NEW START Treaty:
James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, is set to brief senators in a closed hearing about the details of the NEW START treaty. It is unknown how the senators will react to this confidential information.
The UN reports that the poppy harvest in Afghanistan was halved from previous years. While this is encouraging news, low supply creates windfall profits for opium producers. Experts fear that such a significant raise in the price of opium will make poppy production more lucrative to Afghan farmers.
30 NATO fuel tankers were torched by insurgents near a border town between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The continued closure of the Afghan-Pakistani border forced the trucks to idle at a nearby town. Our nominal ally, Pakistan, has sealed off the main entry routes into Afghanistan in retaliation for frequent NATO incursions into their territory.
Osama bin Laden released a tape referencing the floods in Pakistan and criticizing the central governments ineffectual response to the crisis. The subject matter of the tape proves that he could not have recorded it longer than two months ago and is thus still alive.
At 208 days and counting, Iraq officially wins the “honor” of having the longest period of time between parliamentary elections and forming a coalition government. The parliament is still deadlocked as neither Maliki, leader of the Shiite-backed coalition, nor Allawi, leader of the Sunni-backed coalition are willing to compromise with each other.
An Arab backed resolution to censure Israel for shielding its nuclear capabilities from the IAEA was narrowly defeated in the UN. Supporters of Israel say this was a cheap ploy to divert attention from Iran whose nuclear development have been well-documented and Syria who is under investigation by the IAEA for revelations of a secret nuclear program in 2007.
At a speech to the UN, a North Korean official vowed to further bolster the nuclear capacity of North Korea. However, they have offered their services to help strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime to prevent other states from acquiring nuclear weapons in what would appear to be a “do as I say, not as I do” strategy.
Compiled by Grant Potter, CIP National Security Intern