Iran Election Guide

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Entries in Julian E. Barnes (4)


Iran Propaganda 101: US Flaunts "Biggest Bunker Buster Bomb"

Look out, Iran --- it's a Massive Ordnance Penetrator

One of the features of the ongoing power play between Washington and Tehran is the propaganda from both sides --- trying to show prestige as well as initimidating the "enemy" --- about their massive weapons.

Tehran almost incessantly declares its latest missile or naval advance while shouting that it is turning US capabilities --- such as drones --- back on Washington. The Americans parade a supposed "new" technology to warn Iran against any mischief in the region.

Last month the US centrepiece was an experimental laser to be placed aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf, deterring any attack by small Iranian boats.

See EA Video Analysis: Iran and the American Lasers of Doom

This morning the press release --- eagerly put out by The Wall Street Journal --- is of a "penetrator" to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

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Syria Feature: US Considering Military Steps for No-Fly Zone (Entous/Barnes)

Patriot Anti-Missile SystemThe White House, under pressure from key allies and U.S. lawmakers, is reviewing a new set of potential military options for assisting rebels in Syria, according to U.S. officials.

Among the ideas were proposals to bomb Syrian aircraft on the ground and to use Patriot antimissile batteries in Turkey to defend swaths of northern Syria from the regime's Scud missiles, they said.

Defense officials said those two options faced potentially insurmountable technological and legal hurdles, however — underscoring the difficulty of finding a plausible way to address increasing international pressure to weigh in more forcefully on the side of the Syrian rebels. Other options were also presented to the White House but officials declined to discuss them.

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Iraq Feature: Amid Rising Protests, CIA Expands Co-operation with "Anti-Terrorism" Units (Wall Street Journal)

The Central Intelligence Agency is ramping up support to elite Iraqi antiterrorism units to better fight al Qaeda affiliates, amid alarm in Washington about spillover from the civil war in neighboring Syria, according to U.S. officials.

The stepped-up mission expands a covert U.S. presence on the edges of the two-year-old Syrian conflict, at a time of American concerns about the growing power of extremists in the Syrian rebellion.

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US War on Terror Feature: Preparing for Military Operations in Africa (Barnes/Perez)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presses Algeria to join intervention in Mali, 29 October 2012

Military counterterrorism officials are seeking more capability to pursue extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere that they believe threaten the U.S., and the Obama administration is considering asking Congress to approve expanded authority to do it.

The move, according to administration and congressional officials, would be aimed at allowing U.S. military operations in Mali, Nigeria, Libya and possibly other countries where militants have loose or nonexistent ties to al Qaeda's Pakistan headquarters. Depending on the request, congressional authorization could cover the use of armed drones and special operations teams across a region larger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, the officials said.

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