September 15, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Clashes flared across Syria on Sunday, and mortar shells fell on Damascus, highlighting a violent and intractable reality: The nation's bloody civil war is no closer to resolution, despite a landmark U.S.-Russia deal designed to rid Syria of chemical armaments. Various officials, including U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, acknowledged that the chemical weapons accord, while significant, will probably do little in the short term to stop the killing, overwhelmingly the result of conventional weapons - bullets and artillery shells, bombs and rockets.
December 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Hoping to salvage his arms control legacy, President Obama called Monday for the renewal of a major post-Cold War agreement between the United States and Russia to secure and dismantle nuclear weapons left over from the former Soviet Union. In an appeal aimed at Moscow, Obama offered to renegotiate terms of the 20-year-old threat-reduction initiative known for its chief sponsors, former Sen. Sam Nunn and outgoing Sen. Richard G. Lugar, and use it as a template for future U.S. cooperation with Russia.
October 19, 2011 |
The Obama administration informed Congress last month that it would proceed with the upgrade of Taiwan's fleet of 145 F-16 jet aircraft. The decision is controversial. China firmly opposes any U.S. effort to assist Taiwan militarily. Although Taiwan expressed gratitude for the decision, it had sought 66 new F-16s in the more advanced C/D models (it now has the A/B models). Taiwan's friends in Congress and defense contractors had argued for the C/Ds. Taipei's disappointment belies the fact that this decision constitutes a real contribution to Taiwan's security and underscores the U.S. commitment to Taiwan.
October 21, 2010 |
The Obama administration formally notified Congress on Wednesday of plans to sell Saudi Arabia as much as $60 billion worth of arms in a deal aimed at bolstering regional defenses against an ascendant Iran. The agreement, which will stretch out as long as 20 years, would be the largest U.S. arms sale ever, if Saudi Arabia buys all that has been authorized. It would make the kingdom's aging jet fighter fleet among the most capable in the world, without adding so much long-distance attack capability as to worry Israle that the weapons could be used against it. Israeli officials have not objected to the sale.
February 11, 2010 |
Not surprisingly, China is responding badly to the Pentagon's $6-billion arms sale to Taiwan. The Beijing government has suspended security exchanges with the Pentagon and promised to sanction American defense companies. Chinese scholars and other commentators see nefarious motives in the U.S. action and warn of negative consequences. Some call for tough retaliation. High dudgeon is in season. In Washington, some worry that Beijing will withdraw its cooperation on matters of real importance to the United States, such as Iran and North Korea.
October 29, 2009 |
Convicted of profiting from illicit arms sales to Angola, a former French interior minister is roiling the political establishment by accusing other officials of knowing about the deal and demanding that the government open secret files to prove him right. Charles Pasqua, the former minister who now is a member of France's Senate, and Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of a former president, were among 36 people found guilty Tuesday of knowingly profiting from or facilitating the unauthorized $790-million sale in the 1990s.