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Articles

Written by Warren Mass on Friday, December 11 2009 13:36.

Speaking to U.S. troops at Forward Operating Base Warrior, near Kirkuk, northern Iraq, on December 11, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted that the international community will impose stronger economic sanctions on Iran unless its leaders change their policy and live up to agreements related to their nuclear program.

Gates spoke with several hundred U.S. troops during a 45-minute town hall-style meeting on the base. When he was asked whether there is any plan for military action against Iran,  he replied that he never takes any option off the table, but that such a move would only delay Iran's nuclear weapons development by a few years. He said the international community is instead mores likely to increase sanctions.



"I think that you're going to see some significant additional sanctions imposed by the international community, assuming that the Iranians don't change course and agree to do the things they signed up to do at the beginning of October," said Gates, noting that Iran's defiance has convinced nations involved in the issue, including Russia and China, that stronger action is warranted.

"At the end of the day, the way to avoid a nuclear-armed Iran is to put together a package of incentives and disincentives that persuade the Iranian government that they would actually be less secure with nuclear weapons than if they had them," he added.

Written by Bruce Walker on Monday, December 07 2009 11:17.

Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. But was the surprise attack really a "surprise"? The American military personnel and their commanders at Pearl Harbor were certainly caught by surprise, but the evidence is overwhelming that this was not the case in Washington, D.C.

(Key evidence supporting the above assertion has been summarized by The New American magazine in the past — see in particular Pearl Harbor: Hawaii Was Surprised; FDR Was Not by James Perloff — and will not be repeated here.)

Almost from the time of the attack, many Americans have pointed out how little Pearl Harbor looked like a true surprise:

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Written by Warren Mass on Monday, November 30 2009 14:54.

On the evening of November 29, President Obama told senior military leaders about his decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

AP cited Gibbs' statement that the president had held an unannounced meeting that night with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after which he spoke to senior staff including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and National Security Adviser James Jones. Following those meetings, Obama held a videophone conference with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

Obama will lay out the details of his plan in a speech to the nation at 8:00 p.m EST on December 1 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, time to coincide with the return to Washington of congressional members after a holiday recess.

Written by Warren Mass on Friday, November 20 2009 15:26.

Representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, Britain, France, China,  and Russia — plus Germany, a non-permanent member — met in Brussels on November 20 to discuss Iran's latest position on an agreement for its nuclear program.

Just two days earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki withdrew a prior unofficial Iranian verbal offer brokered by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send Iran’s uranium abroad for further enrichment. Under the proposed agreement, the fuel would be processed in Russia and would be turned into metal fuel rods in another country, such as France, then shipped back to Iran to power its small research reactor in Tehran, which is used to make medical isotopes. The part of the proposal designed to relieve Western tensions is that the bulk of Iran's stockpile of low enriched uranium (up to three-fourths) would be sent out of the country, thus keeping Iran’s supply too low to build weapons.

But Mottaki said Iran will now only consider a uranium-for-fuel swap inside Iran.

Written by Warren Mass on Friday, November 13 2009 13:30.

A report from U.S.-government-owned VOA News on November 13 quoted from President Obama’s statement made in a joint news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, in which Obama said he will soon decide how many additional troops to send to Afghanistan. The president attributed his delay in making his decision to his determination to "get it right."

Obama said that while U.S. policy on Afghanistan must protect America from terrorist networks, that commitment to Afghanistan is not "open-ended."

During the press conference, Obama stated that he and Prime Minister Hatoyama had discussed  U.S.-Japanese cooperation on Afghanistan and Pakistan and thanked the people of Japan and the Prime Minister for “the powerful commitment of a $5 billion over the next five years to support our shared civilian efforts in Afghanistan, as well as the commitment of a billion dollars to Pakistan.”

Jennifer Loven with AP asked the president: “on Afghanistan, if I might, can you explain to people watching and criticizing your deliberations what piece of information you're still lacking to make that call?” To which Mr. Obama replied:

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