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The Journal of South Asian Non-Proliferation and Security

April 2010


Editorial Staff
Maria Sultan, Editor-in-Chief
 Nick Robson, Production
Research, SASSI Research Fellows

 

 

 

SASSI‘s South Asia Security Brief is an online compendium of security related publications.
It is a periodic compilation of news, official statements, and expert analyses related to South Asian security issues.

 


 


 

Supporting worldwide understanding of South Asian security, non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament issues.

 


A Product of the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)

 


CONTENTS 

NUCLEAR ENERGY / SECURITY

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENTS (NUCLEAR)

 

OPINION / EDITORIAL

 

AFGHANISTAN

 

CENTRAL ASIA

 

FEDERALLY ADMINISTERED TRIBAL AREAS (FATA)

 

INDO-PAK TENSION

 

KASHMIR

 

ENERGY / CLIMATE

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

MISSILES

 

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

NUCLEAR TERRORISM

 


NUCLEAR ENERGY / SECURITY

 

Ukraine Loads U.S. Nuclear Fuel into Power Plant as Part of DOE-Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Program

 

April 9, 2010

Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy today participated in a ceremony in Ukraine to mark the insertion of Westinghouse-produced nuclear fuel into a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

 

Nuclear energy for all, weapons for none  

 

April 13, 2010 | Opinions| S.M. Hali

Every US president is obliged to review its nuclear policy at least once during his occupation of office. The current incumbent, President Obama, presented his 2,200 page policy changes titled Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) on April 6, 2010.

 

India to set up centre for N-energy applications

 

April 14, 2010

India would set up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

 

Korea, US to Tackle Nuclear Energy Pact

 

April 15, 2010

South Korea and the United States have agreed to begin negotiations to revise a bilateral pact on the use of nuclear energy as early as possible, South Korean officials said Wednesday.

 

Gilani charms Obama Brings US nuclear energy close to Pakistan

 

April 18, 2010 | Comments | Zahid Malik

Many Pakistanis in Washington DC are getting shocked and extremely worried about fast deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan. “A stage of helplessness and hopelessness has come,” remarked Mr. Mahmood, driver of my limousine, who took me and veteran journalist, Mr. Mahmood Sham, to a mosque called Darul Hijra, for Zohr prayers.

 

Saudi Arabia set to establish civil nuclear energy centre

 

April 19, 2010

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil supplier, is set to establish a civil nuclear and renewable energy centre to help meet demand for power as it pushes forward with economic expansion plans.

 

Singapore to start feasibility study into nuclear energy

 

April 19, 2010

As more countries seek to explore the use of nuclear energy for civilian purposes, the international community faces a dilemma: How does it juggle a nuclear non-proliferation regime while acknowledging the right of countries pursuing nuclear energy and technology for peaceful uses? There are still about 20,000 nuclear warheads in the world, many of them on trigger alert, Singapore noted in its statement at the International Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Conference in the Iranian capital of Tehran, which ended yesterday.

 

Braka picked to be site for nuclear power plants

 

April 23, 2010

Abu Dhabi’s nuclear energy company has picked a remote stretch of beach west of Ruwais as its preferred site for the country’s first nuclear power stations.

 

Putin Proposes Russia, Ukraine Nuclear Energy Merger

 

April 27, 2010

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed creating a nuclear power holding company with Ukraine as the two former Soviet republics rebuild ties.

 

China to build two nuclear reactors in Pakistan: Report

 

April 29, 2010

China on Thursday acknowledged that it will build two new nuclear reactors in Pakistan in a deal that could re-ignite concerns about proliferation and safety of atomic materials in Pakistan.

 

AERB's directive to Delhi University on radiation sources

 

April 30, 2010

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has asked the Delhi University to suspend all activities involving the use of radiation sources.

 

AREVA And Fresno Nuclear Energy Group Ink MOU For Clean Energy Park

 

April 30, 2010

AREVA and the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group, LLC (FNEG) have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop the country's most advanced Clean Energy Park near Fresno, California, including nuclear and renewable generation.

 

OPINION / EDITORIAL

 

President Gul leaves indelible imprints

April 1, 2010

 

THE four-day State visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Pakistan has afforded another opportunity to the two brotherly countries to take their already cordial and close relations to new heights….

