– The U.S. offered concessions to the Afghan government on the issue of special forces night raids that have inflamed tensions between the allies, with the most restricting U.S. proposal putting U.S. operations before an Afghan judge for approval.
– North Korea extended an invitation to U.N. nuclear inspectors even as it planned to go ahead with a satellite launch announced last month that the U.S. and other Western countries say violates U.N. resolutions and a recent deal to swap international food aid for a North Korean nuclear enrichment freeze.
– Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI) and ranking member John McCain (R-AZ) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta asking that he delay implementation of budget cuts and “not take actions to implement decisions that would be difficult or impossible to reverse.”
– Russia has reportedly sent elite special operations units to Syria to conduct “anti-terrorism” missions on behalf of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
– Al-Jazeera reports that Russia “is ready” to support U.N. special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan’s plan for settling the crisis after more than a year of violence there.
– Politico reports that “leading voices in the Republican Party have begun to suggest that it’s time to sharpen a foreign policy and national security message for the post-George W. Bush era.”
– The Pakistani parliament has demanded an end to drone-launched U.S. missile attacks on Pakistani soil, writing in a leaked document, “No overt or covert operations inside Pakistan shall be tolerated.”
– Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an interview with a German television station, that nuclear weapons are immoral and “belong to the last century.”