TOP NEWS Nuclear weapons get small boost in budget deal Defense News Pentagon chief questions Turkey’s NATO loyalty after base threat Stars and Stripes Hopes low for Japan-Iran summit, with Tokyo hemmed in by competing interests Japan Times United States Nuclear weapons get small boost in budget deal Defense News12/17/19 Nuclear weapons received a small boost in a new spending deal passed by Congress, with lawmakers largely leaving the agency in charge of America’s warheads alone. Pentagon advances new technology to destroy hypersonic missile attacks Warrior Maven12/17/19 The Pentagon wants to stop hypersonics with new space sensor layer technology designed to give U.S. commanders a chance to knock hypersonic missiles straight out of the sky. ANALYSIS: The President’s inbox: Should the United States rethink its nuclear weapons policy? Council on Foreign RelationsJames M. Lindsay 12/17/19 The arms control framework constructed in the 1970s and 1980s is almost gone. Europe Pentagon chief questions Turkey’s NATO loyalty after base threat Stars and Stripes12/17/19 U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Turkey’s threats to close two critical NATO installations if it’s sanctioned for growing military ties to Russia raise questions about the country’s commitment to the Western alliance. ANALYSIS: Understanding the feuds plaguing U.S.-Turkey alliance BloombergSelcan Hacaeglu 12/16/19 The U.S. and Turkey, which run the two largest armies in NATO, affirm the need to maintain their alliance, but the quarrels have eroded trust on both sides. Middle East Iran’s Rouhani to visit Japan amid heightened tensions with U.S. Reuters12/17/19 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will visit Japan on Dec. 20-21 and meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as the Asian country, a U.S. ally, looks to resolve Tehran’s nuclear impasse with Washington. Hopes low for Japan-Iran summit, with Tokyo hemmed in by competing interests Japan Times12/18/19 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is set to visit Tokyo and meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, amid rising tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and with severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States. ANALYSIS: Making ‘maximum pressure’ multilateral again Wall Street JournalBenny Avni 12/17/19 Even from outside the nuclear deal, the U.S. can trigger ‘snapback’ global sanctions against Iran. East Asia Biegun wraps up trip to S. Korea with his call for N.K. dialogue unanswered Yonhap News Agency12/17/19 U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun on Tuesday wrapped up his three-day visit to Seoul and departed for Japan, with his emphatic call for dialogue with North Korea unanswered. ANALYSIS: Will Trump risk national security and a deal with North Korea? National InterestSarah Bidgood 12/17/19 Before taking any steps to unsign the CTBT, the administration should consider how North Korea might react if the United States were to lower the barriers to resume its own explosive testing.