Synopsis of National Security News: Week of 10/22/10-10/29/10

Afghanistan:

  • President Karzai stated that he regularly receives “bags of cash” from Iran and Washington DC. While both nations have denied these allegations, it sows further uncertainty regarding Hamad Karzai’s true allegiances.
  • Omar Ahmed Khadr, sent to Guantanamo bay as a 15 year old child soldier from the front-lines of Afghanistan, has signed a plea that will allow him to leave Guantanamo Bay in 1 year without a trial. He will be 25 years old by the time he is allowed to leave.

Pakistan:

Iraq:

  • The Iraqi Supreme Court has declared the 7 month long coalition forming process to be unconstitutional. The court ordered the members of parliament back to a parliamentary session which they have only had twice since the March 7th election.
  • The release of the Wikileaks files on Iraq has re-ignited the torture controversy among coalition forces. The files indicate that the practice of handing over insurgents to third parties with the implication that they would be tortured occurred during the Iraqi conflict.

New START Treaty:

North Korea:

  • The reunions between cross-border Korean families, separated by the partition of Koreas after the Korean War, have been blocked by North Korea until their aid request is fulfilled. These reunions are a particularly effective form of leverage because many South Koreans

Iran:

Compiled by Grant Potter, National Security Intern

2 thoughts on “Synopsis of National Security News: Week of 10/22/10-10/29/10

  1. Alan Berlind October 29, 2010 / 7:53 AM

    Not all bad news, Grant: (1) Re “uncertainty”, Karzai’s has never concealed that cash is his primary allegiance, and that is more comforting than would be a primary yearning for an ideological union with Ahmadinejad; (2) Re anonymous Pakistani remarks, it makes no real difference to the process whether they constitute a warning or a threat; and (3) If support among soldiers moves senators, fine, but their views are of course no more relevant to START than those of businessmen, preachers or pacifists.

    • Grant Potter- National Security Intern October 29, 2010 / 7:53 PM

      Thanks for the comment Alan:
      I agree with your analysis on Karzai; Greed, rather than a firm ideological position, is a trait that we can use to our advantage. I also agree that any effective negotiation with the Taliban requires Pakistan’s presence even if they are committed to spoiling negotiations in the status quo. However, I do disagree with you on the third point. The opinion of military leadership is relevant irrespective of the effect it produces within the Senate (although it does undercut the objections that pro-defense Republicans lodge against New START). Given that the military is partly responsible for the maintenance and use (God forbid) of nuclear weapons, their opinion is extremely relevant just as a farmers opinion is important to an agricultural bill. Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment.

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