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National Security Brief: January 26, 2012

By ThinkProgress on January 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

"National Security Brief: January 26, 2012"


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– The army plans on downsizing its number of combat brigades by nearly a third, cutting the totoal force by 80,000 troops while beefing up remaining brigades, in order to reduce spending.

– Republicans Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are proposing different ways to avoid the $600 million in sequestered military spending cuts triggered by the failure of a so-called super committee to strike a budget deal on deadline in December.

Iran is ready to restart nuclear talks with world powers but won’t discontinue its ongoing enrichment of uranium, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

– Iran is unlikely to begin construction of a nuclear weapon this year because it doesn’t have the capability to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a weapon, according to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

– Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CBS News’s Scott Pelly that al Qaeda is “still a real threat.” Panetta said last July that defeating al Qaeda was “within reach.”

– Egyptian authorities blocked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son and several other American NGO employees from leaving Egypt “in an apparent escalation of a politically charged criminal investigation into foreign-funded groups promoting democracy.”

– With the U.N. Security Council set to vote next week on a new draft resolution about Syria’s ongoing crackdown against anti-government demonstrators, now, rebels, a priest and a Red Cross worker were killed in new violence, and government forces stormed a restive Damascus suburb.

The U.N. reports that more than 8,000 pro-Gaddafi supporters are being held by militia groups in Libya and Doctors Without Borders warns that detainees are “tortured and denied urgent medical care.”

Crowds Gather In Tahrir Square To Mark One-Year Anniversary Of Egyptian Uprising

IED Attacks In Afghanistan Hit A Record High

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