U.S. Withdrawal and Defeat in Iraq: It is now official. All uniformed U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. There are two major ways of describing this. One is by President Obama, who says that he is thereby keeping an electoral promise he made in 2008. The second is by the Republican presidential candidates, who have condemned Obama for not doing what they say the U.S. military wanted, which is to keep some U.S. troops there after Dec. 31 as “trainers” to the Iraqi military. According to Mitt Romney, Obama’s decision was either “the result of naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government.”
UK military steps up plans for Iran attack amid fresh nuclear fears: In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air- and sea-launched campaign.
Nuclear powers plan weapons spending spree, report finds: Despite government budget pressures and international rhetoric about disarmament, evidence points to a new and dangerous “era of nuclear weapons”, the report for the British American Security Information Council (Basic) warns. It says the US will spend $700bn (£434bn) on the nuclear weapons industry over the next decade, while Russia will spend at least $70bn on delivery systems alone. Other countries including China, India, Israel, France and Pakistan are expected to devote formidable sums on tactical and strategic missile systems.