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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
Pieces of the suicide bomber's car were strewn across the street. Three police cars and a handful of civilian cars and shops in the area were destroyed by the blast in Kabul Monday. In a statement, President Hamid Karzi condemned the midday attack. But the incident and others like it highlight the wobbly state of security in Afghanistan as that weak nation tries to build a security force and stomp out insurgents hiding in Afghanistan's rugged terrain and porous borders.
The last policeman standing or in this case policewoman has gone down in a strip of border towns in the Juarez Valley of Mexico. Gunmen stormed into the home of Erika Gándara in the town of Guadalupe about 6 o'clock am. two days before Christmas and kidnapped her. The 28 year ood Gándara, was the only police officer in the municipality of Guadalupe which is about two miles from the Texas border. All the rest of the police, the men, had fled the town, giving in to the powerful drug cartels and their henchmen. No word on her condition.
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.