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Shows & Panels
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 show-and-tell based on secret intelligence, The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has shared secret satellite images, letters and diagrams with 35 countries as it tries to shore up its case that Iran apparently worked secretly on developing a nuclear weapon. Iran's chief envoy to the IAEA rejected the presentation as based on material fabricated by the United States and its allies.
Microsoft's Elevate America Veterans Initiative has announced a new effort to help veterans and their spouses get the technology skills and certifications they need to get work. An October unemployment report shows the unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Microsoft is distributing vouchers that will enable veterans to obtain training at no cost. Vouchers will be available in five regions including Northern Virginia at the Workforce Investment Board.
Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz testified on Capitol Hill about the fact that the military had put remains of military war dead in a landfill. Schwartz told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the problem had been corrected and he defended a decision not to fire anyone who worked at the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. One military officer and two civilians received disciplinary action, steps that investigators at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a letter to President Barack Obama did not go far enough.
A year-long Air Force investigation reviewed 14 sets of allegations of improper handling of war remains as reported by three whistleblower workers at Dover Air Force Base, Del. That is where all war dead are received from foreign battlefields to be identified, autopsied and prepared for transfer to their families. The Air Force inspector general concluded that no laws or regulations had been violated, as alleged, but an independent agency that reviewed the probe said the Air Force failed to accept accountability for its mistakes.
U/S intelligence officials called out China and Russia in a new report on industrial espionage and somewhat surprising element emerged."We often speak of China s the aggressor, but after the United States they're the largest victim of cyber space exploits", said John McClurg, Chief Security officer at Dell. The report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage indicates that the U.S. going to take a much more active approach to fighting cyber crime.
Military leaders warned Congress on Wednesday that steeper cuts in defense spending, as either a policy choice or a consequence of political gridlock, will gut the armed forces and sap U.S. global influence. The AP reports, "Their predictions of doom, while disputed by some private defense and foreign policy analysts, reflect a consensus Pentagon view that even as the U.S. winds down its military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan it would be highly risky to national security to make large, across-the-board cuts in spending."
What are the biggest threats to the U/S? Cyber terrorists and transnational threats are leading the list at this point. Also on the list is money. Slashing the Pentagon budget is forcing top military officials to think about what they can do without. But that's not all bad, some say they've been able to focus more carefully on what their true mission is and their personnel have a more clear understanding of what matters most.
NATO military convoys in Kabul. How safe are they? Is there anything that can be done to make them safer? Americans living and working in Afghanistan's capitol say it's not unusual to see the convoys mixed in with regular civilian traffic as they move from place to place. One of the questions being examined is, whether there are are other options for troop and contractor movement around the city. The suicide attack over the weekend, that killed 17 including, 13 Americans has been claimed by the Taliban, with help from the Haqqani network.
Dr. Clifford Stanley, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, a retired Marine Major General has submitted his resignation. His job was to find new talent with expertise in innovation, energy and competence. Stanley, who took office in February 2010, will leave in the next two weeks. Dr. JoAnn Rooney, currently Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness, will serve as Acting Undersecretary until a successor is named.
The Obama administration is setting up an Internet-based embassy to reach out to Iranians hoping to broaden their understanding of the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the "virtual embassy in Tehran" will be online by the end of the year. She told the BBC's Persian-language service Wednesday the site will aim to answer questions on traveling and studying in the U.S.
The Pentagon has issued a statement about the flooding in Thailand. It reads, "The Secretary has expressed serious concern about the flooding in Thailand on several occasions during his current visit to the Asia-Pacific region. He offers his deepest condolences to all those who have suffered as a result. The Secretary is closely monitoring the situation and applauds the Thai government's quick response to this major natural disaster."
The House Homeland Security Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, and the Counterterrorism & Intelligence Subcommittee are going to conduct a hearing on Iranian terror operations in the United States. Among the topics the hearing will address: Threats from the Iranian government, Iran's intentions to carry out attacks inside the United States, Iran's ties to the Western Hemisphere and the impact of sanctions against Iran and consideration of more punitive actions.
It's over in Iraq. But now a new beginning is dawning. President Barack Obama has announced the war is over and all troops will be home by the holidays. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says a full U.S. troop withdrawal will allow the two countries to start a new strategic relationship in the interests of both governments. After the withdrawal is over al-Maliki says the two countries will begin talking about a "new phase" in strategic relations.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Attorney General Eric Holder are expressing their opposition to a move prevent terror suspects from being tried in Federal Court. The two of them sent a letter to Senate leaders saying the Republican measure would deprive them of a potent weapon in the fight against terrorism. They also claim it could lead increase the risk of terrorists escaping justice and putting other people in danger.
CIA chief David Petraeus will be among an army of high-level U.S. officials with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she arrives in Islamabad on Thursday to ramp up pressure on Pakistan to do more to stop militant infiltration across the border into Afghanistan, several U.S. officials in Washington and the region told The Associated Press. In a muscular show of diplomatic force, the U.S. dispatched most of its senior national security leaders to Pakistan with what several officials described as a combined message of support and pressure.
The Pentagon says it's going to re-open negotiations with North Korea. The focus is resuming efforts to recover the remains of some of the estimated 5,500 U.S. service members unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War. The Bush Administration stopped the recovery in 2005 because of concern about the safety of recovery teams in North Korea. No indication has been given yet as to how the security situation will be addressed.
Survivors and relatives of those killed in the deadly attack on the USS Cole in Yemen marked the 11th anniversary of the bombing at the ship's home base in Norfolk. The ceremony comes after a Pentagon official recently approved charges that carry a possible death penalty for a Guantanamo prisoner accused of planning the attack. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is to be arraigned Nov. 9 at the U.S. military base in Cuba. The attack on the U.S. destroyer killed 17 sailors and wounded 37.
With the Space shuttle program going into hibernation, where will the U.S. turn if it needs a lift into Space? Well according to Wired magazine, it could be the Air Force's X-37B "space plane". Wired says Boeing is looking into plans could more than double the vehicle's size and make room for up to six astronauts. Boeing has unveiled plans for an "X-37C" that would be nearly twice as long as the current B-model.
Who should have custody of suspected terrorists? It's being debated on the hill./The latest dispute centers on a provision that would require military custody of a suspect determined to be a member of al-Qaida or an affiliate and involved in the planning or carrying out of an attack on the United States. The administration says such a step would hamper efforts by the FBI or other law enforcement while requiring military custody for all terror suspects.
How do American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki get on a kill or capture list? Reuters reports, it's a secret panel of Sr. U.S. government officials on the National Security Council that decide and then send their recommendations on to the President. Former National Security staffer Juan Zarate says, it's an important process. "You have Senior National staff along with counsel reviewing anything the U.S. does from a National Security perspective that touches on law of war, war of terror issues, he says." The National Security Council says no such panel exists.