Weapons” (The Atlantic, October 14, 2010) Tony Blair recently said in a telephone conversation, “personally, I think Israel would not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.” In March, Joseph Biden declared that “the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, period.” Barack Obama has repeatedly called a nuclear Iran “unacceptable.”

Former US envoy pessimistic on North Korea nuclear weapons (, October 13, 2010) The former chief US negotiator in talks to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons said Wednesday he was less optimistic than ever before about the prospects for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

Factbox: A look at North Korea’s nuclear arms programme (Reuters, October 6, 2010) North Korea’s nuclear threat has reached an “alarming level” and it is now trying to miniaturize weapons to improve their mobility and impact, a South Korean government official said.

Will Saber Rattling And Sanctions Work Against Iran? (National Security, October 4, 2010) Senior U.S. officials and lawmakers have sent Iran a series of tough messages in recent days. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I/D-Conn., rattled a saber last week by telling the Council on Foreign Relations that a unilateral U.S. military strike against Iran should be considered if Tehran continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

NKorea vows to strengthen nuclear arms (Associate Press, September, 29 2010) NEW YORK — North Korea vowed Wednesday to strengthen its nuclear weapons stockpile in order to deter a U.S. and South Korean military buildup in the region.

Unwilling to Back Full Nuclear Disarmament (IPS, September 29, 2010) More than a year ago U.S. President Barack Obama came to Eastern Europe to announce his vision of a world without nuclear weapons. One year later, in the same place, the Czech capital Prague, he signed a deal slashing nuclear weapons stocks with his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev.

Six-nation group wants quick resumption of Iran nuclear talks (CNN, September 24, 2010) The six world powers trying to negotiate with Iran say they want an early resumption of talks to resolve the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.

US bishops ask Catholics to lobby Senate to ratify nuclear weapons reduction treaty (Catholic Culture, September 22, 2010) The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published an “action alert” asking Catholics to “urge your Senators to publicly support the new START treaty because it makes our nation and world safer by reducing nuclear weapons in a verifiable way, and to ask the Senate leadership to bring it to a vote.” The treaty was signed by President Obama on April 8 but awaits Senate ratification.

Analysis: a very British WMD program (Press TV, September 20, 2010) In an attempt to save billions and avoiding a political row in the run-up to the next general election the British mps are planning to delay any decision concerning the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile system until after the 2015 election.

South Korea Aims Sanctions at 126 Iranian Entities (New York Times, Sept, 8 2010) “Our government expects Iran to join the international efforts for nuclear nonproliferation and take steps to faithfully implement its obligations under the relative U.N.S.C. resolutions,” said a government statement read by Kim Young-sun, a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

North Korea leans on its major ally to dodge world’s arms-trade ban
(The Vancuver Sun, September 3, 2010) North Korea is using China as a transit route as it attempts to dodge international sanctions on its trade in arms and nuclear technology, according to reports in South Korea.

Tony Blair: West should use force if Iran ‘continues to develop nuclear weapons’ (The Guardian, September 3, 2010) The west should use force against Iran if it “continues to develop nuclear weapons”, Tony Blair said today, aligning himself with US hawks who have called for strikes against Iranian nuclear sites.

The Existential Threat (The Huffington Post, September 3, 2010) Existential threat recently entered the political lexicon, courtesy of Israeli paranoia. The expression sounds portentous, but all it seems to mean is that someone’s or something’s existence is in jeopardy. If so, the world is full of existential threats. But the expression is seldom used to refer to any of them except when the threatened party is Israel. Thus Iran’s still “aspirational” nuclear weapons program or, sometimes Iran itself are existential threats and so is Palestinian “terrorism.” An existential threat makes an excellent casus belli, a justification for war.

Time to act on nuclear test ban (The Daily Caller, September 3, 2010) In New York this May, at the five-yearly Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, nearly 190 states committed to a world free of nuclear weapons. Their commitments build on a worldwide groundswell of opposition to nuclear weapons.

UN Nuclear Chief urged Israel to join NPT (September 3, 2010) UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano urged Israel to come clean about its undeclared nuclear weapons capability during a visit to the country in August, an IAEA report revealed Friday.

Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has prevented war with India: A Q Khan (The India Times) September 3, 2010) Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has prevented a conventional war with India and made the “nation walk with heads held high”, boasts notorious Pakistani scientist AQ Khan, considered the father of Islamabad’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme.

U.N. atom chief invited Israel to mull anti-nuclear arms pact (The US Daily, September 3, 2010) VIENNA (Reuters) – The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog invited Israel last month to consider joining a global anti-nuclear arms pact but the Jewish state has dismissed the idea as a politically-motivated drive by Arab states.

