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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

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    What on Earth can Usama bin Laden, the mystical calculus of climate change and US Homeland Security have in common? Does bin Laden really agree with the President of the United States on matters weather? How is it that the...

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