National Security Brief: June 22, 2011

— Dueling bills on U.S. involvement in Libya will be introduced in the House, with one allowing continued fighting but barring ground troops and the other effectively ending any combat missions of any sort under the War Powers Act.

— Russia’s Justice Ministry “denied registration Wednesday to a new political party created by three prominent opposition leaders, effectively barring them from participating in upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.”

— While U.S. defense contractors are anticipating Pentagon budget cuts, senior Pentagon and industry officials increasingly see a silver lining: They expect only marginal spending reductions over the next two or three years.  — There will be a war if President Ali Abudullah Saleh returns from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia to re-take the reins in Yemen, the country’s most powerful tribal lord told the Saudi King in a letter.  — China’s vice minister of foreign affairs warned that the U.S. should approach East Asian issues “in a very prudent way,” decrying neighbors for asking the U.S. to help resolve regional tensions.

— Mexican federal authorities arrested Jose de Jesus Mendez Vargas, the leader of La Familia, a drug cartel known for drug running, kidnapping, extortion, intimidation and murder as well as espousing religious ideals. “With this arrest, what remained of the structure of this criminal organization has been destroyed,” a security spokesman said.


— A Bahraini military court sentenced eight prominent activists to life sentences and another 13 received lengthy sentences. The activists were accused of working with Iran to overthrow the monarchy in Bahrain.

— Syria’s foreign minister Walid al-Muallem accused the European Union of wanting to “plant strife and chaos” and denounced EU sanctions against Syria as a form of “war.”