 

Water talks run dry

 

April 1, 2010

Just like the water in the Mangla and Tarbela dams, the recent round of talks between the Indus Water Commissions of Pakistan and India have reached dead level…

 

Bhutto: a controversial legacy

 

April 5, 2010

April 4, 2010, This day marks 31 years to the day when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged at the behest of a military dictator. Bhutto founded the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 1967….

 

Dying to kill

 

April 7, 2010

Like a slap in the face, Monday’s terror attacks left a harsh sting on our claims of staying two steps ahead in curbing the militants. Targeting a rally of ANP in Timergarah, Lower Dir, celebrating the renaming of NWFP as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, a suicide bomber killed close to 50 people…

 

Chhattisgarh Maoist attack

 

April 8, 2010

The killing of 73 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men in Chhattisgargh state by Maoist insurgents is a stark reminder that, despite all its claims of development and progress, trouble is brewing in India….

 

Much more to do

 

April 13, 2010

The government and all the political parties in parliament have achieved a historical breakthrough with the passage of the 18th Amendment Bill in the National Assembly. As soon as the Senate passes the Bill, it will become an Act….

 

Nuclear Summit

 

April 14, 2010

The key objective of the Nuclear Security Summit being held in Washington is the safety of nuclear materials globally. This gathering of 47 countries is President Obama’s effort to address the issues surrounding nuclear weapons in today’s world…

 

Stalling the 18th Amendment

 

April 15, 2010

Violent protests in Hazara and political point scoring by PML-Q on the new name of NWFP, i.e. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, have cast a shadow of doubt on the smooth sailing of the Constitutional (18th Amendment) Bill through the Senate….

 

Accountability for all

 

April 16, 2010

The draft bill approved by the standing committee of the National Assembly to replace the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with a National Accountability Commission (NAC) contains useful clauses, but several gaping holes have been left open, which must be filled before it could be hoped that the new mechanism will be a departure from the past….

 

Tragedy in Kohat

 

April 19, 2010

Kohat was struck with tragedy on Saturday as two suicide bombers attacked an IDP camp as a group of internally displaced persons (IDP) were waiting to get themselves registered and receive aid handouts…

 

After the UN report

 

April 20, 2010

In the wake of the UN Investigation Commission’s findings, action is being taken against some officials named in the report with statements from the government that everybody named will be investigated. Acting swiftly, the government has moved to examine the indicted….

 

The future of coups d’état

 

April 21, 2010

Speaking on the occasion of signing of the Constitution (18th Amendment) Bill, President Asif Ali Zardari said that it had closed the doors on dictators taking over, but further he added, “mishaps can take place”.…..

 

Energy summit

 

April 22, 2010

The National Summit on Energy held in Islamabad was the first visible effort of the government to bring together all stakeholders on the table to find a solution to the aggravating energy crisis….

 

Where terrorists walk free

 

April 23, 2010

One of the founding members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the notorious sectarian outfit, is reportedly going to be set free soon after 13 years. Malik Ishaq, self-confessed hitman of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who himself admitted to a local Urdu daily in October 1997 that he had been “instrumental in the killing of 102 people”, will be a free man if reports are to be believed….

 

The shadow of the Establishment

 

April 28, 2010

At independence, Pakistan inherited an over-developed colonial state structure, a relatively weak political class, and a fragmented society from the British.

 

An end to impunity?

 

April 28, 2010

In fresh charges against the former dictator, property gifted by the then Indonesian President Soekarno, in the shape of the Chancery building in Jakarta, was sold for a measly amount on Musharraf’s directives….

 

KASHMIR

 

AJK judicial crisis worsens as two ‘chief justices’ hear cases

 

April 6, 2010

LAHORE: The judicial crisis in Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) intensified on Monday as the deposed AJK Supreme Court (SC) chief justice (CJ) and the acting CJ both began working as the top judge….

 

AJK judicial crisis multiplies

 

April 8, 2010

LAHORE: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Raja Zulqarnain Khan has filed a reference with the Supreme Judicial Council against acting AJK Supreme Court Chief Justice Manzoorul Hassan Gillani and AJK High Court Chief Justice Mustafa Mughal – a development that could further degenerate the judicial crisis in the region…

 

Shutdown in IHK against conviction of six Kashmiris

 

April 14, 2010

By Iftikhar Gilani :NEW DELHI: Life came to a stand still in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) on Tuesday in protest against the conviction of six Kashmiris in the 1996 Delhi market blasts…

 

AJK govt to accept Kashmir Council’s decision on deposed chief justice

 

April 19, 2010

LAHORE: Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Raja Zulqarnain Khan and Prime Minister (PM) Raja Farooq Haider have decided to accept the Kashmir Council’s decision about dysfunctional AJK chief justice Riaz Akhtar Chaudhry…

 

Police scuttle ‘militant’seminar in IHK

 

April 22, 2010

SRINAGAR: Police in Indian held Kashmir (IHK) said they had detained on Wednesday the organiser of a seminar that was to be addressed by phone by Pakistani militant leaders, including one blamed for the Mumbai attacks….

