National Security Brief: September 19, 2011

— Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, describing Turkey’s involvement with a Palestinian U.N. bid for recognition as state, said Turkey is “right at the center of everything” and predicted that Turkey may form a partnership with Egypt.

— Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is sticking with his plan to seek full U.N. membership for a Palestinian state even though “all hell has broken out” and, according to Abbas, U.S. and European governments say that “matters will be bad” after the Palestinian statehood bid.

— An Open Societies Foundation report found that even though practices during night raids by U.S. forces in Afghanistan have improved, the raids still create resentment among Afghan civilians.

— The Libyan National Transitional Council failed at an attempt to set up an inclusive government as it continued its shift from a rebel government to a national one.

— The U.S. has “significantly increased the frequency of drone strikes and other air attacks against the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there.”

— The EU “will likely expand its sanctions regime against Syria toward the end of next week, delaying slightly the measures that are expected to include a ban on new European investment in the oil sector and an asset freeze and travel ban on new individuals and companies.”

— Because of tense relations and encounters between forces — particularly at sea in the Persian Gulf — U.S. military leaders are considering a direct hot-line contact to Iranian military leaders to avoid a mistaken confrontation.

— Security officials in Yemen killed at least 20 people in anti-government protests on Monday when pro-government snipers fired from rooftops.