National Security Brief: February 13, 2012

Xi Jinping, the Chinese politician expected to become China’s next president, will arrive in Washington on Monday to begin a tour of several U.S. states in a trip serving as a coming out in the U.S. for the ascending leader and a public relations effort to ease mounting tension between Beijing and Washington.

— Syrian security forces resumed their bombardment of the city of Homs on Monday while China’s foreign ministry backed Arab League mediation efforts but offered no sign of support for League calls to send in peacekeepers.

— The AP reported on Friday that the Obama administration is seeing signs that the Syrian elite, including those close to President Bashar al-Assad, “are increasingly worried and beginning to prepare exit plans.”

— Israel’s foreign ministry reports that bombers targeted staff at Israel’s embassies in India and Georgia on Monday, leading to a bomb detonating in New Delhi, wounding one person.


— The Wall Street Journal reports that attempts to unite with the rival Fatah party in the Palestinian government has opened up a split in Hamas.

— Defense News has details of the Defense Department’s FY2013 budget request which is set to be made public today.

— Special Operations Command head Adm. William H. McRaven, “is seeking new authority to move his forces faster and outside of normal Pentagon deployment channels.”   — Greece’s Parliament approved spending cuts early Monday to secure a bailout but furious protesters set fires and burned buildings in Athens, expressing their fear that European demands for “austerity measure” will reshape their economy and exacerbate the current recession.