A. Q. Khan emerges to discuss his role developing—and proliferating—Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. (Newsweek, August 31, 2010) Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, widely considered the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, has kept a low profile since his unprecedented 2004 television address accepting sole responsibility for providing nuclear know-how to Iran, Libya, and North Korea

SKorea: NKorea deploying troops, weapons near Pyongyang ahead of key national events (FoxNews, August, 24, 2010)  SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is deploying troops, artillery and tanks near Pyongyang in apparent preparation for a massive military parade marking key national events later this year, South Korea said Tuesday.

U.S. Assures Israel That Iran Threat Is Not Imminent (The New York Times, August 19th, 2010)The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials.

Bombs away in three days (The Washington Times, August 17, 2010) Israel’s long-anticipated attack on Iran’s nuclear program may come as soon as Friday. Yesterday, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Israel had eight days to strike Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr before it would become operational. He revised the timeline to three days after word came that nuclear fuel would begin loading on Friday. We’re now down to two days and counting.

A weak start for START (Project Syndicate, August 18, 2010)  A strange sense of déjà vu is gripping Washington these days, as the debate over ratification by the United States Senate of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia heats up. Spats have broken out between the Obama administration, future presidential contenders, senators, and arms control and defense experts. There may not be nostalgia for the Cold War in any of this, but much of that era’s mindset can be perceived again in the arguments being knocked about.

Countdown to Zero neglects greatest danger of all (Huffington Post, August 16, 2010) The greatest nuclear danger today is not Countdown to Zero‘s nuclear “accident” or “miscalculation” or “madness.” The greatest nuclear danger today, still, like 65 years ago, is nuclear war.

COMMENTARY: Nuclear weapons and the way we think (Huntington News, August 18, 2010): Winslow Myers discusses how nuclear weapons shape the way we think.

UIL: American Exceptionalism

McConnell keynotes WV GOP gala (West Virginia Public Broadcasting, October 25, 2010) With about a week to go until the election, West Virginia’s Republicans are focused on winning many of the state’s House and Senate seats traditionally held by Democrats.

Obama should apply ‘exceptionalism’ theory to U.N. (Statesman, October 22, 2010) Blackwell argues that exceptionalism should be applied to the United Nations.

Emmer rally: Romney on liberals and American exceptionalism (, October 19,2010) Not only did the former governor of Massachusetts and GOP presidential contender attract some 200 donors at a $500-a-plate fundraising dinner for Emmer Monday, he later worked up a crowd at a rally at the Ramada Hotel in Bloomington.

Harry Reid – Sharron Angle debate: Closing statement (LAtimes, October 14, 2010) Angle was a bit livelier. “People ask me why I smile so much,” she says. “I am an optimist. Like Ronald Reagan, I believe in American exceptionalism.”

Relatively Open Borders — Not Harsh Immigration Restrictions — Follow the True American Tradition (FindLaw, October12, 2010) Among the great ironies of the present moment is that “Tea Party” calls for restrictive immigration claim to follow in the footsteps of the country’s founders. But rather than mimicking early Americans, Tea Partiers explicitly reject one of the classic features of American exceptionalism: relatively open borders.

Is America Exceptional? (The Heritage Foundation, October 7, 2010) At a G-20 conference in April 2009, President Obama was asked if America had a unique role in the world. Instead of explaining what makes America great (or even taking the usual tactic of apologizing for America’s greatness) the President  responded: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism .

Cracks in the American Way, as Labor Stands Strong in Europe (In These Times, October 1, 2010) The idea of American Exceptionalism has loomed large over the last half century, creating an air of national impunity while spreading a neoliberal capitalist model to every corner of the globe.

Saito’s new book confronts exceptionalism in America (Georgia State University, September, 15 2010) Georgia State University College of Law Professor Natsu Taylor Saito’s new book, Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law, is a bold examination of the often contradictory role that U.S. policies and practices play in furthering principles of global rule.

U.S. Court Is Now Guiding Fewer Nations (New York Times, September 17, 2010) Judges around the world have long looked to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court for guidance, citing and often following them in hundreds of their own rulings since the Second World War.

Toomey: ‘I believe in American exceptionalism’ (PA2010, September, 20, 2010) Lest there be any confusion, Pat Toomey believes in American exceptionalism. The Republican Senate candidate, who has implied in the past that President Obama doesn’t share this view, reiterated his belief in American greatness during a recent video interview with The Post-Gazette.

Tackling national debt (The Hill, September 21, 2010) The spirit of American Exceptionalism that our country’s founding fathers embraced was built on the fundamental pillars of political liberty, economic freedom and moral responsibility. Today, I am concerned that one of those pillars is at risk: our economic freedom. 

Still Taking Exception (The American Conservative , September 17, 2010) The claim that Obama rejects American exceptionalism that is every bit as untrue and laughable as the “anti-colonialist” claim, but it is one that has been made repeatedly and at great length.

