– Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that U.S.-led forces withdrawal to bases by 2013 but in an interview on Sunday, Karzai spokesperson Aimal Faizi qualified the statement, saying the withdrawal will be the subject of negotiations that could take months.
– The U.S. is readying for the so-called “fighting season” of warmer months in Afghanistan, focusing on beating back expected Taliban-associated attacks in eastern Afghanistan, including the capital, Kabul.
– The U.S. has continued to send detainees to Afghan prisons despite an order from coalition forces to halt such transfers because of concerns about torture, says a new report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Open Society Foundations.
– The security situation in Syria continues to unravel with two more Syrian generals defecting to the opposition on Friday and anti-government activists violently clashing with the Syrian Army in a wealthy, well-protected area of Damascus on Monday.
– Syrian rebels will soon be receiving shipments of arms courtesy of Saudi Arabia, according to an Arab diplomat who told the AFP, “Saudi military equipment is on its way to Jordan to arm the Free Syrian Army.”
– A week after a motorcycle-riding gunmen killed four French paratroopers, another assailant on a motorcycle in the same region of France killed four — including three children — at a Jewish school.
– Prime Minister Yoshiko Noda issued a new warning about Beijing’s military build-up yesterday, saying that China and North Korea represent the main military challenges Japan faces in Asia.
– Oman’s foreign ministry said that the risk of military conflict between Iran and the West was rising but there was still plenty of opportunity to negotiate peace. “It is in the interest of both sides to come to the middle road,” Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate’s minister responsible for foreign affairs, told Reuters