If true, this is hilarious. Reportedly, Venezuela and Russia were close to a deal on purchasing several ultra-quiet KILO diesel submarines. Last November's visit to Venezuela by the Russian nuclear battlecruiser Peter the Great was intended to enhance the status of both nations and to help seal the submarine deal. Unfortunately, a dispute broke out:
A New York Timesarticle this morning highlighted the fact that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal appears to be increasing, in spite of the fact that the Taliban insurgency occupies much of Pakistani territory. This fits in well with a developing narrative about how Pakistan's focus on India is the problem: The story goes that the Pakistani military still considers India its central threat and isn't overly concerned with the Taliban. There are also long-term concerns about growing Pakistani capability and especially of the dangers of some of that capability falling into Taliban hands.
The government is on the verge of crushing the last remnant of the Tigers in Sri Lanka. The leader of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran, appears to have been killed in the latest government offensive. Sri Lanka's prime minister will announce victory tomorrow.
Reuters reports that North Korea may be preparing a new nuclear test:
There is increased activity at North Korea's known nuclear test site, a South Korean news report said on Thursday, suggesting Pyongyang is gearing up for a new test as it has threatened in response to tightened U.N. sanctions.
Impoverished North Korea, whose only nuclear test in October 2006 led to U.N. financial and trade sanctions, could be ready to test another nuclear device in a matter of weeks, experts have said.
According to Der Spiegel, National Security Adviser James Jones nixed a proposed German assault on a ship seized by Somali pirates. The assault would have been launched from the USS Boxer, and would have involved up to 200 German counterterrorism personnel. The operation planned to take the Hansa Stavanger, a German freighter with 24 hostages on board. Jones canceled the operation, apparently, because he believed that the pirates were reinforcing their position and that the attack could thus result in a bloodbath.