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October 12, 2009

1. Taliban assault in Pakistan continues at frantic pace. After attacks on UN World Food Program office and Peshewar marketplace killing 49, Taliban assault Pak Army Headquarters, believed to be planned by military defector. UN attack suspected carried out by another defector. Monday morning saw another marketplace bombing, killing 41.

2. White House gives signals it is seeking middle ground between McChrystal and Biden plans. Less than the 40,000 troops recommended are expected to be supplied. Outstanding Long War Journal analysis spells out in detail why an al-Qaeda-centric approach inside Pakistan is wrong, makes little sense, and doomed to failure.

3. In Iran, a wave of executions is seen as an attempt to intimidate the still-protesting opposition movement, a movement that continues without American support from Washington.

4. US special envoy to the Middle East says Washington supports a "contiguous" Palestinian state, though what he means may not be as clear as some suggest. Meanwhile, Hamas warns Fatah's Abbas not to call new elections - elections that Hamas would likely lose much ground in.

AUDIO ANALYSIS
The Steve Schippert Show on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran - October 12, 2009 - Take That Radio

AL-QAEDA
French al-Qaeda suspect 'alluded to attacks', magistrate claims - Telegraph

AFGHANISTAN
Troop Levels Are Still Focus of Debate - New York Times
Senators Escalate Call for Obama to Send More Troops to Afghanistan - FOX News
Analysis: Al Qaeda is the tip of the jihadist spear - The Long War Journal

IRAN
Iran Death Sentences Seen As Move To Intimidate Opposition - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Diplomacy in the lead on Iran nuclear issue -- for now - Los Angeles Times
Clinton to press Russia on Iran, arms control - AP
UK enforces halt to financial trade with two Iran firms - Reuters
Iran Seeks Deal for Reactor - Washington Post

PAKISTAN
Taliban Attack Pakistan Army General Headquarters - SAAG
Militant leader who led attack on Pakistan Army base is one of many defectors - Times (UK)
Commandos free hostages in Pakistan Army HQ - Washington Times
SecState: Clinton downplays threat to Pakistan nuke arsenal - AP
Really? Security of Pak's Nuclear Establishments: A Wake-Up Call - SAAG
Taliban Offensive Continues: 41 dead as suicide blast hits northwest Pakistan - AFP

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
U.S. upholds "contiguous" Palestinian state - Xinhua
Hamas warns Abbas against unilaterally calling new elections - Jerusalem Post

UNITED STATES
Suspect in 1968 hijacking at JFK is captured - CNN

October 8, 2009

1. Indian embassy in Kabul bombed in Afghanistan, reportedly killing 12. Meanwhile, the European head of NATO has called upon European members to contribute more to the Afghan effort.

2. Curiously, as planned direct talks between the Obama administration and the North Korean regime seem put on hold, South Korea notes that the North Korean regime has suddenly stopped promoting Kim Jong Il's successor. Talks would have been a launch-point for a new dictator.

3. In possible sign of gamesmanship, Pakistan says planning new offensive against Taliban. This at same time entire Pak government and military criticizing US aid package because of the strings attached, following reports little past aid actually used to fight Taliban, al-Qaeda.

4. Wall Street Journal OpEd soundly debunks 2007 Iran NIE which stated Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons research in 2003. In 2007 the same intelligence community knew about Iran's recently revealed secret enrichment facility, which had no purpose but for secret highly enriched uranium production.

AFGHANISTAN
Bombing Rocks Afghan Capital - Wall Street Journal
Leadership Effect: American troops in Afghanistan losing heart, say army chaplains - Times (UK)
White House weighs Pakistan's role in winning war - AP
Context: Pakistan says it's not bound to accept strings attached to US aid - Dawn (Pakistan)
NATO Chief Urges U.S. Allies to Do More in Afghanistan - VOA
UN attempts to defend neutrality in Afghanistan Election - AP

IRAN
2007 Iran National Intelligence Estimate Was Wrong - Wall Street Journal
Flashback: Iran Asked Pakistani Army for Nuclear Bomb in 1990 - ThreatsWatch (2006)

IRAQ
Iraq and BP-Chinese consortium sign oil deal - Forbes
Families exiled by Saddam return to Iraq - AP

NORTH KOREA
North Korea stops promoting Kim Jong Il's successor: S.Korea - AFP

PAKISTAN
Pakistan plans ambitious blitz to rout Taliban, Awaits US resources - Washington Times
It's up to parliament to decide on US aid bill: PM - Daily Times (Pakistan)
UN closes all offices in Pakistan after blast - Xinhua (China)
Context: Pakistan braces for more bombings - AP

