This Week in National Security News: 11/15-11/22

NATO Summit

NATO states have agreed to a cooperative missile shield to defense against nuclear weapons. Despite the creation of NATO as an anti-Soviet institution, it is expected that the Russians will cooperate in the creation of an inter-operable missile shield.

North Korea

North Korea has announced that is nearly complete with a second nuclear reactor facility. Although they claim that it is a light-water reactor, capable only of producing energy, Ambassador Bosworth and other experts doubt these North Korean claims. Many feel that this announcement is intended to leverage aid and financial support for North Korea during the 6-country talks.

New START

Obama received unprompted international support for the New START treaty by his counterparts at the NATO Lisbon summit. Of particular note is the support of New START by many Eastern European states who have the most to fear from a resurgent Russia. Support for foreign policy is in stark contrast to last weeks G-20 conference which was rife with acrimony over economic policy.

Afghanistan

Karzai continues to criticize the US strategy in Afghanistan. He and Obama have split on the subject of night-raids which Karzai claims is a major tactic that undercuts the US legitimacy amongst the Afghan civilians. The administration and military leaders have denied that this strategy is counter-productive by saying that night-raids are highly targeted and thus only directed at Taliban leaders who already hate us.

Airports

Despite public outcry over invasive airport security measures that include body-scans or pat downs, TSA chief Pistole stated that the TSA will not dramatically alter its security procedures. He maintains that the high levels of security are necessary given recent bomb scares like the foiled bomb scare on Christmas 2009.

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