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National Security Correspondent J.J. Green has traveled three continents covering intelligence, terrorism, and security issues. From Afghanistan to Africa, Iraq to Ireland, there isn't anywhere J.J. won't go, nor anyone he won't talk with, to get the stories affecting the defense and national security communities.
The uproar over a Florida pastor's threat to burn the Koran is not going away. Sixty people were injured in Kabul, Afghanistan during a rally against the idea Wednesday. The crowd in the western part of the city shot at police and threw stones --35 of those injured were police. The Koran has been at the heart of a number of violent struggles in Europe, Central Asia and the middle east in recent days. The concern is not just for locations outside of the U.S.. Authorities here are on alert for violence that may grow out of similar protests.
An elite Canadian military unit is under investigation. The Canadian Defense Department has launched two probes into possible misconduct by its elite commando force, officials said Tuesday. Reuters reports the investigations began after a member of the commando group, Joint Task Force 2, raised serious allegations against another member of the force, as well as against JTF2 in general, a Defense Department spokesman said. Captain David Scanlon, who declined to give precise details, said the affair could concern Afghan prisoners taken by Canadian troops.
As a plan to offset Iran's alleged nuclear program, the Pentagon is pressing ahead with a plan to send 60 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia. The Associated Press says the plan has been in the works for months and the U.S. is actually shifting it defense policies in the region to send a message to Iran. U.S. and foreign sources say Iran could soon have enough enriched uranium to build at least one nuclear weapon. Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
A new generation of defense industry leaders is using social media tools, leaner management structures and even shared sports activities to create a more collaborative and efficient workplace. Reuters reports, facing a downturn in defense spending and the Pentagon's aggressive cost-cutting drives, the industry is in a period of intense change. Companies are shifting gears to focus on new technologies like cybersecurity and unmanned planes as they try to become more efficient and in synch with rapidly evolving threats. Many companies have appointed new leaders who are changing the culture of an industry once dominated by strong personalities like Harry Stonecipher at Boeing Co and Tom Jones, the maverick who piloted Northrop Co's rise to become one of the hottest defense contractors of the 1980s.
The U.S. military almost launched fighter jets and discussed a possible shoot-down when an errant Navy drone briefly veered into restricted airspace near the nation's capital last month, a senior military official said Thursday. The Associate Press reports the incident underscores safety concerns with unmanned aircraft as defense officials campaign to use them more often during natural disasters and for homeland security. Navy Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., head of Northern Command, said Thursday that the August mishap could hamper the Pentagon's push to have the Federal Aviation Administration ease procedures for drone use by the military in domestic skies.
The Army has a new track in Maryland to test safety for war-fighting vehicles. The Aberdeen Proving Ground north of Baltimore is the Pentagon's first contiguous, flat track for sustained high-speed vehicle testing. Convoys in warzones have to travel long distances at over 60 mph to counter enemy threats. But until now, the military has had no way to test all its vehicles at high speeds for extended periods.
A Marine two-star general says the Taliban is experiencing a serious cash flow problem after losing an estimated half of its annual revenue from the drug trade in southern Afghanistan. The Associated Press reported Maj. Gen. Richard Mills says intelligence reports suggest that last year's poppy blight and government eradication efforts are keeping the Taliban from buying weapons and other supplies. Mills said at a news conference at the Pentagon U.S. troops still have a tough fight on their hands in Marjah.
A U.S. official said yesterday, they notified the Dutch authorities early on that they had no derogatory information on two men, both of Yemeni origin, who had suspicious items in their luggage. Still the Dutch were not satisfied. A major concern was the fact that one of the men and his luggage with contained suspicious items were headed to separate locations. Analyst say that is a classic sign of either a system test or compartmentalized attempt to slip prohibited items aboard an airplane.
You may have seen or heard about the movie Transformers and the military theme in the movie. It may soon be more than a movie. For several years now the Pentagon has been looking into flying cars. Now they're working on a flying humvee. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen two companies to participate in project Transformer. It's a fully automated four-person vehicle that can drive like a car and then take off and fly like an aircraft to avoid roadside bombs. Lockheed Martin and AAI Corp., a unit of Textron Systems are moving to the next stage.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner says Virginia officials should keep up the fight against the closing of a defense command in Norfolk. According to the Associated Press, the Virginia Democrat also suggested a different tack during a stop in Portsmouth on Thursday. He said Virginia officials should convince the Pentagon that it makes military and economic sense to keep the Joint Forces Command in Hampton Roads. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced this month he wants to close the command, which employs some 6,000 military and civilian workers.
