NATO suddenly classifies ratings of Afghan military and police capabilities

By Julia Harte

NATO abruptly classifies assessments of Afghan army and police, which the U.S. spent billions building up.

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… t respond to questions about the company’s ownership or its work for the Pentagon. But he said, “There are many United States businesses, including wholes …"

"… nse goods and services — weapons and training — are coordinated by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency. When a weapon is sold or given by …"

"… om 2003 to 2008, said that during this period, he struggled to catalog all Pentagon-funded arms shipments, which arrived in the country in a disorganized stat …"

"… that full capacity." Islamic State fighters may have anticipated that the Pentagon will make a renewed effort to track whether its future arms shipments stay …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "nonprofit":

"… he Six-Day War in 1967, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit group in Washington that tracks nuclear weapons developments. For decades …"

"… dom of Information Act request by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental group. “We believe that Israel already has produced nucle …"

DOE official seeks probe of dissident analyst’s dismissal by nuclear weapons laboratory

By Douglas Birch

The overseer of U.S. nuclear weapons production requests an Inspector General’s review of the firing of Los Alamos analyst James Doyle.

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… ave been handed over to school districts large and small, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In Cali …"

"… NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Ange …"

"… d Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and Public Counsel, which is based in Los Angeles. Controversy over so-c …"

"… pline, as the Center for Public Integrity has reported.    Both Texas Appleseed and Public Counsel have been active in pushing for states and di …"

Fearing for the Second Amendment, militia groups grow in number

By Alex Lancial and Jim Tuttle

Fear of interference with Second Amendment rights and suspicion of elected officials have provoked a rise in self-described patriot militias

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mississippi":

"… our houses,” said Robert Mitchell, commander of the Citizens Militia of Mississippi. “That doesn't exist anymore. Maybe it sounds cliche, maybe it sounds li …"

"… A little over a year ago, Mitchell started the Citizens Militia of Mississippi, which now claims nearly 150 official members – a number that membe …"

U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

By Douglas Birch

Islamic State fighters seize U.S. military equipment in Iraq, become targets for U.S. warplanes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… d dispatching more than 1,000 troops there as military advisers, President Barack Obama has sent U.S. forces back to a conflict that many Americans wanted to forg …"

U.S. military describes its mistakes in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that both military and civilian officials failed to tackle corrosive corruption.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… wed optimism that America’s estimated $120 billion effort to reconstruct Afghanistan will leave behind “a stable and secure country that serves the prosperit …"

"… ion. The officers concluded in a report for the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Afghanistan’s ability to serve its citizens’ needs remains directly threatened by …"

"… y for those involved; Washington made the problem worse by inundating Afghanistan with more cash than it could absorb in legitimate channels to undertake ne …"

"… ng a year ago from the outgoing head of the multilateral military force in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Gen. John Allen. According to the report, Allen told the pre …"

U.S. literacy program for Afghan military comes up short

By Mattie Quinn and R. Jeffrey Smith

Auditor says a program in Afghanistan costing hundreds of millions of dollars has been undermined by poor contracts and weak monitoring.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… ates. These conclusions conflict with claims by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan to the auditor last October that the U.S.-led alliance was on tr …"

"… oops to read and write in either Dari or Pashto, the official languages of Afghanistan. Officials with the training program told the auditor last October that 2 …"

"… total of $200 million over four years. Two of the contractors are based in Afghanistan and one, headquartered in Florida, is led by retired U.S. Army officers. …"

"… spond to the report, Major Doug McNair, a training mission spokesperson in Afghanistan, wrote in an email that “literacy training must be balanced against …"

Obama administration understated nuclear weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An independent report projects a much higher bill for the administration’s weapons programs.

Russian site eyed for Syrian chemical weapons destruction

By R. Jeffrey Smith

There’s a reason why Western officials are being nice to Moscow now — they want Russia to destroy Syria’s deadly arsenal on its own soil.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United Nations":

"… large, organized, rocket attack, not a juryrigged operation. Thus did the United Nations-organized probe undermine several hypotheses advanced by officials in Mosc …"

Obama’s nuclear targeting revisions create a path to smaller arsenals

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Obama's plan embraces cuts that Moscow remains reticent to endorse.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… oved. The secret directive he signed has been sitting in draft form at the White House since last winter. The president was reluctant to sign it before the 2012 …"

"… and his aides provided only a vague account of what the directive says. A White House fact sheet summarizing the document states that Obama told the Pentagon an …"

"… objectives and effects could be achieved” with this approach. While the White House directive calls for retaining a “launch under attack” capability, it o …"

"… already in place — remains uncertain. Congressional Republicans want the White House to pursue a treaty, which they would have a say in approving or rejecting. …"

Lobbyists helping banker recoup land Saddam 'stole'

By Reity O'Brien

Michigan banker hires lobbying duo to help recoup land he says Iraqi dictator stole.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… y academy that was captured by U.S. armed forces during the Iraq War. The United States officially turned over the training facility to the Iraqi military in Marc …"

Practice attack on Moscow was anything but routine

By Douglas Birch

Did 1983 U.S.-NATO war game bring the world to the brink of Armageddon?

