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Situation Report: Expert analysis, briefings and
commentary from across the political spectrum.
  • Battling Pirates by James Jay Carafano, 14 Apr 2009 -- "After the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, the ship's officer told reporters "We would like to implore President Obama to use all of his resources and increase the commitment to ending this Somali pirate scourge," the first officer said Monday at a news conference in Mombasa, Kenya. "Right now there are ships being taken. ..."
  • UN Security Council Response to North Korea's Missile Test: Washington's Policy Debate by Scott Snyder, 13 Apr 2009 -- "North Korea's efforts to exploit divisions among members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in its response to its April 5, 2009, test of a multi-stage rocket has proven to be a slightly harder political target than some in Pyongyang may have anticipated. The DPRK utilized preemptive threats in a statement issued a week before the launch in an attempt to deter UN actions and exploit differences among UNSC permanent members over whether to characterize the launch as a missile test or a satellite launch. ..."
  • Alternatives for Defense Spending by James Jay Carafano, 9 Apr 2009 -- "On April 6, 2009 Secretary Robert Gates announced a swath of cuts to defense procurement programs. According to an article in the Financial Times titled Gates takes axe to top weapons projects in US, "Robert Gates, US defence secretary, yesterday unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the Pentagon's weapons priorities, taking the axe to some of the most high-profile equipment programmes as part of his spending proposals for 2010...."
  • Human Rights Reporting and U.S. Foreign Policy by Council on Foreign Relations, 9 Apr 2009 -- "The annual U.S. State Department report cataloguing the human rights failures and progress of nations around the world regularly arouses controversy as well as acclaim. Nations that receive poor ratings in the report, sometimes important U.S. partners, bitterly resent the exercise and often accuse Washington of hypocrisy. ..."
  • A New Kind of Aid for Pakistan by Council on Foreign Relations, 8 Apr 2009 -- "The white paper detailing the new U.S. strategy on Pakistan and Afghanistan calls for increasing and broadening development and economic assistance to Pakistan. It echoes recent recommendations by both U.S. and Pakistani policymakers who have argued against too much emphasis on military assistance, the Bush administration's focus. ..."
  • North Korea's Missile Test: Off-target? by Scott Snyder, 7 Apr 2009 -- "North Korea's launch of a multi-stage rocket has been assessed by international experts as a technical failure, but the test has been at least a partial success in hitting four political targets: North Korea's domestic audience, exploitation of international divisions among members of the six party talks, testing of the newly-established Obama administration, and exploitation of Chinese dilemmas over how to balance multiple conflicting objectives in its North Korea policy. Target #1: The "Song of General Kim Jong Il" Plays in North Korea The North Korean Taep'odong-2 rocket launch has occurred days prior to the April 9th convocation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s rubber-stamp Supreme People's Assembly (SPA). ..."
  • The Meaning of the North Korean Missile Launch by Tim Brown, 5 Apr 2009 -- "Musudan-ri, the small missile test pad, located on an isolated portion of North Korea's Northeast coast is one of the most photographed "secret" facilities in the world. A sparrow does not fall to the ground there without notice. ..."

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