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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.
In a staggering statement yesterday the head of Canada's intelligence agency said says it suspects that cabinet ministers in two Canadian provinces are under the control of foreign nations. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) also said China and countries in the Middle East may be the culprits. Director Richard Fadden said on Canadian TV politicians in British Columbia may be under the influence of foreign governments and are not aware they are being used.
Lawmakers are criticizing U.S. military officials for failing to heed warnings about the role they say a Pentagon transportation contract plays in fueling extortion and corruption in Afghanistan. Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney says the companies hired to move food, water, fuel and ammunition to American troops stationed at bases across Afghanistan are forced to pay warlords millions of dollars to ensure safe passage. The spoils may then be funneled to the Taliban and insurgent forces, potentially making the U.S. an unwitting financier of the enemy.
The U.S. is better off with a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia than without it. That's what Secretary of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen, also urged the committee to ratify the agreement, saying the treaty has the full support of uniformed leaders. The agreement reduces U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces in a way that strengthens the stability of the U.S.-Russian relationship, Gates said.
Schizophrenic is how Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes Russia's relationship to Iran. In remarks before Congress he indicated Russian knows nukes in Iran would destabilized the region, but still Russia is pursuing a commercial relationship with Iran. Gates said he was told by his counterpart in Russia while he was head of the CIA in the 1990s, supporting Iran's nuclear reactor was all about the money.
Chinese leaders may be willing to realign some of their weapons and ease tensions with Taiwan. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, who visited China and Taiwan earlier made the comments during a Senate hearing. The move may have been coated with hopes that the U.S. suspend or abandon future weapons sales to Taiwan. China broke of military to military talks with the U.S. after the Obama administration announced plans to sell Taiwan up to $6.4 billion in arms.
The North America Aerospace Defense Command and the Russian Air Force plan to conduct a cooperative air defense exercise focused on combating terrorism. This exercise will take place in Russian and U.S. airspace and include Western Alaska and Eastern Russia in early August 2010. The scenario will involve both Russian and U.S. aircraft monitoring an international flight seized by terrorists.
In spite of the billions of dollars the U.S. government has provided Iraq to train it's military forces, there is evidence still of deep concern about whether they can do it. The State Department is reportedly putting together a diplomatic protection force to take the place of the U.S. military once they leave the country next year. Department officials are asking the Pentagon to provide heavy military gear, including Black Hawk helicopters, and say they will also need substantial support from private contractors.
Canadian Police are looking for a man who illegally bought enough ammonium nitrate to make a large bomb. There is significant concern about the purchase, because Canada is hosting the Group of Eight summit and the G20 later this month. Police found out about it after they were notified by a farm supply store in Canada. The man was described by police as being in his 50s or 60s, with brown, unkempt hair and missing fingers on his right hand.
A U.S. military official in Afghanistan called the claims the Taliban is planting HIV tainted needles along with IEDS, "absolutely" ridiculous. A former British military officer reportedly exposed the tactic to a U.K. news outlet. Questions have arisen about where the Taliban would get the needles and how they would know they're infected with HIV. British military explosive ordinance disposal teams have reportedly have been issued special gloves to handle IEDs.
The Taliban denies any involvement, but for the third time in two months, school girls in Afghanistan have fallen ill. Authorities say they were poisoned with some kind of substance. The most up to date reporting from the region suggests the 14 girls in this incident were gassed. The girls were rushed to a medical facility in the Sar e Pol province in Northern Afghanistan. Authorities say they don't have any suspects. Almost 100 girls and teachers have been attacked this way in recent months.
Last year there were 90 - this year there are 102. Stars on the wall at CIA headquarters. 12 Stars were added yesterday to commemorate the agency's fallen heroes. Seven of the 12 died in Khost, Afghanistan last December. The other five of those killed died engaged in clandestine operations. According to CIA Director Leon Panetta, the sensitivity of their work requires that the nature and their names of course remain classified and secret.
In addition to the killing of Mustafa Ahmed Muhammad Uthman Abu al-Yazid, one of Al Qaida's most senior commanders, now comes word that another, less senior, but still important target has been killed as well. Osama bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Damjan Al-Dawsari was reportedly killed when he was attending a meeting in the house of Omar Khaitab, a close associate of militant commander Maulvi Nazir in South Waziristan on May 28, 2010. Locals say that Khaitab, two other tribesmen and an Afghan national were killed in the attack. A top U.S. counter- terrorism analyst says, with the killing of Abu al Yazid and now al Dawsari, "it looks like the U.S. intelligence community is dialed into a very good Intel channel."
The former leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro says if the U.S launched a nuclear strike against Iran, President Barack Obama would definitely win another term. In an opinion column published by Cuban state media, the reclusive Castro, says North Korea's recent sinking of a South Korean frigate is a good opening for the U.S. to launch an attack against the North Koreans. Castro also suggested that Mr Obama getting bad advice from his advisors.
U.S. military tanker aircraft have suspended refueling operations at Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan. A new contract is being renegotiated with interim government in that country. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said refueling for KC-135 aerial refueling tankers had been shifted to a new refueling location, which was not disclosed for security reasons. Whitman said the move has not disrupted U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, and the movement of troops and supplies through Manas have not be affected.
After days of days of promotion and preparation --the Obama administration has released its national security strategy. The document identifies what the administration calls four enduring U.S. national interests. 1)The security of the United States, its citizens, and U.S. allies and partners. 2) A strong, innovative, and growing U.S. economy that promotes opportunity and prosperity. 3) Respect for universal values at home and around the world. 4) And more international cooperation to meet global challenges.
The brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Ahmad Wali Karzai has become a target of NATO --so to speak. British Major General Nick Carter, a top commander in Afghanistan said his plan is to reduce his role in the day-to-day governing of Kandahar. The president's brother has been accused of ties to drug traffickers for many years and represents an impediment to transparency in Afghanistan. Carter's goals is to see to it that the actual governor of the Kandahar province gets to govern.
Sources in Yemen say the U.S. couple that was kidnapped and then released were let go thanks to tribal mediation and pressure by Yemeni security forces. The Americans, who are in their thirties were kidnapped while they were on their way from Sana'a to Manakhah and were staying at Burj al-Salam Hotel in Sana'a. They live and work in Dubai, and were visiting Yemen for the weekend. According to the Yemen Observer, their trip was organized by Easy Travel Co. The kidnappers, had been demanding that the Yemeni government release a family member from prison in Sana'a.
Gay rights activists and Obama Administration officials have begun discussing a plan to speed up the repeal of Don't ask, Don't Tell, while giving the Pentagon years to implement new policies. Implementation of policy for gays serving openly would still require the approval of President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. How long implementation might take is unknown.
China is building an advanced combat jet that may rival within eight years Lockheed Martin Corp's F-22 Raptor, the premier U.S. fighter, a U.S. intelligence official said. Reuters reports, the expected deployment is years ahead of what the Pentagon thought the date would be. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last year it would be 2025 before China would have that capability --Now the the estimate is 2018. The F-22 blends speed, super-agility, stealth and sensor fusion into a single package
A multi-nation report is expected out this week that will point the finger at N Korea for the sinking of a S Korean warship. 46 sailors were killed on March 26th when a still unexplained explosion in the Yellow Sea split the 1200 ton corvette class ship in half. The Cheonan, which is about the size of a U.S. frigate was about two miles offshore at the time of the sinking. Investigators think the North Korea military launched a torpedo at the vessel.