International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told a Washington audience on Thursday that Iran will soon have cleared any trace of suspected nuclear weapons work at a military facility the agency is seeking to inspect. “We are concerned that our capacity to verify would have been severely undermined,” Amano said at the Council on Foreign Relations. “We cannot say for sure that we would be able find something.”
In other news:
The Pentagon is launching an initiative to prepare servicemembers for civilian life even as they begin training and serving as combat troops in an effort to reduce unemployment among military veterans.
The Wall Street Journal reports: Military counterterrorism officials are seeking more capability to pursue extremist groups in Africa and elsewhere that they believe threaten the U.S., and the Obama administration is considering asking Congress to approve expanded authority to do it.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said yesterday that the United States should consider taking out Syrian military jet fighters on the ground to prevent future arial attacks on civilians. “The administration should also examine and assess other ways in which the Syrian Air Force can be deterred or degraded, including the use of surface-to-surface Tomahawk missiles, to degrade the Syrian Air Force’s ability to take off,” Casey said. “Planes on the ground is what we’re talking about here.”
The New York Times reports: Egypt descended deeper into political turmoil on Thursday as the embattled president, Mohamed Morsi, blamed an outbreak of violence on a “fifth column” and vowed to proceed with a referendum on an Islamist-backed constitution that has prompted deadly street battles between his supporters and their opponents.
The Obama administration’s top Pentagon lawyer, Jeh Johnson, will step down at the end of this month.