National Security Brief: November 1, 2011

— The Obama administration “has launched a revised strategy for Afghanistan that officials hope will lead to substantive negotiations with insurgents and regional support for a political end to the war.” The White House hopes to combine policy elements into a comprehensive plan “that will not leave Afghanistan open to civil war or the reestablishment of terrorist bases.”

— NATO officials say that the Afghan army and police are on track to take over security when U.S. troops withdraw, although desertion is still a problem and Afghanistan will need at least $4 billion per year to maintain its security forces.

— With the revolution sealed by Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s death, a dual U.S.-Libyan citizen, engineering professor Abdurraheem el-Keib, was picked by the rebel council leading Libya to sit as prime minister as the country undergoes its transition to democracy.

— The top Palestinian diplomat in Geneva, where the aspiring nation just joined the U.N. cultural agency in a landslide vote, said the Palestinians intend to push for membership in an additional 16 U.N. agencies.

— Defense sources say the Pentagon is considering shifting resources from counterinsurgency to funding military platforms for the Asia-Pacific region.

— Enough members of the Iranian majles, or parliament, signed onto a petition to bring President Mahmoud Amhadinejad before the body for questioning, a possible first step toward impeaching the embattled second-term leader.

— After a tip from the rebel Libyan government about a coup plot, the Iraqi authorities are rounding up mostly-Sunni former Baath party members, leading to charges that the alleged plot is a pretext for arresting the sectarian opposition.

— Kenya and Somalia yesterday “called for other nations to help in their fight against Islamist insurgents, as an aid organization said that five civilians were killed and more than 50 wounded when a military aircraft hunting the militants struck a displaced-persons camp in southern Somalia.”