TOP NEWS: Nat’l Security / Foreign Affairs: June 15, 2012
More news and excerpts below
David D. Kirkpatrick, NY Times – They toppled a pharaoh, but now the small circle of liberals, leftists and Islamists who orchestrated Egypt’s revolution say they realize they failed to uproot the networks of power that Hosni Mubarak nurtured for nearly three decades.
BBC – The head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) says there appears to be a “lack of willingness” on the two sides to seek a peaceful transition. Maj-Gen Robert Mood said violence had risen over the past 10 days, causing losses on both sides and putting his unarmed observers at significant risk.
BBC – Parties in Greece are making their last pitch for votes ahead of a repeat election seen as crucial to the debt-laden country’s future in the eurozone.
Mark Landler and Nicholas Kulish, NY Times - At the end of a summit meeting at Camp David last month, as the other world leaders were heading for their helicopters, President Obama did what has become a habit during his years in the White House: he made time for an informal but deadly serious talk with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
Keith B. Richburg, Washington Post - As they prepare for a once-in-a-generation turnover of power, China’s leaders now appear to be seeking a quick and quiet resolution in the case of Bo Xilai, the top official ousted from his Communist Party posts, Western diplomats and Chinese analysts say.
David Jolly, NY Times – The head of the European Central Bank said Friday that central banks were ready to step in to address any financial market turmoil that might result from elections in Greece this weekend that could help to decide the future of the euro.
Robert W. Merry, The National Interest – America today is once again on a path to war—this time with Iran—and the road is dotted with many of the same signposts seen in Roosevelt’s path to war seventy years ago. Like Roosevelt in his dealings with Japan, President Barack Obama has helped place Iran under severe strain of economic sanctions. Like Roosevelt, he has received from the adversary signals of flexibility in the search for a mutually satisfactory solution. Like Roosevelt, Obama has rebuffed those overtures.
Roula Khalaf, Financial Times - Egypt’s political transition has been dogged by unexpected twists and turns but nothing comes close to the bombshell delivered on Thursday by the constitutional court. Two days before the first democratic presidential elections, and amid an increasingly polarised political scene, the court ordered the recently elected parliament dissolved, saying it was unconstitutional.
BBC – The Yemeni army has recaptured a stronghold that had been seized by Islamist militants, its third such success this week. Shuqra, in the restive southern province of Abyan, fell to the Yemeni army as part of a US-backed offensive against Ansar al-Sharia – an offshoot of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
EU to Syrian regime: No more caviar, cigars or expensive shoes until the violence stops
Associated Press via Washington Post – The European Council says a ban will begin Sunday on exporting to Syria some luxury items or “dual use” goods that could be used for internal repression.
Annika Breidthardt and Daniel Flynn, Reuters – Germany’s Angela Merkel criticised France’s economic performance on Friday in a war of words with its new Socialist President Francois Hollande over how to tackle Europe’s deepening debt crisis ahead of a pivotal election in Greece.