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
British Pol George Galloway raised funds for Hamas at U. of California at Irvine - Jerusalem Post
Context: George Galloway and the Oil-for-Food Scandal: Evidence - Heritage
Hamas bans women on motorcycles in Gaza Strip - Reuters

SOMALIA
Somalia's two main rebel groups agree truce - Reuters
TFG Police Say Knew Plans to Explode Gov't Centers in Mogadishu - allAfrica
President Ahmed says Somali needs US help against al-Qaeda - Chicago Tribune

UNITED STATES
Detainee transfers from GITMO to US OK'd by joint panel - Washington Times

October 7, 2009

1. While the debate within the Beltway continues apace, Canadian commander says the implementation of McChrystal's plan in Kandahar nets increasing returns from Afghans as they build trust.

2. Release from from a non-Persian Iranian Arab group from western Iran says the Iranian IRGC has thousands of newly-trained agents that it has trained deployed within Arab Gulf states to carry out operations against them without Iranian fingerprints.

3. While calls for talks continue, as with Iran, North Korea says dismantling its nuclear weapons "unthinkable."

4. Showing signs of a growing rift, the Pakistani military has said it has serious issues with the Kerry-Lugar US aid bill because of its requirements and clauses regarding Pakistan engaging the Taliban and al-Qaeda on the battlefield. Pakistan's National Assembly has unanimously undertaken a review of the bill.

AFGHANISTAN
O'Hanlon Nails It: A General Within Bounds - Washington Post
Taliban say control area after battle with U.S. - Reuters
Kandahar: New level of co-operation suggests growing trust of coalition among Afghans - Canada Free Press

IRAN
U.S. plans 'serious' sanctions if Iran diplomacy fails - CNN
Majority (61%) in U.S. Would Back Attack to Prevent Iran Nuclear Bomb - Bloomberg
Is US Stepping Up Preparations for a Possible Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities? - ABC
Iran plans to use new P-2 centrifuge at nuclear plant - Reuters
Iran FM accuses US in nuke scientist disappearance - AP
Ahwazi Organization (Iranian Arabs): Iran is Planning to Attack the Gulf Countries - MEMRI
Iran, World Powers Agree To Further Nuclear Talks - CBS

ISRAEL
Israel mum on Iran's claims of int'l offers to sell it uranium - Jerusalem Post
Hamas Confident: Ultimately, Israeli Government Will Compromise - Yeshiva World

NORTH KOREA
North Korea Says Dismantling Its Nuclear Weapons 'Unthinkable' - Bloomberg
French envoy calls for substantial nuclear talks - AP
South Korea seized North cargo containers: report - Reuters

PAKISTAN
Growing Rift: Pakistani military says has "serious concerns" over requirements in U.S. aid bill - Washington Times
National Assembly unanimously decides to debate Kerry-Lugar bill - Daily Times (Pakistan)
Pakistan targets Taliban and al-Qaeda in Waziristan assault - Guardian (UK)
Taliban claims responsibility for U.N. blast - Washington Times

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Hamas Finds Gaza Tunnels' $500 Million Loss Worse Than Madoff - Bloomberg
Hamas may boycott reconciliation talks- Jerusalem Post

RUSSIA
Russia: new U.S. anti-missiles less risky - Reuters
Clinton raps Russian failure to prosecute journalists' killers - AFP

UNITED STATES
Obama Praises U.S. Intelligence Efforts Against Al-Qaeda - Washington Post
For Antiwar Protesters, the Cause Isn't Lost - Washington Post

VENEZUELA
Chávez jokes about helping Iran build nuclear bomb - Guardian (UK)
Background: Venezuela seeking uranium with Iran's help - Washington Post (Sept. 2009)

October 6, 2009

1. White House continues to slowly reconsider Afghanistan strategy going forward, with president reportedly "furious" at McChrystal and considering Congressional input.

2. Report that Arab states, Russia, China, Japan and France are colluding to eliminate the US Dollar for oil trading is refuted, but has had downward effect on dollar regardless. Russia and China have openly lobbied for such, which would be devastating to the dollar and US economy.

3. US Treasury Secretary warns banking institutions to be wary of terror financing via Iranian banks. Just recently, an Iranian financial group with ties to Revolutionary Guard Corps was granted bank status.

4. The president of the United Arab Emirates signed into law a plan to develop nuclear technology in partnership with the US. Mid East nuclear race rolls on - not spurred by Israeli threat, but Iranian threat.

