National Security Brief: September 26, 2011

— Russian president Dmitry Medvedev announced his intention to swap positions with current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after presidential elections in March, which Putin is almost assured of winning. A National Security Council spokesperson said the move will not affect the so-called “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

— Pakistani military officials say they will not take action against the Haqqani network despite heightened pressure from Washington for a crackdown on the militant group.

— Pakistan’s foreign minister warned the U.S. against sending troops into Pakistan to attack the Haqqani network, a group which the U.S. alleges is used as a proxy by Pakistan’s intelligence agency in Afghanistan.

— Gunmen attacked a CIA office building in Kabul, killing one American and wounding another.

— The Free Syrian Army, a group of Syrian army defectors, is organizing the first armed effort against President Bashar al-Assad.

— An three-year DOD inspector general investigation has found that Bush-era Pentagon officials broke no rules or laws when they gave war briefings to retired military analysts who served as TV and radio commentators expressing views favorable to the Bush administrations war and military policies.

— Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday repeated his refusal to talk with Israel without a settlement freeze. “We have confirmed to all that we want to achieve our rights through peaceful means, through negotiations — but not just any negotiations,” Abbas told a cheering crowd of thousands on his return to the West Bank city of Ramallah.

— Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, speaking in public for the first time since returning from Saudi Arabia, told Yemenis that they won’t succeed in removing him from power. “This bloodbath will not get you power,” Saleh said.