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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I am making a decision, here and now, not to include a single story about General Petraeus’s—or General Allen’s—love life in my roundups. All those who are interested in the saucy details are welcome to start their own blog about national security romances. Or you can just read the front page of every major newspaperor The Onion, which has provided the best coverage of the entire scandal.

My throat now having been cleared, let’s begin with Yemen. Bruce Riedel of Brookings argues in The Daily Beast that Yemen is the most serious foreign policy challenge facing President Obama in his second term, and Ibrahim Sharqieh of Brookings discusses U.S.-Yemeni relations in the long term in The National. Brookings actually held an event today on Yemen, at which Sharqieh spoke, and I recorded the whole thing for the Lawfare Podcast. Stay tuned for that.

The U.S. is concerned that Iraqi authorities might release Ali Musa Daqduq, according to Michael R. Gordon of the New York Times. Meanwhile, the British have released radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, who won his appeal against deportation from Britain to Jordan, where he faces trial for terrorism charges. Tim Castle and Peter Griffiths of Reuters have the story, as does the BBC.

Satellite images indicate that North Korea is continuing its long-running love affair with missile tests, reports Jethro Mullen of CNN.

Iran is also missile happy, says Reuters. The country “unveiled new missile and artillery systems” today.

Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller of the Washington Post report that Senator John Kerry is being considered for Secretary of Defense.

Israel might step up its highly contentious targeted killing program in Gaza in an effort to stem rocket attacks. Amy Teibel of the Associated Press has the news.

From the Department of New T-Shirt Slogans for the CIA: Noah Shachtman of Wired magazine argues that the CIA, under its next director, should “kill less and spy more.”

Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times says that DoD will decide soon on the number of American troops that will remain in Afghanistan after 2014—which will determine the pace of the drawdown.

Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., says that the U.S. might cooperate with the U.N.’s probe into the legality of its targeted killing program. Hard to imagine how that could happen given how little the U.S. is willing to say on the subject. The Hill has more.

Jill Dougherty of CNN’s Security Clearance blog reports that the United States is looking to funnel assistance to the Syrian opposition now that it has finally united.

Aaron David Miller of the Council on Foreign Relations writes in Politico that President Obama needs to adopt a less muscular and more risk-averse position with the Middle East in his second term.

And guess who is replacing Gen. Petraeus at the CIA? Think a “no-nonsense, non-seducible managerial style.” Hint: It doesn’t have extramarital affairs, though it does sometimes drink too much. It’s Today’s Moment of Zen.

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