1) The Israelis are increasingly uncomfortable with the evolving security situation in Syria. As the Syrian regime disintegrates, the risks of political instability escalate. For Israel, the primary concern (as evidenced by last night's IDF air strike) resides in the possibility of the Lebanese Hizballah accessing Assad's chemical weapons. Such a development would fundamentally challenge Israel's security/security posture. As I argued for the Huffington Post before Christmas, if Assad employs his chemical weapons, President Obama must order decisive US Military action. On a side note, with each passing day it becomes increasingly clear that the Syrian rebels will accept no outcome other than Assad's removal from power.
2) The Senate is currently hearing from various advocates on both sides of the increasingly polarised gun control debate. The left is trying to shred the second amendment and LaPierre, the PR nightmare to end all PR nightmares, retains false comfort in his self-created realm of delusion. Personally, I think that Congress should focus on improved background checks, better enforcement of existing laws and increased mental health information sharing.
3) The economy didn't have a great final quarter in 2012. The left are complaining that the cause for this retrenchment was spending cuts and that future cuts must therefore be avoided. In making this argument, they are obsessing over the short term. While in truth spending cuts will probably cause short term economic harm, without such cuts America will continue on a path towards the fiscal abyss. This would be a disaster. Ultimately, until we see comprehensive debt reform (cue medicare), economic growth will be suffocated by consumer/business doubt over the future.
4) The US Government is quietly improving its ISTAR/strike capability for operations against Islamist militants in West Africa. Because of the size and population sparsity that defines much of that region, drone platforms provide a crucial asset for on-going counter-terrorism efforts.
Enjoyed this. Earlier today, George Galloway was shut down by PM Cameron.