Articles and analysis

By a special correspondent

Government strategies on future security innovation had to be more specific to encourage investment, the Defence Select Committee was told today.

As part of its inquiry into UK national security and resilience, the Committee took evidence from the following witnesses:
- Mr Tony Baptiste, Manager (Business Development and Strategy), Fujitsu Defence and Security
- Mr John Higgins CBE, Director-General, Intellect UK
- Mr David Livingstone MBE DSC, Managing Partner, Morgan Aquila LLP
- Mr Hugo Rosemount, Policy Adviser, Security and Resilience, Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC)
- Mr Doug Umbers, Managing Director, VT Communications, VT Group plc

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By George Friedman

Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has fired the secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff. The official reason given for the firings was the mishandling of nuclear weapons and equipment related to nuclear weapons, which included allowing an aircraft to fly within the United States with six armed nuclear weapons on board and accidentally shipping nuclear triggers to Taiwan. An investigation conducted by a Navy admiral concluded that Air Force expertise in handling nuclear weapons had declined.

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By George Friedman

The Saudis are hosting an interfaith conference June 4. Four hundred Islamic scholars from around the world will be there, with one day devoted to interfaith issues. Saudi King Abdullah will open the conference, over which Saudi Shura Council head Saleh bin Huma will preside. This is clearly intended to be a major event, not minimized by the fact that Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's most influential leader -- who heads Iran's Assembly of Experts, the body that elects and can remove the Supreme Leader -- will be attending as well. Rafsanjani was specifically invited by the Saudi ambassador to Iran last Wednesday with the following message: "King Abdullah believes you have a great stature in the Islamic world ... and he has assigned me the duty of inviting you to the conference." We would not have expected to see a meeting on interfaith dialogue even a year ago.

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