 

Three Kashmiris get death for Delhi bombings

 

April 23, 2010

NEW DELHI: A New Delhi court sentenced three members of a Kashmiri rebel group to death on Thursday for their role in the 1996 bombings at a busy market in the Indian capital that killed 13 people, news reports said. Mohammed Naushad, Mohammed Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain — all members of the Jammu-Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIL)…..

 

AJK PM, Farooq Naik discuss quake victims’ rehabilitation

 

April 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Faooq Haider called on Senate Chairman Farooq Naik at the Parliament House on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing developmental projects for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the areas and victims affected in the 2005 earthquake….

 

IHK police gave IB 35 suspicious cell numbers 5 days before 26/11

 

April 30, 2010

NEW DELHI: In yet another charge on India’s premier intelligence agency Intelligence Bureau (IB) sitting over sensitive inputs that could have averted the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai, a private TV network claimed that the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) police had handed over to the IB 35 cellular phone SIM card numbers for immediate monitoring five days before the attack….

 

AFGHANISTAN

 

Obama focusing on ties with Pakistan, India, Afghanistan’


April 1, 2010 | Daily Times

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is devoting considerable time to US relations with Pakistan, Afghanistan and India in order to strengthen security and advance mutual goals in the vitally important region, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday. “Obviously the president, as you know and as many of you have seen, has spent considerable time on our relationships with Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in order to see security strengthened and our mutual goals worked on in an important region in the world,” Robert Gibbs said.

 

France urged to do more in Afghanistan


April 1, 2010

NEW YORK: President Nicolas Sarkozy can order more French troops to Afghanistan to return the favors he got during his U.S. trip, says a New York Times editorial. Sarkozy "got nearly everything he could have hoped for from his visit to the United States this week" and now "he needs to return the favor by significantly increasing French combat strength in Afghanistan," the editorial said.

 

Military Corps established to strengthen security in Taliban stronghold

 


April 1, 2010

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan: Afghanistan Defense Ministry on Thursday formally inaugurated a new Corps in Taliban hotbed Helmand province as part of efforts to stabilize security in the restive southern region. "With the formation of Corps 215 security would be strengthened in Helmand," Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak in his opening remarks said. Flanked by top U.S.-NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal, the Afghan Defense Minister said, "The priority of this Corps is to protect security and ensure peace in Helmand and neighboring provinces."

 

U.S. shift from Iraq to Afghanistan presents massive logistical operation for Army


April 2, 2010 | William Branigin | Washington

As the United States draws down troops in Iraq and reinforces them in Afghanistan, the Army is pushing to complete the largest movement of military materiel since World War II, a massive logistical operation involving nearly 3 million pieces of equipment. The operation, dubbed Nickel II after the code name for Gen. George S. Patton's celebrated repositioning of an entire Army corps during the 1944 Battle of the Bulge, began last June and is now about 35 percent complete, said Lt. Gen. William G. Webster Jr., commander of the Third Army, Patton's former unit. In a briefing for Pentagon reporters from his headquarters in Kuwait, where equipment from Iraq is sorted, Webster said some of the gear is being refurbished for use in Afghanistan and some returned to the United States for use in training.

 

Afghanistan: NATO Vows to Find Captured American


April 8, 2010 | The Associated Press

The release of a video showing an American soldier held by Afghan insurgents only inspires further efforts to find him, the NATO command in Afghanistan said Thursday. The Taliban posted a video Wednesday of a man identified as Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in June. It shows him pleading to be sent home and saying the war in Afghanistan is not worth the human cost. Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said using Private Bergdahl “as a means of propaganda is a deplorable act and only fuels our efforts to find him and bring him home.”

 

Afghanistan-Pakistan Situation Dominates Singh-Obama Talks


April 12, 2010 | RTTNews

Visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Sunday night with U.S. President Barack Obama and reportedly discussed a wide range of issues, including Washington's policies towards Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as bilateral matters. Singh, who arrived in Washington earlier in the day to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by the U.S. President, was accompanied by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar. The U.S. team comprised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns.

