Rapid Fire 2010-06-15: Pakistani and Afghan insurgents

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* NATO looks to use local military spending to boost Afghanistan’s economy. That may just be an interim step, though – 2006 surveying by P-3 aircraft discovered a very surprising volume of valuable minerals: iron, copper, lithium, rare earths, gold, and more. See also Bloomberg. * “The sun in the sky: The relationship between Pakistan’s ISI and Afghan insurgents” [PDF Report | BBC | al-Jazeera interview] by Harvard’s Matt Waldman and London School of Economics analysts cites Taliban commanders, alleges that Pakistan’s ISI intelligence service still plays a key role in supplying and advising the Taliban. Recent seizures coming from Iran [PDF] add a second dimension of foreign support. * The French arms purchasing agency mulls purchase of Predator-type UAVs from General Atomics. These reports have surfaced before, and in March 2010 a multinational study was commissioned. * Russia plans to conduct another test launch of its troubled Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile in the third quarter of 2010. * Flip flop: Russian government can’t decide whether S-300 air-defense missile systems are covered under UN sanctions of Iran. * NATO member Belgium gives a Flemish separatist party the most seats in its 2010 election, a first. The party’s share of […]

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