Mid life crisis in land of the free (September 4, 2010) Observing American politics these days is a bit like watching an old family friend go through a mid-life identity crisis.

Andrew Finstuen: Land of the Free, Home of the Exceptionalists? (PBS, September 3, 2010)  Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally was a giant civil religious celebration of American exceptionalism. Beck began his event by referring to America as a chosen nation. Pastor Paul Jehle, who offered the opening prayer, reinforced Beck’s sense of America’s divine purpose by drawing upon Puritan John Winthrop’s immortalized call for America to be a “city on a hill.”

American Exceptionalism–And An ‘Exceptional’ President (Forbes, August 31, 2010) Obama may be the first U.S. president to lack faith in our special history, our special spirit and our special mission in the world.

Rubio hails American exceptionalism at Jacksonville campaign stop (The Florida Independent, August 19, 2010) Only hours after visiting a Duval County Republican headquarters to unveil his veterans’ initiative, Marco Rubio made another stop in Jacksonville — this time, to speak about family values and a country he repeatedly called “exceptional.”

American exceptionalism (Arkansas News, July 11, 2010) Last weekend’s July 4th holiday got me thinking about what makes our country unique. My son has reached the age where he has starting asking more questions. At one time he was simply satisfied with knowing that July 4th was America’s birthday without much more thought.

Lincoln-Douglas (LD) Topic News:

Afghanistan Future Uncertain as U.S. War Enters 10th year (October 7, 2010, Sify News): Islamabad also believes that the Taliban can be a powerful player in Afghanistan after NATO leaves.
Turkey Extends NATO Command in Afghanistan (October 5, 2010, Daily News and Economic Review): Ankara has decided to extend its Kabul Regional Command in Afghanistan on the eve of a visit to Turkey by NATO chief.
Afghan Civilians Killed in Foreign Air Strike (October 4, 2010, Reuters): At least three civilians were killed along with 14 insurgents in a NATO air strike targeting a senior Taliban commander in southern Helmand province, Afghan authorities said on Monday.
Europe agrees on review of offshore drilling (September 24, AP) European coastal nations agreed Friday to review rules for offshore drilling, but said each country should decide individually on how to improve safety oil rig safety to avoid disasters like the Gulf of Mexico spill.
Policy Paper on Offshore Oil Drilling (September 24, Renewable Energy World) New EnergyComment Policy Brief: In-depth analysis of the risks of new offshore oil drilling in an integrated perspective.
Drilling ban not a job killer, government report says (September 16, The Houston Chronicle) The Obama administration’s deep-water drilling ban hasn’t turned into the massive job killer that oil industry advocates and Gulf Coast lawmakers feared it would be, according to a government analysis released Thursday.
BP chief defends deepwater drilling (September 15, Aljazeera) The outgoing chief executive of BP, the energy company widely blamed for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, says the disaster should not lead to a universal ban on deepwater drilling.

Transocean: Britain to Hear Deep Water Testimony (September 3, 2010) Following a week of grilling in the U.S. over the circumstances of BP’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, ministers of Parliament in Britain next week will take testimony from rig owner Transocean’s Paul King, the head of North Sea operations, regarding the safety of deep water drilling in U.K. waters.

Carper says deepwater drilling moratorium likely to continue (September 3, 2010) The explosion of an oil platform off the Louisiana coast will likely prolong the Obama administration’s deepwater drilling moratorium currently scheduled to end in November, Sen. Tom Carper said Thursday during a visit to the Gulf Coast.

Interior Dept. to Host Forum on Offshore Drilling in Houston (Trading Markets, September 3, 2010) The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) today announced that Director Michael R. Bromwich will hold the next two events in a series of fact-finding forums in Houston, Texas and Biloxi, Miss. the week of September 6, 2010.

What now for Gulf? Fire complicates drill debate (Associated Press, September 3, 2010) News of another oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico, so soon after the BP oil spill, has set off a wave of anxiety along the Gulf Coast and prompted calls for the government to extend its six-month ban on deepwater drilling.

U.S. Drilling Ban Overturned (United Press International, September 2, 2010): A motion filed by the U.S. federal government to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a moratorium on deep-water drilling was overturned, a judge ruled.

BP Says It Learned from Battling Huge Oil Spill (Houston Chronicle, September 1, 2010): The offshore oil and gas industry is better equipped to deal with deep-water accidents because of lessons that BP learned battling its massive oil spill, the British oil giant says in a report due on federal regulators’ desks today.

US oil industry protests against drilling moratorium (Financial Times, September 1, 2010) Thousands of oil industry workers rallied on Wednesday to lift the moratorium on new deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and head off new taxes and punitive measures in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill.