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November 30, 2009

1. President Obama is expected to announce a new strategy for Afghanistan that will include approximately 30,000 additional US troops. 9,000 Marines expected to deploy to Helmand province ASAP, while the full increase may take a full 18 months to materialize.

2. President Obama seeking NATO leaders to pony up remaining force allotments to account for the 40K troops General McChrystal requested as his mid-level option. While NATO leaders signaled 7K plans last week, Britain is already planning to begin withdrawals within a year.

3. Russia sends draft security pact proposal to Western leaders, seeking ability to "shape" NATO policy.

4. Lebanese parliament drafted legislation authorizing Iranian proxy Hizballah to attack Israeli sites. Pro-Western lawmaker said "We are back to Syrian hegemony" in Lebanon after the 2005 Cedars Revolution.

5. Honduras overwhelmingly elected conservative Porfirio Lobo as president by a margin of 56% - 38% over the leftist candidate.

AFGHANISTAN
Audio Analysis: The Steve Schippert Show: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Take That Radio
Obama to Surge 30K Troops: First 9,000 are Marines Bound for Helmand Province - Washington Post
Cart before Horse? Strategy Centers on 'Exit Strategy' - New York Times
The Hokey-Cokey Strategy: Plans for NATO Withdrawal Amid US 'Surge' - The Independent
Afghanistan summit to plan for withdrawal - The Observer (UK)
Earlier: Brit Defence Secretary Ainsworth criticizes Obama over "period of hiatus" on Afghanistan - Telegraph
Afghan talks to seek path to security handover - Reuters
Stabilizing Afghanistan may take at least four years, McChrystal says - Star Telegram
U.S. military ramps up training of Afghanistan police forces - Baltimore Sun
White House May Reject McChrystal Call to Double Size of Afghan Army, Police - Wall Street Journal
Pakistan's Gilani warns Obama over US Afghan troop plan - BBC
Pakistan Concerned Obama's Afghan Strategy May Harm Security - Bloomberg
Obama Faces Tough Task in Outlining Afghanistan Strategy, Experts Say - FOX News
Spend-happy Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over Costs of Expanded Afghan War - Los Angeles Times

HONDURAS
Honduras elects conservative president Porfirio Lobo - BBC

IRAN
Defiant Iran vows to build 10 new enrichment plants - AFP
What Does Iran's Announcement Say About Our Bargaining Position? - Riehl World View
The IAEA Resolution: The Test is in the Next Steps - INSS
Iran's Revolutionary Guard increasing control of naval forces - Washington Post
Iran Earmarks $20M for Militant Groups Who Oppose West - FOX News

ISRAEL
For One Man, Israel's Big Gas Find Is Bittersweet Victory - Wall Street Journal

LEBANON
Lebanon agrees Hezbollah right to use arms against Israel - AFP
Lebanon cabinet deal signals Syrian return - BBC

PAKISTAN
Britain Presses Pakistan and Afghanistan on Militants - New York Times
As amnesty expires, Pakistan's Zardari seen as on way out - Politico
Pakistan's President Asif Zardari told to give up powers - AP
Zardari Cedes Power to Pakistani Premier - Wall Street Journal

RUSSIA
Russia orders terror probe as rail explosion kills 26Financial Times
Russia sends security pact draft to leaders abroad; Seeks to 'Shape' NATO policy - AP
Russia's Efforts to Buy French Warship Upset Georgia and Baltic States - New York Times

November 25, 2009

1. While the US Embassy told ThreatsWatch that Ambassador Eikenberry is not negotiating with the Taliban, other reliable sources say elsewhere that someone in Afghanistan is definitely talking to the Taliban.

2. A spate of arms smuggling news in the United States includes one conviction of an Iran arms smuggler and the Philadelphia arrest of another who sought to supply anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Iran has been actively arming the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill US forces.

3. Eight in Minneapolis have been charged with recruiting terrorists for Somalia's al-Shabaab, considered al-Qaeda's East African franchise.

4. In yet another discouraging blow to American warfighters' morale, three Navy SEALs are facing Courts Martial for punching a prominent Iraqi terrorist while taking him down. The terrorist complained after capture and "exhibited a bloody lip."

AFGHANISTAN
Obama Afghan decision 'within days': 32K - 35K additional troops - Washington Times
US Embassy Denies Secret Eikenberry Talks With Taliban - ThreatsWatch
Well, somebody's talking to the Taliban - Threat Matrix
Dangerous Folly: Taliban acceptable if they renounce al-Qaeda: Holbrooke - Daily Times
After Massive Spending Bills: Pelosi: 'Can We Afford This War?' - Huffington Post

HONDURAS
Ousted Zelaya on sideline in Honduran vote - Washington Times

IRAN
Philadelphia arrest tied to Stinger missiles to be sent to Iran - UPI
Frustration as Iran Stalls on Deal - New York Times
IAEA's ElBaradei Seeks 'Global Action' on Iran - Wall Street Journal
Iran Expanding Effort to Stifle the Opposition - New York Times
Venezuela opposition and Jews protest Iran visit - Washington Post
Obama Writes to Brazil's President About Iran - New York Times

IRAQ
Absurd: Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist - FOX News
Sunni imams killed in Iraq 'sticky bomb' attacks - AFP

ISRAEL
Israel-Hamas prisoner swap talks advance - Washington Times

MEXICO
Smugglers set eyes on U.S. truck program - Washington Times
Arrests of illegal immigrants along border drop 25% - Los Angeles Times
Mexico tightens security at U.S. border crossings - Los Angeles Times

PAKISTAN
Five Pakistani army officers held for link to Chicago terror suspects - Daily Times
Big Pakistan offensive has failed to nab any Taliban leaders - McClatchy
Four NATO oil trucks gutted in Pakistan, driver killed - Monsters and Critics

UNITED STATES
Eight Americans in Minnesota charged with recruiting for Al Qaeda-linked Somalia group - NY Daily News
Arms dealer to Iran faces only five years - UPI
US offers $5M reward for 'Bomb Man' terror suspect - AP
Pentagon Investigators Arrive in Fort Hood - ABC News

November 23, 2009

1. Are we hearing whispers of surrender in Afghanistan? Saudi report cites Afghan source that US Ambassador Eikenberry has offered Taliban 5 provinces in exchange for halt on attacks on US bases.

2. Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and the other 9/11 terrorists have said that they will plead not guilty and, whi8le not denying attacks, use the trial to rail against US foreign policy. Show trial realized. They had planned to plead guilty before a military tribunal far from cameras and press.

3. With the threat of an Israeli attack growing as the US and the West fumble the Iranian nuclear crisis, Iran is staging air defense exercises around its nuclear facilities. While Iran barks loudly in public, their Russian-bought air defense systems were defeated by Israel in Syria.

4. An Islamic 'charity' controlled by the Iranian regime, the Manhattan-based Alavi Foundation, is funding Columbia University and Rutgers University Islamic and Persian studies programs. The foundation has recently been targeted by the US government, with assets - including mosques - seized.

KHALID SHEIKH MUHAMMAD SHOW TRIAL
KSM & 9/11 Suspects to Plead Not Guilty, Seek Show Trial - FOXNews
Todd Beamer's Father: Eric Holder's Baffling KSM Decision - Wall Street Journal

AFGHANISTAN
Whispers of Surrender in Afghanistan? - ThreatsWatch
Audio Analysis: The Steve Schippert Show: November 23, 2009 - Take That! Radio
Afghan Source: The U.S. Has Offered the Taliban Control in Return for Quiet - The MEMRI Blog
Mullah Omar and al Qaeda: a long term relationship - Threat Matrix
Background: Pakistan to US: Don't surge in Afghanistan, talk to Taliban - CS Monitor
Background: Report: Obama Asks For Study On Afghan Provincial Leaders - RFE/RL

IRAN
Report: Columbia and Rutgers funded by Iranian regime-controlled group - Haaretz
Iran war games to defend nuclear sites - BBC News
Iran stages war games as West's nuclear offer remains on table - Washington Post

IRAQ
Al Qaeda in Iraq becoming less foreign, Arms through Syria - U.S. general - Reuters

ISRAEL
Israel fires at Gaza, says weapons facilities hit - CNN

PAKISTAN
Pakistan's battle with Taliban militants expands north - CS Monitor

PHILIPPINES
30 kidnapped, slain in apparent political violence in Philippines - Los Angeles Times

UNITED STATES
Major Hasan and Holy War: FBI Unprepared to Fight Islamic Threat - Wall Street Journal
Col. Cucullu: Fort Hood: terror's 'third wave' - New York Post

UZBEKISTAN
Uzbekistan Closes Border With Kazakhstan - RFE/RL

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