Excerpts from this story referencing "RYAN":

"… e U.S.S.R. The massive intelligence-gathering effort, called “Operation RYAN,” pressured the KGB to find proof that the U.S. was planning a “decapi …"

Government auditor challenges White House account of Afghanistan security

By Richard H.P. Sia

A special inspector general discloses that as US forces head for the exit, the Pentagon has not met its goal for enlarging the Afghan force

Lawmakers criticize Pentagon spending for golf nets, museums and sun rooms

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Payments from countries hosting U.S. troops are diverted to questionable projects, according to Senate report.

Invasion of Iraq, 10 years later

A look back at the Center's coverage of the path to invasion and the cost of war.

Obama administration embraces major new nuclear weapons cut

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Officials back a new targeting plan and a one-third reduction in the U.S. arsenal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nuclear disarmament":

"… ed States and Russia had a special obligation to undertake deeper cuts. “Nuclear disarmament is off-track,” he said. “Delay comes with a high price tag. The longer …"

U.S. seeks to outsource handling of Syrian chemical weapons

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The U.S. wants Jordan and Turkey to take the lead safeguarding Syrian chemical weapons.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jordan":

"… for thousands of chemical protective suits and related items to be sent to Jordan and Turkey and is pressing the military forces there to take principal res …"

"… parations for such an event, Western governments have started training the Jordanians and Turks to use the chemical gear and detection equipment, so they ha …"

"… ntry as quickly as possible, and so it has begun discussions not only with Jordan and Turkey, but also with Iraq and Russia in an effort to chart the potent …"

"… along than officials have publicly disclosed. But so far, the Turkish and Jordanian governments have not promised to take up the full role that Washington …"

Missing: $200M in gas receipts for NATO aid in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

NATO fuel purchase documents in Afghanistan were shredded and remain missing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… n for the installation of the equipment.” …"

"… 201 million” worth of fuel purchases, said Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko, in a letter alerting two members of Con …"

"… ow-up to a warning by Sopko in September that coalition force personnel in Afghanistan had improperly shredded fuel purchase records that covered a five-year per …"

"… partment spokesman, said in an e-mail Friday that “NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) takes this matte …"

FACT CHECK: Missteps in final presidential debate

By The Associated Press

A look at some of their statements from the final presidential debate and how they compare with the facts.

Daily Disclosure: Misleading ad attacks Obama on Libya

By Rachael Marcus

Inflammatory super PAC ad attacking the president's reaction to attacks in Libya gets its facts wrong.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United Nations":

"… also accuses the president of skipping meetings with world leaders at the United Nations so he could appear on a television show.Obama was not in Las Vegas campaig …"

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

Daily Disclosure: Ad hits Obama on child soldiers

By Rachael Marcus

Let Freedom Ring attacks Obama for providing military aid to countries that use child soldiers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… e of its status as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization. However, Federal Election Commission reports in 2009 and 2010 show John Templeton Jr. was the primary backer.Te …"

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.
Aung San Suu Kyi

US eases sanctions, allowing investment in Myanmar

By The Associated Press

US allows investment in Myanmar, including oil and gas, in biggest rollback yet of sanctions

U.S. points finger, and arms exports, at human rights abusers

By Zach Toombs and R. Jeffrey Smith

The State Department decries repression in the countries where it promotes the purchase of U.S. weaponry.

Excerpts from this story referencing "cuts":

"… s. As a result, more than 40 officers sustained injuries, including severe cuts to limbs. The clearing operation and subsequent clashes between security p …"

U.S. military admits major war mistakes

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An internal report prepared by the Joint Staff describes failures of leadership and planning in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Are nuclear weapons contractors’ millions in campaign contributions buying favors?

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A sizable flow of cash and well-connected lobbyists bolster congressional support for the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Former U.S. nuclear commander startles with proposal to cut weapons arsenal by 80%

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Squabbling in Washington intensifies as a former nuclear force commander urges 80% reduction in the arsenal.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United Nations":

"… George H.W. Bush, and by Thomas Pickering, Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations.The report said that only by drastically cutting the U.S. and Russian nucl …"

Pages