 

Australia Faces Backlash Over Freeze on Accepting Refugees from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan


April 12, 2010 | Phil Mercer | Sydney

Australia could face legal action over its decision to suspend processing asylum claims from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The government says that security in both countries is improving and asylum seekers are increasingly being sent home. Australia's Labor government says Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have become more secure in recent months. As a result, asylum applications from those countries will now be frozen for up to six months. The move will not affect asylum seekers currently in Australia but will apply to new arrivals. And it will not affect those coming from other countries.

 

U.S. doubles special forces in Afghanistan: report


April 16, 2010

LOS ANGELES: The Pentagon has more than doubled the number of highly trained special forces in Afghanistan to hunt down Taliban leaders, a newspaper report said on Thursday. "The secretive buildup reflects the view of the Obama administration and senior military leaders that the U.S. has only a limited amount of time to degrade the capabilities of the Taliban," the Los Angeles Times noted. With the new buildup, there will be more of the special operations forces in Afghanistan than there were in Iraq at the height of the U.S. troop buildup there in 2007, the paper quoted a defense official as saying. "Although we will have less general purpose forces than we had in Iraq, we will have more special forces," the unidentified official said.

 

McChrystal: too many contractors in Afghanistan


April 16, 2010 | Jamey Keaten

PARIS: The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan said Friday that the coalition depends too much on private-sector contractors, and insisted his forces are keeping close watch on the flow of Taliban fighters who are training in Iran. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, during a four-day visit to France, said the coalition in Afghanistan has become too dependent on private contractors in the effort to stabilize the country. "I think we've gone too far," McChrystal said at France's IHEDN military institute. "I actually think we would be better to reduce the number of contractors involved." Alternatives could include increasing the number of troops "if necessary," or "using a greater number of Afghan contractors, or Afghans to help with the mission," he said. McChrystal said the use of contractors was founded upon "good intentions," such as to limit military commitments or to save money for governments.

 

US military deaths in Afghan region at 957


April 16, 2010 | The Associated Press

As of Friday, April 16, 2010, at least 957 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is two more than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EDT. At least 745 military personnel have died in the Afghan region as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

 

3 Italian aid workers freed in Afghanistan


April 18, 2010

KABUL: Afghan authorities released three Italian medical workers who had been detained for a week, clearing them of allegations they were part of a Taliban plot to kill a provincial governor, Italian and Afghan officials said. The Afghan intelligence service said the three Italian as well as five Afghan employees of the Italian aid group Emergency were freed Sunday because they were no longer believed to be part of the plot. A sixth Afghan employee remained in custody. The nine Emergency employees were taken into custody April 10 after Afghan and British forces found explosives and handguns in an Emergency hospital in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

 

NATO OKs plan to return command to Afghans


April 24, 2010

TALLINN, Estonia: NATO countries have approved a plan to give control of Afghanistan's security back to the country's government, a NATO spokesman said. The transition, which is to begin this year, would enable U.S. President Barack Obama to fulfill his promise to start withdrawing U.S. troops by July 2011. NATO, which approved the plan in Estonia Friday, wants a formal agreement with the Afghan government in July, The New York Times reports.

 

Amid outrage over civilian deaths in Pakistan, CIA turns to smaller missiles


April 26, 2010 | Joby Warrick and Peter Finn | Washington

The CIA is using new, smaller missiles and advanced surveillance techniques to minimize civilian casualties in its targeted killings of suspected insurgents in Pakistan's tribal areas, according to current and former officials in the United States and Pakistan. The technological improvements have resulted in more accurate operations that have provoked relatively little public outrage, the officials said. Pakistan's government has tolerated the airstrikes, which have killed hundreds of suspected insurgents since early 2009, but that support has always been fragile and could quickly evaporate, U.S. and Pakistani officials said

 

U.N. shuts Kandahar mission as security worsens


April 27, 2010 | Ismail Sameem

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan: The United Nations said on Tuesday it had shut its mission in Kandahar and evacuated many foreign staff from the southern Afghan city, in a sign of worsening security before a major U.S. offensive. Hours after the announcement, suspected Taliban infiltrators blew up tankers at a fuel depot outside the city, near the airfield that serves as the biggest NATO base in the province, killing four people and wounding at least 30.

