U.S. official: Hezbollah arms flow may signal plans for war with Israel – Haaretz – Israel News

Nevertheless, Feltman said he was growing increasingly worried by reports describing the quantity and types of weapons being smuggled to the terrorist organization in clear violation of United Nations Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 war.

U.S. official: Hezbollah arms flow may signal plans for war with Israel – Haaretz – Israel News

US raises tensions with Iran by selling anti-missile systems – Times Online

Tensions in the Gulf between the US and Iran are set to rise further after it emerged that American-made anti-missile systems are to be deployed to Washington’s Arab allies in the region.

The Obama Administration said yesterday that it was speeding up arms sales to a number of states and that it had also deployed warships in the Gulf as defences against possible Iranian missile attacks.

US raises tensions with Iran by selling anti-missile systems – Times Online

Nightmare in the Middle East – NYPOST.com

But no region — not even sub-Saharan Africa — competes with the greater Middle East when it comes to wanton savagery, thwarted opportunities and the danger posed to innocent populations around the world. With fanatical terrorists of unprecedented brutality, Islamist extremists pursuing nuclear weapons, rogue regimes, disintegrating states and threats of genocide against Israel, the lands of heat and dust between the Nile and the Indus form a realm of deadly failure that will haunt the civilized world throughout our lifetimes.

A survey of the region’s key countries — and problems — doesn’t offer much good news for the Obama Administration’s naive foreign policy efforts:

Nightmare in the Middle East – NYPOST.com

Paulson claims Russia tried to foment Fannie-Freddie crisis | FT.Com

Russia proposed to China that the two nations should sell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008 to force the US government to bail out the giant mortgage-finance companies, former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson has claimed.

FT.com / US & Canada – Paulson claims Russia tried to foment Fannie-Freddie crisis

Democracy’s decline: Crying for freedom | The Economist

In its report entitled “Freedom in the World 2010: Global Erosion of Freedom”, the American lobby group found that declines in liberty occurred last year in 40 countries (in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and the ex-Soviet Union) while gains were recorded in 16. The number of electoral democracies went down by three, to 116, with Honduras, Madagascar, Mozambique and Niger dropping off the list while the Maldives were reinstated. This leaves the total at its lowest since 1995, although it is still comfortably above the 1990 figure of 69.

Democracy’s decline: Crying for freedom | The Economist

Dubai’s new business: international intrigue

The glitzy city on the Gulf has become a kind of Arabian Big Easy where a senior operative in a powerful political organization can be assassinated in a five-star hotel — and the crime will be hushed up for more than a week while the powers-that-be decide how the story will be spun.

Dubai | United Arab Emirates | Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Dubai’s new business: international intrigue

The glitzy city on the Gulf has become a kind of Arabian Big Easy where a senior operative in a powerful political organization can be assassinated in a five-star hotel — and the crime will be hushed up for more than a week while the powers-that-be decide how the story will be spun.

Dubai | United Arab Emirates | Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

China, Iran Prompt U.S. Air-Sea Battle Plan in Strategy Review – BusinessWeek

The joint Air Force-Navy plan would combine the strengths of each service to conduct long-range strikes that could utilize a new generation of bombers, a new cruise missile and drones launched from aircraft carriers. The Navy also is increasing funding to develop an unmanned underwater vehicle, according to the report.

China, Iran Prompt U.S. Air-Sea Battle Plan in Strategy Review – BusinessWeek

With Arms for Taiwan, U.S. Sends Beijing a Message – NYTimes.com

Now, the Obama administration has started to push back. In announcing an arms sales package to Taiwan worth $6 billion on Friday, the United States leveled a direct strike at the heart of the most sensitive diplomatic issue between the two countries since America affirmed the “one China” policy in 1972.

News Analysis – With Arms for Taiwan, U.S. Sends Beijing a Message – NYTimes.com