Debate preview: Who can be the toughest on global challenges?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Presidential candidates compete in debates to show how muscular they are, even when clear solutions are often not available.
Barack Obama

Obama order protects intelligence community whistleblowers

By David Axe

A new executive order provides protections shunned by House Republicans.

Who has Syria's chemical weapons?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The secretary of defense says that Washington is not sure where all of the deadly Syrian stockpile is

East China Sea training merely an 'exercise' says Pentagon

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Faux neutrality in the East China Sea

F-35 deputy sees challenges ahead

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Aaron Mehta

New F-35 program deputy gives a candid assessment of flaws in the most expensive weapon in Pentagon history.

Hospitals failing to secure dirty bomb materials

By Aaron Mehta

Hospitals are failing to secure potential dirty bomb materials, says GAO

IG: Afghan fuel records go missing

By Aaron Mehta

New IG report warns of missing data on $475 million in oil

Amidst cuts, Army outfits chauffeurs

By Aaron Mehta

While the military looks to cut, the Army solicits new uniforms for drivers.

Is the Democratic platform in synch with the public on national defense?

By Aaron Mehta and R. Jeffrey Smith

Democratic platform offers hints at how Obama would handle defense in second term.

GOP platform at odds with public on defense spending

By Aaron Mehta

GOP platform calls for commitment to missiles, hard line on Iran; public wants more cuts

U.S. sets record arms sales in 2011

By Aaron Mehta

America OK'd more than $66 billion in arms sales in 2011, according to government report.

Drugs, guns and child porn at Homeland Security

By Aaron Mehta

Over 250 Homeland Security agents were convicted of crimes last year, says new report.

Dissent among Republicans over defense spending

By Aaron Mehta

Grover Norquist opposes Romney plan to increase the military budget

Lawmakers complain about monopoly space launch deal

By Zach Toombs

The top house intelligence committee lawmakers say the Air Force is about to spend too much on one of its favorite contractors.

Senators suggest new penalties in Chinese helicopter probe

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Zach Toombs

The top lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services committee call exports by Pratt & Whitney's Canadian branch "enormously troubling"

Counter-IED efforts still beset by poor oversight and duplication

By Zach Toombs and Aaron Mehta

The Pentagon has trouble tracking billions of dollars in expenditures on the most vexing threat of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers demands better Pentagon auditing

By Zach Toombs

A Republican-led effort threatens to block major weapons systems if the military services cannot account properly for their expenditures.

U.S. nuclear targeting unaltered since 2008

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The more things change, the more they stay the same in U.S. planning for nuclear war.

Millions of dollars in U.S. aid wasted in Afghanistan

By Zach Toombs

Government watchdog finds many examples of failed construction projects.

Top defense oversight staffer received $1.6 million payout from Lockheed Martin

By Zach Toombs

Staffer for the Senate Armed Services committee is a veteran lobbyist for the defense industry.

Officials turn to cheaper detectors to find a terrorist's nuclear materials

By Zach Toombs and R. Jeffrey Smith

The government shifts gears after sinking $230 million and six years of work into detectors that did not do the job

Pentagon efforts to straighten out bookkeeping face billion-dollar cost overruns

By Zach Toombs

Software troubles cast doubt on Panetta’s promise of an accounting of expenses by 2017.

GAO: Missile defense initiative faces continuing challenges

By Aaron Mehta and Zach Toombs

GAO says programs still not following 'best practices.'

U.S. arms control official: Test ban treaty faces 'uphill' fight in Senate

By Zach Toombs

U.S. arms control official predicts 'uphill' fight.

Electrical grid is not well protected

By Zach Toombs

Watchdog calls for better coordination in protecting the electricity supply against cyber threats.

U.S. official says government wasted $6-8 billion in Iraq reconstruction

By Zach Toombs and Aaron Mehta

The special inspector general for Iraq tallies the loss of U.S. taxpayer funds at more than 11 percent of the billions spent

Voters in both parties favor defense spending cuts

By R. Jeffrey Smith

It doesn't matter if the district is blue or red, or has a defense manufacturing plant.

'Drastic' defense cuts would set the clock back only to 2006

By Zach Toombs

The Congressional Budget Office suggests that budget sequestration may not gut the defense budget.

Congress can’t say no to military pay raises

By Zach Toombs

Soldiering now pays much better than civilian work

More fun facts about the F-35 fighter

A look at a few stats on the F-35 fighter.

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Writers and editors

R. Jeffrey Smith

Managing Editor, National Security The Center for Public Integrity

Smith worked for 25 years in a series of key reporting and editorial roles at The Washington Post, including ... More about R. Jeffrey Smith

Douglas Birch

The Center for Public Integrity

Veteran foreign correspondent Douglas Birch has reported from more than 20 countries, covered four wars, a dozen elections, the deat... More about Douglas Birch

Mattie Quinn

The Center for Public Integrity