 

MISSLES

 

France Poses Questions on NATO Missile Shield

 

April 1, 2010

France's defense minister yesterday seemed to question the need for a NATO missile shield that would be intended to counter possible missiles launched from Iran, Agence France-Presse reported.

 

Russia Ships Air Defenses to China

 

April 2, 2010

China has received 15 Russian S-300 air-defense batteries that could be used against cruise missiles and airplanes, Reuters reported today.

 

Missile Shield Still Being Discussed, Russia Says

 

April 5, 2010

A high-ranking Russian official said Friday that Moscow would persist in talks with the United States on plans for missile defense apart from the inking of a successor accord to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty this week in Prague, Agence France-Presse reported.

 

Two Suspected of Exporting Missile Tech to Iran

April 7, 2010

German federal prosecutors announced today that they had filed charges against two men suspected of illegally providing Iran with equipment that could be employed in the production of long-range, nuclear capable missiles, Agence France-Presse reported.

 

Medvedev Offers to Work With U.S. on Missile Defense

 

April 9, 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday that his country wants to collaborate with the United States on building a system for worldwide missile defense, RIA Novosti reported.

 

Missile Tracking Device Tested

April 13, 2010

Lockheed Martin Corp. spotted and followed the movements of multiple airborne targets from a Navy test site in New Jersey using an experimental device designed to help integrate the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and Anti-Air Warfare systems, the defense contractor announced yesterday.

 

Syria Gave No Scud Missiles to Hezbollah, Foreign Ministry Asserts

April 15, 2010

Syria today rejected Israeli allegations that it provided Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Associated Press reported.

 

Missile Shield to Completely Cover Europe by 2018, U.S. Says

 

April 16, 2010

A high-level U.S. Defense Department official said yesterday that the Obama administration intended within eight years to provide full missile shield coverage of Europe against possible ballistic missile threats from Iran, Reuters reported.

 

Indian Ballistic Missile to be Tested by March 2011

 

April 16, 2010

India intends to conduct a test launch of its new Agni 5 ICBM by March of next year, the Pioneer newspaper reported today.

 

Hezbollah Refuses to Address Scud Missile Claims

April 19, 2010

A senior Hezbollah official said Friday he would not address claims made by Israel that the Lebanon-based militant organization possessed Scud missiles, the Associated Press reported.

 

Pentagon Says U.S. Could be Within Reach of Iranian Missiles by 2015

April 20, 2010

A U.S. Defense Department report released yesterday indicated that Iran could in five years possess a ballistic missile that could reach the United States, Reuters reported.

 

Syria Pressed on Alleged Scud Missile Transfer

 

April 20, 2010

The U.S. State Department yesterday called in with Syria's senior diplomat in Washington to discuss Israeli allegations that Damascus had supplied Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the New York Times reported.

 

Syria Warned Scud Missile Transfer Could Start War

 

April 22, 2010

The United States has warned Syria on at least five occasions since February that supplying Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon could spark a regional war, the State Department's point man for the Middle East said yesterday.

 

Iran Refutes Missile Claim

April 22, 2010

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi yesterday refuted a U.S. claim that his nation could develop missiles able to reach the United States, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday.

 

No Evidence of Scud Missile Transfer Seen by U.S.

April 23, 2010

The U.S. intelligence and defense establishments have become increasingly skeptical toward Israeli claims that Syria supplied Scud missiles to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah, government sources told Reuters yesterday.

 

Hezbollah Receiving Missiles From Syria, Gates Says

April 28, 2010

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his Israeli counterpart yesterday asserted that Syria was equipping Lebanese-based militants with missiles of "ever increasing capability," Reuters reported.

 

Scud Claim Tied to Regional Concerns, Experts Say

April 29, 2010

 

Israel's claim that Syria has supplied the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah with Scud missiles are tied to broader regional matters, especially Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East peace process, experts said in an Agence France-Presse report yesterday.

 

Hezbollah Leader Opts For Ambiguity on Scud Question

April 30, 2010

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah declined to refute or affirm Israeli allegations that his militant organization is in possession of Scud missiles supplied by Syria, Reuters reported yesterday.

 

 

MIDDLE EAST

 

US calls for four-month Jerusalem building freeze

 

April 1, 2010

The United States wants a four-month Israeli building freeze in occupied east Jerusalem, one several US demands aimed at reigniting dormant peace talks, media reports said on Wednesday.

