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August 30, 2010

1. As the US troop drawdown in Iraq continues, American politicians and officials who opposed the surge strategy before, during and after its implementation are now proclaiming victory in Iraq. Top military bloggers and veterans remind Americans of the irony of political and media opposition.

2. As the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians draw nearer, a top Palestinian Authority official says the PA will have met all preconditions for a Palestinian state within a year. The same official also says that Isreali PM Netanyahu needs to "explain his definition of a Palestinian State."

3. Israel and the US stand in opposition to missile sales to Syria and Lebanon while the Israeli Defense Minister is set to travel to Russia hoping to persuade Russia to halt its planned deal with Syria.

4. Iran says that if it is attacked it will strike Israel's nuclear research facility at Dimona. In a typical Iranian news cycle, an Iranian official also called France's photogenic first lady a "prostitute."

5. Turmoil in Mexico continues to rise to unprecedented levels as President Calderon continues efforts to combat powerful drug cartels. A second mexican mayor in two weeks has been assassinated in the north, and the mexican president has 'purged 3,200 police' in an attempt to curb corruption in that narco war. ThreatsWatch provides a rapid state-by-state snapshot.

AFGHANISTAN
5 kidnapped Afghan campaign workers for female candidate found dead - Washington Times

CHINA
China to conduct live ammo drills in Yellow Sea - Washington Times

IRAN
Iran says it will hit Israel's Dimona nuclear facility if attacked' - Jerusalem Post
Iran state media call French first lady prostitute - AP

IRAQ
The Defeatists Win Operation Iraqi Freedom - Part I - BLACKFIVE
The Defeatists Win Operation Iraqi Freedom - Part II - BLACKFIVE
Biden visits Iraq to mark formal end to US combat - AP
Context: When did the actual last combat brigade return from Iraq? - Mudville Gazette
Iraq on highest alert for terror attacks amid fear of plots - Boston Globe

ISRAEL
U.S., Israel Lobby Against Missile Sales to Syria, Lebanon - Baltimore Jewish Times
Barak to visit Russia amid concern over arms sale to Syria - Ha'aretz
UN team begins Gaza flotilla probe in Jordan - Ha'aretz

MEXICO
The Reality of the Nightmare in Mexico - ThreatsWatch
Mayor of city on Texas-Mexico border state slain as drug cartel violence soars - Examiner
Mexico launches federal probe of migrant massacre - AP
National Guard to arrive at Arizona-Mexico border - USA Today
Mexico Purges 3,200 Police Officers in Anti-Corruption Drive - BusinessWeek

NORWAY
Norway bomb plot underscores al Qaeda pitfalls - Washington Times

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Palestinian PM: PA expects prerequisites for statehood to be met within the year - Jerusalem Post
Palestinian PM: Netanyahu must explain his definition of 'Palestinian state' - Ha'aretz
Hamas headband? Fatah keychain? Gaza Strip gift shop has it all. - CS Monitor

August 16, 2010

1. North Korea has threatened the "severest punishment" if the United States and South Korea go ahead with a joint military exercise to test allied defenses. Undeterred, the exercises go on.

2. General David Petraeus gave a round of interviews over the past few days, and the take-away should be that he has no intent on merely presiding over a withdrawal and that success in Afghanistan will take a great deal of time. While praising the president's general strategy, this could be a point of conflict between the Commander in Chief and Afghanistan's theater commander.

3. In a new audio propaganda release, al-Qaeda #2 Ayman al-Zawahiri chastised Turkey for not breaking relations with Israel completely. Meanwhile, President Obama has reportedly also given Turkey an ultimatum of sorts, signaling that without a shift in our NATO ally's relationship with Iran and mending of its relationship with Israel, future arms agreements could be in question.

4. Violence in Mexico continues unabated as 14 were killed in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, TX. A plastic surgeon was also kidnapped as doctors with the ability to alter appearance are in high demand by drug cartel fugitives.

5. FOX News reports that Defense Secretary Gates will be leaving the Pentagon by the end of 2011.

PENTAGON
Gates to Leave Pentagon by End of 2011 - FOX News

AFGHANISTAN
Petraeus calls strategy in Afghanistan sound - Boston Globe
Petraeus Opposes a Rapid Pullout in Afghanistan - New York Times
Afghanistan Discovers New Oil Deposit - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
WikiLeaks to Publish More Secrets With Some Data Removed - VOA
ThreatsWatch Rebuke: Wikileaks Hath Spoken - ThreatsWatch (July 2010)

AL QAEDA
Al-Qaeda No. 2 rebukes Turkey, urges break with Israel in audio message - Reuters
Low al-Qaeda count stirs new debate on Afghan war - Washington Times

CHINA
Annual Pentagon China Military Power Report Re-named to Downplay.... Military - Washington Times
China Tops Japan as World's No. 2 Economy - Bloomberg

IRAN
Russian fuel to help start Iran's Bushehr nuclear site - Financial Times
Iran will build more uranium enrichment centers, nuclear chief says - CNN
Iran government 'being strengthened by sanctions' - Telegraph (UK)
Poll cites a shift in Arab views more favorable of Iran - Los Angeles Times
Iran offers $3 billion bonds to develop gas fields - BusinessWeek

IRAQ
US Navy says 4 cargo ships robbed by pirates off Iraq's Basra coast - Washington Times

LEBANON
Lebanon seeks donations to build up its army - Calgary Herald (Canada)
Lebanon PM: UN must probe claims of Israeli complicity in Hariri murder - Ha'aretz (Israel)
Hizballah's next target may be Lebanon - Jerusalem Post (Israel)

MEXICO
14 killed in Mexico murder capital Juarez - AFP
And Kidnappings: Gunmen grab Mexico plastic surgeon, later release him - Los Angeles Times
Tea Party activists rally on Arizona-Mexico border - AP

NORTH KOREA
South Korea, US launch war games despite North Korean threat - AP
Even Still: South Korea president calls for reunification tax - Reuters

PAKISTAN
Gunmen Kill 16 in Southwest Pakistan - New York Times
Petraeus defends Pakistan's efforts - Politico
Bin Laden probably hiding in mountainous regions of Pak: Petraeus - The Hindu (India)
U.N. Chief: Pakistan Floods the Worst I've Seen - CBS News

TURKEY
Future Arms Agreements in Balance: 'Obama Gives Erdogan Ultimatum' - Turkish Weekly (Turkey)

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