DITCHING THE DOLLAR?
Arab states launched secret moves with China, Russia, France to stop using US Dollar for Oil - Independent (UK)
Arab Gulf Officials Deny Plan To Ditch US Dollar for Oil Trade - Wall Street Journal
Russia says has not discussed changing dollar role in oil trade - Reuters

AFGHANISTAN
8 U.S. soldiers slain in fierce fighting as Taliban overrun post - AP
Wounded U.S. Soldiers Refused to Leave Taliban Fight - ABC
Afghan, US troops kill 40 militants in east - AP
Over 100 Taliban killed in weekend clash: NATO - AFP
After Deadly Assault, Questions Linger Over Afghanistan Strategy - Danger Room
Obama advisers pulling in opposite directions over war strategy - Washington Times
Voice of Bush's Favored General Is Now Harder to Hear - New York Times
US Needs to Abandon Big FOB Ops for Small Unit Deployments - Free Range International

AL QAEDA
Video from al Qaeda's No. 2 slams Obama, threatens attacks - CNN

HONDURAS
Commentary: Chavez, Lula, Obama Make Honduras Unstable - Bloomberg

IRAN
Geithner: Be vigiliant of terror financing risk from Iran banks - CS Monitor
Iran vows 'positive' approach to nuclear talks - AFP
Iran plans to use new centrifuge at newly disclosed enrichment plant - Reuters
For Comedic Relief: IAEA's ElBaredai: Iran cooperates in nuclear dispute - AP

NORTH KOREA
North Korea considers return to 6-Party nuke talks - Washington Times

PAKISTAN
Pakistan Braces for Taliban Attacks as It Prepares Offensive - New York Times
Suicide Bomb Blast at UN Office in Pakistani Capital - VOA
Minister: Islamabad suicide bomber was in police uniform - Xinua (China)
U.S. Push to Expand in Pakistan Meets Resistance - New York Times

SOMALIA
U.S. Delays Somalia Aid, Fearing It Is Feeding Terrorists - New York Times
UN Aid Chief Kiki Gbeho Complains Anyway, Regardless of Implications - CNN
Hizbul Islam Claims Victory Over Fighting Out of Kismayu - AllAfrica
Behind Somalia's Islamist rivalry - BBC

SYRIA
Syria seen regaining its influence in Lebanon - AP

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UAE President signs law to develop nuclear power w/US assistance - AP

UNITED STATES
NYC suspect contacted senior al-Qaeda - WWTI (NY)
Police chiefs endorse anti-terror community watch - AP

October 2, 2009

1. President Obama speaks with Afghanistan commander General McChrystal for 25 minutes aboard Air Force One enroute to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago Olympic bid.

2. Administration claims progress in talks with Iran on its nuclear program, but the events and rhetoric closely mirror early stages of the EU's years-long failed negotiation.

3. US reportedly has delayed face-to-face talks with North Korea as Six Party Talks member states express reservations. North Korea also rejected South Korean proposal aimed at nuclear disarmament as "ridiculous."

4. With the administration under intense fire over the abandonment of missile defense agreements made with Poland and the Czech Republic, Pentagon announces that it will have a domestic US shield against Iranian missiles up by 2010. Previously, had said that Iran poses no long range threat.

AFGHANISTAN
YON: The Greatest Afghan War - Washington Times
White House Eying Narrower War Effort - Washington Post
Obama Meets With McChrystal - New York Times
McChrystal Now Just One of Many Leaders as Obama Rethinks Strategy - FOX News
Performers fight Taliban by poking fun - Washington Times

ARGENTINA
Argentina's Menem charged with obstructing Jewish center bomb probe - AFP

IRAN
Tehran Unwilling to Compromise Despite American Overtures - Der Spiegel
Iran, Major Powers Reach Agreement On Series of Points - Washington Post
Q+A: What's behind Geneva agreement on Iran's enriched uranium? - Reuters
'The West Has No Good Options with Iran' - Der Spiegel
Clinton calls Iran talks 'productive' - AFP
Three pressure points to make Iran crumble - Times (UK)
At a glance: Sanctions on Iran - Dallas Morning News
U.S. lawmakers vote to punish Iran's fuel suppliers - Reuters
Israelis Say Iran Report Boosts Case for Hard Line - Wall Street Journal

ISRAEL
Obama agrees to keep Israel's nukes secret - Washington Times
Female prisoners released to West Bank, Gaza for hostage IDF soldier video - Ynet News

NORTH KOREA
U.S. delays bilateral dialogue with North Korea - Hankyoreh (South Korea)
Fresh South Korea nuclear proposal 'ridiculous': North - Reuters

PAKISTAN
Billions sent to Pakistan for military; only millions get to army - Washington Times

RUSSIA
Russia: Iran missile tests no reason for sanctions - Reuters

UNITED STATES
Pentagon Officials Say Missile Defense Shift 'Not About Russia' - FOX News
Pentagon sees U.S. defense in 2010 for Iran rockets - Reuters

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