 

Blast in Yemeni prison allows 40 prisoners to escape

 

April 2, 2010

A bomb exploded in a prison in the southern Yemeni province of Dalea on Thursday, injuring four inmates and allowing around 40 prisoners to escape, a government official said.

 

Obama doubtful on Middle East peace

April 14, 2010

Barack Obama, the US president, has admitted that Washington's power to influence stalled negotations between Israel and the Palestinians in limited.

 

A Policy Shift On Middle East?

April 18, 2010

This past week, President Obama said that reducing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a "vital national security interest to the United States." It was an explicit connection that demonstrates a subtle but important policy shift for the White House. Host Guy Raz talks about that shift with Robert Malley, Middle East program director with the International Crisis Group.

 

Israeli ‘apartheid’ targets two-state deal: Erakat

 

April 15, 2010

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat charges that Israel has become an “apartheid regime” worse than during South Africa’s darkest hours and is doing its utmost to sabotage any two-state peace.

 

Israel should sign NPT: Obama

April 15, 2010

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said his administration wanted to see all countries sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including Israel.

 

Hamas, Fatah join ranks to call for prisoners’ release

April 18, 2010

Hamas and Fatah closed ranks on Saturday to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on Saturday, in the first joint initiative by the bitter rivals since the latter was routed from Gaza in 2007.

 

Israeli defence minister says occupation must end

April 20, 2010

Israel must recognize that the world will not put up with decades more of Israeli rule over the Palestinian people, the country’s defence minister said in unusually frank remarks Monday.

 

Israel and Palestinians differ over prisoner’s death

April 23, 2010

Palestinian authorities said on Thursday a Palestinian prisoner who died in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail had been beaten, an allegation Israel dismissed as unfounded.

 

Fresh bid to relaunch Middle East peace talks

April 25, 2010

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, could visit Washington next month to discuss new peace talks with Israel, aides said yesterday, as he considered a major climbdown over Jewish settlements.

 

Iranian patrol jet buzzed US aircraft carrier: military

April 30, 2010

An Iranian navy patrol plane buzzed a US aircraft carrier in international waters of the Gulf of Oman last week but nothing came of the incident, a senior US military officer said on Thursday.

 

NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

U.N. Powers to Begin Iran Sanctions Talks, U.S. Says

China yesterday pledged to join the four other permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany in negotiating a fourth U.N. sanctions resolution aimed at pressuring Iran to halt its disputed nuclear activities, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said.

 

Russian Leaders Seen in "Lockstep" During START Talks 

 

April 1, 2010

As Russia negotiated a new nuclear arms control treaty with the United States over the past year, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin worked closely to eliminate any gap between their positions on the pending deal, Foreign Policy magazine reported yesterday.

 

North Korea "Already Has Nuclear Weapons," Clinton Says

April 1, 2010

 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday verbally characterized North Korea as a nuclear-armed state in an apparent break from the United States' traditional stance on the matter, the Korea Times reported.

 

More Nuclear Scientists Needed in U.S.

April 5, 2010

The United States is contending with a growing lack of nuclear scientists and engineers at a time when their skills are expected to be increasingly needed to oversee the continued working order of the nation's strategic stockpile and to track the status of nuclear weapons programs overseas, the Boston Globe reported Saturday.

 

Tactical, Reserve Nuke Cuts Seen on U.S. Agenda

 

April 6, 2010

The United States plans to seek negotiations with Russia on limiting battlefield nuclear weapons following ratification of a recently completed treaty governing deployments of larger, longer-range nuclear armaments, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

 

Nuclear Posture Review Adopts Varied Approach to Updating Warheads 

 

April 7, 2010

The U.S. Defense Department's long-awaited Nuclear Posture Review endorses three different approaches to modernizing aging warheads, but the politically cautious path it attempts to carve could still prove controversial.

 

Obama Hopeful for New START Pact's Prospects in Senate

April 9, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed optimism yesterday that the Senate would move quickly to ratify a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, the Associated Press reported.

 

Pakistan Prepares to Produce New Nuke Material

April 12, 2010

Pakistan is gearing up to produce greater amounts of fuel that could be used in a new line of nuclear weapons, threatening to spark a nuclear arms race with regional rival India and challenging U.S. nonproliferation efforts, the New York Times reported yesterday.

 

Ukraine Agrees to Eliminate Highly Enriched Uranium Stock by 2012

 

April 13, 2010

U.S. President Barack Obama’s nuclear security summit kicked off yesterday with an announcement that Ukraine would dispose of its stockpiles of weapon-grade uranium.