The former chief of U.N. nuclear inspections worldwide, told Le Monde newspaper that Iran has stockpiled enough low-enriched uranium for 1-2 nuclear weapons. But Olli Heinonen, said it would not make sense for it to "cross the bomb-making threshold with such a small amount". He also said Iran's uranium reserve still represented a "threat." Pentagon officials told Congress last spring Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a one nuclear weapon in as little as a year.
Canadian authorities say they've broken up an al Qaida terror plot. Two residents from Ottawa have been arrested after one of them was preparing to leave the country. Authorities are tight-lipped about the investigation, but they say the plot involved at least one suspect who had traveled to the tribal territories of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also indicated the plot involved explosives. Canada is the only one of the major countries on Al Qaida's list that they have yet to successfully attack.
A failure by Navy air traffic controllers to follow standard procedures contributed to a midair collision that killed seven Coast Guard members and two Marines off Southern California last year, according to a Coast Guard report released Tuesday. The Associated Press says controllers at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, near San Diego, failed to notify the pilot of a Coast Guard C-130 plane that four Marine helicopters were in the area. The Marine flyers were also unaware of the Coast Guard plane's presence. The report said there is no single reason or person to blame for the crash on the night of Oct. 29, 2009. It made a series of recommendations to improve safety in the largely unregulated airspace.
You may remember the story of a pregnant Marine who was murdered at Camp Lejune in December of 2007. A jury on Monday convicted a former Marine of first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, of Vandalia, Ohio, in December 2007. Cesar Laurean, 23, of Las Vegas faces life in prison without parole. He was also convicted of theft and fraud charges.
The Pentagon is warning for the first time about the Chinese military's use of civilian computer experts in clandestine cyber attacks aimed at American companies and government agencies. DoD has issued a report says the People's Liberation Army, is using "information warfare units" to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, and those units include civilian computer professionals.
The "height of irresponsibility". That what the Pentagon says about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's decision to release another 15-thousand documents related to the war in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says "there are very serious operational consequences. There are the names of a lot of Afghans who have worked with us and helped us in those documents." He added the documents contain a significant amount of information about U.S. tactics, techniques and procedures, including places where they are vulnerable.
Polish authorities have extradited a man believed to be a Mossad agent to Germany, where he faces charges over a passport that was used in the slaying of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year. The suspect, known as Uri Brodsky was handed over to German police at Warsaw's international airport. German prosecutors accuse him of illegally helping to procure a passport used in connection with the Jan. 19th slaying of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a hotel in Dubai.
The Pentagon is going to sell about 200 Patriot missiles worth about $900 million to Kuwait. The goal is to build up anti-missile systems in the Persian Gulf. The Associated Press's Anne Flaherty writes, the initiative is aimed at defending Gulf allies against potential Iranian missile strikes and to signal to Tehran that any aggression would not go unanswered. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday that it had notified Congress of the proposed sale. Congress could object but is not expected to do so.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is recommending the elimination of the U.S. Joint Forces Command. That command is one of DoD's ten combatant commands and recently believed to play a key role in transforming the U.S. military's capabilities. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the command oversees a force of more than 1.16 million men and women. The command is comprised of active and reserve personnel from each branch of the armed forces, civil servants and contract employees. The commander oversees the command's four major mission areas: Joint Concept Development and Experimentation, Joint Training, Joint Capabilities Development, and Joint Force Provider.
The Pentagon is demanding that online whistle-blower WikiLeaks return its trove of tens of thousands of leaked U.S. government documents and delete them from its website and records. The Associated Press reports Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell didn't say what efforts the Defense Department might be able to take to compel Wikileaks to comply. He told a Pentagon press conference that, at this point, the Pentagon is asking Wikileaks "to do the right thing." Wikileaks posted nearly 77,000 classified military and other documents, mostly raw intelligence reports from Afghanistan, on its website July 25.