(CNN)–It's early, and State of the Union is bringing you the best of the morning headlines to go with your coffee.
On our radar this morning: The NATO Summit, the START treaty, North Korea's nuclear capabilities, and the latest in airline security.
Check out what we're reading, and make sure to watch the show at 9am/12pm ET.
On Karzai's complaints, he said that "we have to be sensitive to his concerns and the concerns of the Afghan people. We can't simply tell them what's good for them . . . We have to listen and learn." "On the other hand," he said, "If we're putting in big resources, if we're ponying up billions of dollars, if we're expecting that our troops are going to be there and to help secure the countryside and ensure that President Karzai can continue to build and develop his country, he's got to listen to us, as well."
While the day will come when Iraq’s vast natural wealth can fully finance its security and investment needs, and when its civilian institutions no longer require such intensive support, it has not yet arrived. Iraq has increased its own spending in these areas, and with sustained American engagement, it will emerge from generations of trauma to become a stable and self-reliant nation.
The numbers show that Afghans remain wary, even as U.S. troops pound the Taliban: 50 percent of those polled in October think recent military operations are bad for the Afghan people; 58 percent think it's wrong to work with foreign forces; 55 percent oppose military operations against the Taliban in their area; 72 percent say that foreigners disrespect their religion.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said the government would not allow the U.S. to carry out drone strikes outside the tribal belt along the Afghan border and repeated Islamabad's request that Washington abandon its use of drones in Pakistan on the grounds that the program violates the nation's sovereignty.
In an unannounced group appearance at the end of an administration background briefing on Afghanistan, six European foreign ministers took the stage with a message for Congress.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Saturday rejected claims by Senate Republicans that the New START arms reduction treaty with Russia would hamper U.S. missile defense programs and nuclear weapons modernization, warning of "significant consequences" if the Senate doesn't ratify the accord.
Indefensible (Sen. Feinstein)
It would be foolish and wrong to let partisan politics bring this era of cooperation to an end. Worse, it would make us blind to the true size and capabilities of the Russian arsenal. There is no question this would weaken our national security. That would be indefensible.
In interviews, administration officials said that they were watching the area by satellite where Dr. Hecker saw the new facility, but they would not say whether they knew about it before he reported back. “The intel agencies dropped the ball,” said Jack Pritchard, a former State Department official who visited North Korea’s main nuclear complex, Yongbyon, a week before Dr. Hecker’s visit and heard North Korean boasts of a new capability.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport. That person will have to remain on the premises to be questioned by the TSA and possibly by local law enforcement. Anyone refusing faces fines up to $11,000 and possible arrest.
"People who fly over Thanksgiving are leisure travelers who bought tickets weeks, months ago," said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a major airline industry group. "They're non-refundable tickets. They want to go home and see their family and friends and they're very likely to travel."
It mocked the notion that the plot was a failure, saying it was the work of “less than six brothers” over three months. “This supposedly ‘foiled plot,’ ” the group wrote, “will without a doubt cost America and other Western countries billions of dollars in new security measures. That is what we call leverage.”
Based on the facts at hand right now, Mr. Obama is likely to win the 2012 election in a landslide. That, at least, is the prediction of Ray C. Fair, a Yale economist and an expert on econometrics and on the relationship of economics and politics.
What’s the basis of this forecast? In a nutshell: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Democrats divided on Obama's political tactic
"It's clear our base feels very strongly about the president taking a firm stand," Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said in an interview. "Meanwhile, the American people are saying, 'Come up with a solution.' He's torn between competing interests in the body politic."
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