 

Ban on Iranian Weapons, Nuclear Imports Floated at U.N.

April 15, 2010

The Obama administration yesterday urged five other world powers to endorse measures permitting the interdiction of weapons bound for Iran as well as deliveries that could support the Middle Eastern nation's disputed nuclear efforts, the Washington Post reported.

 

Russia Could Pay $3B to Eliminate Surplus Plutonium

April 16, 2010

Russia has predicted that eliminating surplus weapon-usable plutonium under a deal inked this week with the United States could cost as much as $3 billion, RIA Novosti reported yesterday.

 

Export Controls Could be Loosened in U.S.

April 21, 2010

The Obama administration yesterday called for U.S. export regulation updates aimed at improving the country's ability to supply military gear to its allies, the New York Times reported.

 

China Details Nuclear Strategy

April 22, 2010

China's nuclear weapons policy seeks to discourage atomic aggression from other countries by maintaining the smallest arsenal adequate for the task, a former Chinese army officer wrote today in his nation's top military newspaper.

 

Lawmakers Warn of NPT Review Conference Failure

April 23, 2010

The upcoming Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference will be a failure unless the United States convinces the international community to take a stronger stand against the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, a bipartisan group of lawmakers said this week.

 

Iranian Nuclear Insiders Providing More Information

April 26, 2010

U.S. and other Western intelligence services have seen an increase in the amount of insider information being made available about Iran's nuclear activities as the Middle Eastern nation's political climate has worsened, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

 

Iranian Anti-Sanctions Drive Meets U.S. Resistance

April 27, 2010

The Obama administration yesterday indicated it would maintain its push for the quick adoption of a fourth U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution over Iran's disputed nuclear activities, even as Tehran has worked to rally opposition to the proposed penalties among the council's 15 member nations, Agence France-Presse reported.

 

"New START" Pitched to Senators on Security Merits

April 28, 2010

Obama administration officials courted influential senators yesterday on the anticipated national security benefits of a U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty inked earlier this month, Foreign Policy magazine reported.

 

Indian Reactor Sites Opened to IAEA Monitoring

April 29, 2010

India has opened 10 of its nuclear reactors to International Atomic Energy Agency inspections aimed at preventing the facilities from supporting the nation's nuclear-weapon program, the Press Trust of India reported yesterday.

 

Ratifying "New START" Means Cranking up Mechanisms of Cold War Arms Control

April 30, 2010

When President Obama sends New START to the Senate in early May in hopes of ratification this year, its arrival will stimulate brain synapses and muscle memories that have atrophied since the end of the Cold War.

 

Indonesia Prepares to Join Test Ban Treaty

April 30, 2010

Indonesia plans in the near future to join the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Xinhua News Agency reported today.

 

NUCLEAR TERRORISM

 

Summit leaders reaffirm commitment to suppression of nuclear terrorism  

 

April 13, 2010

WASHINGTON: Leaders attending the Washington Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to the suppression of nuclear terrorism, vowing to work together to make relevant international convention more effective. In a seven-page work plan, the participants said they recognized the importance of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism as an important legally binding multilateral instrument addressing threats posed by acts of nuclear terrorism.

 

Proposal targets nuclear terrorism

 

April 13, 2010

More than 40 nations agree to a plan to keep fissile material away from militants. The leaders of more than 40 nations agreed Tuesday to a voluntary but far-reaching program to prevent thousands of tons of weapons-grade nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.

 

N-terrorism gravest threat to global security: White House

 

April 13, 2010

Washington: Warning that nuclear terrorism poses the gravest threat to global security, the White House on Tuesday said al-Qaeda is working hard to acquire atomic arms and asked the international community to collectively address this "serious" issue.  "Al-Qaeda is especially notable for its longstanding interest in weapons-usable nuclear material and the requisite expertise that would allow it to develop a yield-producing improvised nuclear device," John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor for Counter-terrorism and Homeland Security, said.

 

Nuclear Terrorism and Nuclear Intimidation

 

April 14, 2010

No rational person can disagree with the argument that one of the biggest threats the world might face is nuclear weapons falling into the hands of a terrorist group or a criminal organization. This was the central topic of the nuclear security summit hosted by US President Barack Obama. But at the same time, no one can argue that nuclear security can be reduced to the issue of terrorism alone because that would be simplifying matters to a large degree.

