Australian military planners in Washington work on Syrian war plans

NEITHER Kevin Rudd nor Tony Abbott will talk of armed intervention in the Syrian crisis, but Australian officers are already working with US allies on a plan if one is needed.

No such plans are being made in Canberra, but concerns are growing in the wake of chemical weapons claims and strong words from the Prime Minister.

Asked on Channel 10’s The Project whether he supported Australian intervention in the country in the wake of reports up to 1300 were killed in a chemical massacre, the PM would not go that far, but left the door open. Continue reading

Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans

Two years ago, Barack Obama reportedly left Benjamin Netanyahu to kick his heels in a White House anteroom, a snub delivered to show the president’s irritation over Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank. In May, the Israeli prime minister struck back, publicly scolding his purse-lipped host for the borders he proposed of a future Palestinian state.

When the two men meet in Washington on Monday, Mr Obama will find his guest once more at his most combative. But this time, perhaps as never before, it is the Israeli who has the upper hand.

Exuding confidence, Mr Netanyahu effectively brings with him an ultimatum, demanding that unless the president makes a firm pledge to use US military force to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, Israel may well take matters into its own hands within months.

The threat is not an idle one. According to sources close to the Israeli security establishment, military planners have concluded that never before has the timing for a unilateral military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities been so auspicious.

Full article: Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans (The Telegraph)

Nuking our Nukes

Lowest level of strategic review would leave Pentagon with fewer warheads than China

President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.

Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.

Full article: Nuking our Nukes (Washington Free Beacon)