2012 National Brief - Week 1

A heavy news cycle marks the first week of 2012

Mixed reports coming out of Washington DC in response to accusations that the US is negotiating with Taliban leaders in Qatar for an exchange with Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Iran has reported negotiations have been occurring for several months and specific accusations regarding the status of the Taliban's one eyed leader Muhammad Mullah Mohammed Omar. (Wikipedia Link)

The Iranian government quasi state press falsely stated the Mohammed Omar was removed from the FBI's terror list.

Quick Editor's Note: Throughout the year 2012 releases from the US State Department, White House and FBI will be archived with video and transcript text.

Iran will be a key area of world focus throughout 2012. During press briefings last week the Department of State acknowledged that they intend to close Guantanamo and eventually Pakistan has to end the conflict which means compromise is eminent.

The State Department was explicit that negotiations in Afghanistan are to be led by the Afghan government and not the US which led a heated exchange during the first press conferences of the year.

US State Department
US State Department Press Briefing January 3, 2012
US State Department Press Briefing January 4, 2012
US State Department Press Briefing January 5, 2012
US State Department Press Briefing January 6, 2012

While the United States State Department passes the buck on specific negotiations they have stated the re-entry into the international community will require the Taliban to change their position on women's roles and rights in society.

President Barack Obama spoke from a podium at the Pentagon last week detailing the United States Defense strategy (See Full Video and Text of Transcript of Barack Obama's Address on US Military strategy and funding from the Pentagon). Obama emphasized the military would be scaling up not down and increase focus on Southeast Asia.

The Department of Defense stressed a different posture boasting the capture of Taliban leaders. Under the headline, "Combined forces capture Taliban Leader's in Afghanistan" details regarding extensive procurement of enemy explosives and narcotics are summed.