TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: May 01, 2012

*Obama, Under Veil of Secrecy, Visits Kabul to Seal Agreement  *Unease Mounting, China and U.S. to Open Military Talks *Al-Qaeda Is Nation-Building – Should We Be Worried? * Merkel’s euro strategy is under fire *UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls for unity in Myanmar

Obama, Under Veil of Secrecy, Visits Kabul to Seal Agreement - Mark Landler, New York Times
President Obama landed in Kabul to sign a strategic partnership agreement with President Hamid Karzai meant to mark the beginning of the end of the war in Afghanistan.

Unease Mounting, China and U.S. to Open Military Talks - Jane Perlez, New York Times
Talks of a limited nature on the military relationship between the two nations open on Wednesday in Beijing and are a prelude to a wider-ranging dialogue.

In death, bin Laden still drives US foreign policy – Editorial, Boston Globe
While the terrorist mastermind is dead, his story may never truly die.

Al-Qaeda Is Nation-Building – Should We Be Worried? - Will McCants, Foreign Policy Magazine
Yes. But not as much as you might think.

America’s Islamist Allies in Syria - John Rosenthal, National Review
While the Obama administration’s burgeoning contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt continue to cause controversy, the administration&apo.

Turkey & Iran Forging Closer Economic Ties - (Study), Nader Habibi, Crown Center
This Brief argues that the growing economic ties between Turkey and Iran increase in geopolitical significance as Western and Middle Eastern countries attempt to influence the course of Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Obama Adviser Defends Drone Strikes -  Charlie Savage, New York Times
U.S. President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, defended U.S. drone strikes against militants in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia yesterday, saying civilian casualties were “exceedingly rare.” (Video)

 Merkel’s euro strategy is under fire - Staff, Der Spiegel
…And she has lost one ally after the next in recent weeks,” explains Der Spiegel.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls for unity in Myanmar - Luke Brown, Global Post
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Myanmar’s President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to show “full determination and common leadership and partnership” in pursuit of change.

Israeli Defense Minister Keeps All Options Open on Iran - Jodi, Rudoren, New York Times
Ehud Barak offered a dim view of talks on Iran’s nuclear program and said all options, including a military strike, remained on the table