U.S., Asean To Push Back Against China
The U.S. and its Asian allies are starting to push back at China’s growing assertiveness in the region, strengthening security ties and taking more robust positions in territorial disputes in the East and South China seas.

Israeli Official Says Strikes on ‘Bottlenecks’ Could Cripple Iran’s Nuke Program
Israel’s Warning Comes After Ahmadinejad’s Threat of ‘War Without Boundaries’. A top Israeli warned today that Iran’s vast nuclear program could be crippled for years with airstrikes on just a “few bottlenecks, important ones.”

Diplomats: Iran seeks seat on U.N. nuke agency board
Iran is seeking a seat on the decision-making board of the same U.N. nuclear agency probing its activities for evidence that Tehran may be interested in making atomic weapons, officials said Thursday.

Critical Questions on Iran
A confluence of events in the next few weeks again will put Iran at the top of the Obama administration’s foreign policy agenda and could shape its course in the months ahead.

Russia’s Putin says he wants peaceful division of Arctic
At a conference that included the US, Canada, Denmark, and Norway, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the area should be a ‘zone of peace.’ But Russia is bolstering its claim to a large tract of the Arctic seabed.

Counter-Terrorism Offensive in Indonesia
This past weekend, Indonesia’s police counter-terrorism unit, Special Detachment 88, conducted a series of dramatic raids across North Sumatra province targeting a 33-strong band of terrorists who had perpetrated a series of bank robberies since mid-year. Thus far, 20 suspects have been caught and three shot dead.

Turkey after the Constitutional Referendum: Implications for Washington
On September 12, Turkey went to the polls to vote on constitutional amendments proposed by the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). Of the twenty-six amendments weighed by voters, several stipulate significant changes on key issues.

Turks Look East, Polls Confirm
Two recent international surveys confirm Turks’ changing perceptions on international matters in favor of the East and their disillusion about the West.

Energy demand hits water scarcity
Efforts by the United States and other countries to use cleaner energy such as solar power will not resolve threats to the environment. To the contrary, vast amounts of increasingly scarce water will still be required by power plants. The consequences could fuel international tensions.

Obama Administration Takes On Development Reform
The Obama administration has decided that promoting economic development around the world is essential, but it seems to be doing the same things to tackle the same problems as the Bush administration.

Senate Panel Again Cuts Funds for Conventional Trident Missile
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last week zeroed funding for Conventional Trident Modification, a proposed Defense Department program to allow a small number of the Navy’s D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles to carry a non-nuclear payload (see GSN, May 21, 2009).

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage.




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