Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
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.
Who's behind blasts at embassies across Europe. Package bombs exploded at the Swiss and Chilean Embassies and were found at others. No one immediately claimed responsibility, but authorities appeared to discount domestic anarchists or protesters. Rome's Mayor Gianni Alemanno "It's a wave of terrorism against embassies, something much more worrisome than a single attack," Last month, suspected Greek radical anarchists sent fourteen mail bombs to foreign embassies in Athens.
A bomb exploded at a downtown bus station in Kenya's capital late yesterday as passengers boarded a bus, killing at least one person and wounding more than 39 others, Police say the person who was killed was carrying a piece of luggage that contained the bomb. Most of the wounded were Ugandans traveling home for Christmas, Al-Shabab, Somalia's most dangerous militant group, has threatened to carry out more attacks on Uganda and Burundi, the two nations that contribute troops to the 8,000-strong African Union force in Mogadishu.
Congress has authorized the Pentagon to spend nearly $160 billion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no major restrictions on the conduct of operations. This year's approved legislation includes $725 billion in defense programs, including $158.7 billion for overseas combat. Among its numerous provisions is a 1.4 percent pay raise for troops and a guarantee that children of service members can stay covered under the military's TRICARE health care program until they are 26 years of age.
There are consequences to posting those Wikileaks documents. The Air Force has blocked access on its network to more than two dozen media outlets who have posted them. The Pentagon has warned personnel not to go to the Wikileaks site, but this takes it a step further. Meaning, US Air Force personnel will not be able to get to those sites from their military networks. Among those blocked are the Guardian and the New York Times.
Lingering concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions and al-Qaida-linked terrorists plotting attacks against the West in Yemen are at the top of the list of concerns for Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He expressed those concerns during remarks at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. He said that the U.S. must be willing to do more financially, diplomatically and economically for countries that have problems before they erupt and trigger military action.
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced the son of a convicted spy to five years of probation for helping his father contact his old Russian handlers. Nathan Nicholson, son of ex-CIA agent Harold "Jim" Nicholson, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. The son had been used as the middle man in an attempt to try to collect money from the Russians while behind bars. The younger Nicholson apologized to the court and said he was embarrassed by his actions. Harold Nicholson is one of the highest-ranking CIA officers ever convicted of espionage.
The long-term fallout of the Wikileaks disclosure is turning up already. Some foreign governments appear to be pulling back already. Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, says "We have gotten indications that there is at least some change in how individuals and governments cooperate with us, and share information," Lapan repeated the concern that would-be informants or established intelligence sources might not be coming forward out of fear they could be exposed, or that governments might become more "circumspect with the information they share."
Iran says nuclear issues are not even up for discussion when it meets major powers in Geneva on Today. So it's not clear how productive the first the first talks in a year will be. But even if Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany do agree to meet again, the process is expected to be long in terms of pomp and circumstance, but may be short on productivity. The United States is urging Iran to enter the talks in good faith and warned of more pressure and isolation if Tehran doesn't.
The defense budget for the U.S. is going to recede, but it's not clear exactly when or by how much. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants the military to find $100 billion in savings in overhead over the next five years to put back into troop costs and weapons programs and he wants to do it while keeping the overall Pentagon budget growing at about 1 percent a year. Marine Corps General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday other parts of the government might have a problem with that.
President Barack Obama is looking for help from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to jump start the short-circuited nuclear treaty with the Russians. Powell, a retired four-star Army general and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said, "We're not exactly sure what's going on in the Russian Federation, and they're not exactly sure what's going on in the United States." The START treaty would reduce how many strategic warheads the United States and Russia could hold and set up a system so each could inspect and verify the other's arsenal.
Brazilian police showed off piles of drugs and weapons seized during an aggressive takeover of two of this city's most dangerous slums, even as the search continued Tuesday in homes and even sewers for their real target: the drug gang leaders themselves. According to the Associated Press, police conceded that many of the up to 600 drug gang members believed to have been hiding in Vila Cruzeiro and the neighboring Alemao complex of slums may have escaped. The hunt for those that got away extended Tuesday into Rio's maze of storm sewers. The tally for a week of gang attacks and police raids included 124 arrested, 148 detained and 51 dead, authorities said in a statement released Tuesday.
The Wikileaks documents presents more evidence that Iran is becoming increasingly more isolated not just because of the sanctions aimed strangling it's nuclear pursuits, but diplomatically too. The crown prince of the United Arab Emirates said in one of the cables, "Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon unless the regime could be 'split from inside' before nuclear capability was achieved." That same documented pointed out as well that Iran has a major fear of improving relations with the U.S. because it would threaten the government's control over the country.
Even though senior NATO and Pentagon officials have expressed doubt that Afghan forces will be ready to take over security for the country in 2014, NATO leaders say thery will move ahead with step one of the plan to do just that. Britan, Canada and other allied countries say they do not want to be in a combat role in 2014 and are beginning to phase out their troops. The U.S. says it will begin it's withdrawal from Afghanistan next year.
How will the U.S withdrawal from Iraq next year affect security there? Colin Kahl, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee security remains strong and the pullout at the end of 2011 will not ignite a dramatic increase in violence. Al Qaida, while successful in pulling of several high profile attacks in recent weeks, killing hundreds has not succeeded in ingniting widespread sectarian violence.
A very curt message for Defense Secretary Robert Gates yesterday. Bolivian President Evo Morales said Latin American nations will pick their own friends and business partners, including Iran, regardless of U.S. opinion. The remarks came during a welcome ceremony for delegates at a regional defense conference Morales never mentioned Gates. But observers say most of the speech, and all of the applause lines, obviously aimed at Gates.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a congressional advisory commission says in its annual report that lawmakers should require a Pentagon assessment of the military's capacity to withstand a Chinese air and missile assault on American regional bases and the implications of a similar assault on Taiwan's air defenses. The commission was set up by Congress in 2000 to advise, investigate and report on U.S.-China affairs.
Canada confirmed Tuesday that 950 soldiers and support staff will remain in Afghanistan in a training role after Canada's combat mission ends in 2011. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said they will be stationed in the Kabul area and will stay until 2014. The pledge of support may help plug a critical shortage of trainers for NATO's year-old mission to bolster Afghan security forces. The training mission would be confined to military bases.
It's the latest innovation by international drug traffickers. U.S. prosecutors say South American gangs are buying old jets and other planes, filling them with cocaine and flying them more than 3,000 miles across the ocean to Africa. At least three gangs have struck deals to fly drugs to West Africa and from there to Europe, according to U.S. indictments. Most of the cocaine flown to Africa is bound for Europe, where demand has been rising over the last decade.
Almost 100 years after his death, a black Union Civil War vet from South Carolina finally has a veterans marker on his grave. The Associated Press reports, the white gravestone for Henry Benjamin Noisette was dedicated Thursday during a Veterans Day ceremony at a small black cemetery near an interstate. Noisette's military past was not discovered until recently by a researcher with the African American Historical Alliance, a nonprofit working to increase awareness of the role of blacks in the war and Reconstruction in South Carolina. Noisette escaped slavery and joined the U.S. Navy in 1862.
More than 60 years after world war two, Germany is still very sensitve how it deploys it's troops in foreign countries. The government has announced it will extend three military deployments including its contribution to an EU naval force tracking pirates off Somalia. Germany has more than 300 troops participating in the anti-piracy force. There are 120 soldiers to Bosnia, and it's considering sending a ship with 220 soldiers to take part in NATO's Active Endeavour operation patrolling in the Mediterranean. Germany also has 4,900 troops in Afghanistan.