Today’s Headlines

January 5, 2012 By Mac Stoddard

Must Reads

Who’s in the News

Rick Santorum on foreign policy: combative hawk–and, according to Bono, “defender of the vulnerable” (Laura Rozen, The Envoy)

After an almost-first place finish in Iowa, Rick Santorum now turns his attention to New Hampshire and South Carolina to establish his credentials as a serious challenger to Mitt Romney.  In terms of projecting American power abroad, Santorum has been described as “hawkish” and with a keen interest in maintaining significant funding for overseas issues.  Supporters of Santorum’s foreign policy include U2 front-man and noted humanitarian activist Bono.

Jon Huntsman Showcases Foreign Policy Expertise (Shira Schoenberg, Boston Globe)

Asked about the US relationship with Pakistan on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman immediately launched into the history of the relationship between the two countries. Remember, he noted, that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger first approached China in 1971 by going through Pakistan.

Smart Power

Dance part of Clinton’s smart power diplomacy (Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner)

American dance groups will further Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “smart power diplomacy” for the second year in a row, the U.S. State Department announced, by touring countries in Asia, Africa, and Middle East, performing primarily before poor children in those areas as part of DanceMotion USASM.

Politics/Foreign Policy

State Dept to Elevate its Counterterrorism Office (Kirit Radia, ABC News)

The State Department plans to elevate its counterterrorism office to a full-fledged bureau on Wednesday, a move that officials say will send a strong signal to allies about the U.S. commitment to strengthening their ability to combat extremism.

Smartphones improve foreign aid missions (James K. Sanborn, Marine Corps Times)

Marines on the future battlefield could land in a country they visited five years earlier to deliver humanitarian aid and they would already have important intelligence collected from the ground, including photos and coordinates of critical hospitals, roads, landing strips, bridges and government buildings.  That information would be readily available to commanders, on a moment’s notice, for decades to come.

New Defense Plan to Slim Down Military, Shift U.S. Security Focus to Asia (Associated Press)

President Barack Obama is putting his personal stamp on a rejiggered Pentagon strategy for absorbing hundreds of billions of dollars in defense budget cuts, marking a turning point in U.S. security policy after a decade of war.  Obama planned to make a rare appearance in the Pentagon press briefing room Thursday to announce results of a strategy review that he ordered last spring. The aim was twofold: Streamline the military in an era of tighter budgets and reassess defense priorities in light of China’s rise and other global changes.