 

Nuclear terrorism: 'It's real'

 

April 14, 2010

WASHINGTON: NUCLEAR terrorism is no longer an improbable threat, but a disaster which can realistically happen if stronger preventive efforts are not adopted, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned on Tuesday. Mr Lee, who arrived in Washington on Sunday to attend a global summit on nuclear security, stressed in particular that the global trading system must be strengthened so as to prevent illegal nuclear cargo from slipping through, with dire consequences.

 

Terrorism: The nuclear summit's 'straw man'

 

April 16, 2010

American President Barack Obama gathered 47 national delegations for the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington on April 12 and 13. It was the largest gathering of world leaders in Washington since the close of World War II. The scale of the summit was meant to impress the gravity of the subject matter.

 

Reinforce measures against nuclear terrorism

 

April 16, 2010

The leaders of 47 nations have adopted a joint communique at the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, agreeing to strengthen the security of nuclear materials and promote international cooperation to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.

 

Waking up to a nightmare of nuclear terrorism

 

April 16, 2010

Until this week, there had been a culpable complacency about the dangers of nuclear terrorism and an unpardonable unwillingness to take firm enough action against it, writes Geoffrey Lean. 'Let me tell you about a nightmare I have,” said Bernard Feld, one of the team that built the first atomic bomb. “The mayor of Boston sends for me for an urgent consultation. He has received a note from a terrorist group, telling him they have planted a nuclear bomb somewhere in the centre of the city.

 

The threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism

 

April 21, 2010

WITH each increasing provocative incident such as the exposition of the new hi-tech uranium enrichment mechanism, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supported by the Revolutionary Guards, takes another step towards world isolation and ultimately possible military confrontation with the United States, its allies and partners.

 

Nuclear terrorism and nuclear weapons

 

April 21, 2010

In some circles, ‘nuclear terrorism’ is linked to the acquisition, possession, proliferation and utilization of nuclear weapons by terrorists. However, for the victims of a nuclear attack, it does not matter whether the perpetrator is a terrorist organization, or a state that possesses nuclear weapons. A nuclear attack is nuclear terrorism.

 

'Pakistan may let Taliban use its nuclear weapons against India'

 

April 23, 2010

Pakistan may let surrogate Taliban use its nuclear weapons to do its "dirty work" against India in the event of escalation of tension between the two South Asian neighbours over Kashmir, a top US non-proliferation expert has suggested. Bob Graham, head of US Commission on the Prevention of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) proliferation and terrorism painted such a scenario at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on nuclear terrorism on Thursday.

 

Nuclear Terrorism Seen Overshadowing Other WMD Threats

 

April 23, 2010

Some proliferation analysts worry that U.S. President Barack Obama's high-profile effort to thwart a nuclear strike by a rogue actor is diverting attention from the more probable threats of chemical and biological terrorism, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.   Despite the devastation a nuclear attack would unleash, the probability of extremists acquiring nuclear-weapon material and then assembling and transporting a nuclear bomb remains relatively low, proliferation specialists said.

 

U.S. seems to be taking the lead in fight against nuclear terrorism

 

April 26, 2010

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday that the sanctions the United States and Western powers are pushing on the nation of Iran are “inappropriate.” “Imposing sanctions is an incorrect move because the punishment of a country that has not committed any wrong is tantamount to lowering the stature of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC),” Mottaki told reporters Sunday in Vienna. “Sanctions and punitive measures should be based on logic, law, justice and the commitment to act.”

 

Nuclear Terrorism: Threat to the Public or to Credibility?

 

April 29, 2010

During a recent trip to Prague, where he signed a new arms control treaty with Russia, President Barack Obama declared that nuclear terrorism is “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security.” Though the unique destructive power of nuclear arms justifies his concern regarding their spread and potential use, this grave assessment regarding the imminent threat of nuclear terrorism does not appear to stand up to scrutiny, and might even set the stage for weaker international non-proliferation resolve in the future.

 

Nuclear danger from Pakistan

 

April 30, 2010

Is nuclear terrorism as dramatic a danger as it is being made out to be? The idea that nuclear material could be used in a terrorist attack is no doubt frightening, and in theory it cannot be ruled out. The malevolence of terrorist attacks in total disregard for human life shows the lengths to which their perpetrators can go. The ready supply of suicide bombers shows the intensity of terrorist motivation. But, even so, was US President Barack Obama justified in organising the big Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on April 12/13, with leaders from 47 countries present?

 




South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)

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