Advisory panel tells Congress the nuclear weapons complex is too big and too old

By Douglas Birch

A congressional advisory panel says the nuclear weapons complex can be scaled down and modernized with less regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas":

"… Corporation to manage the Y-12 plant in Tennessee and the Pantex plant in Texas, where key nuclear weapons components are made. Panel co-chairman Richard …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… S. Marines and British military forces began their current withdrawal from Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force …"

"… d province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan abruptly classified its assessment of the fighting abilities of the Afghan …"

"… reconstruction effort that the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction by email that the latest ratings now are classified in thei …"

"… r an explanation. The change was flagged by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko in his Oct. 2014 quarterly report released today …"

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 "Afghanistan":

"… identified shortcomings in controlling the use of U.S. weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I don’t know how we’re going to do it securely in this new progra …"

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 "speaker":

"… any comment we can share at this point,” she wrote in an email. A former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Avraham Burg, was less discrete during a December …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Mexico":

"… tantial” law-breaking by the lab. Reached by phone while on vacation in New Mexico, Doyle said he had not yet seen Marmolejos’ letter and would study it wh …"

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 "Education":

"… said the protest letter, signed by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund and public-interest law groups Texas Appleseed of Austin, Texas, and …"

"… litary hardware for school police include the Children’s Law Center, the Education Law Center, the National Center for Youth Law, the Advancement Project — …"

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 "Idaho":

"… he last militia movement was sparked in part by events in Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas, sieges that tuned in to deadly standoffs with f …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… which also are slated for an upgrade, will cost $40 billion. Keeping the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons-related laboratories humming over this peri …"

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 "chemical":

"… t the Syrian regime was responsible in late August for the world’s worst chemical weapons attack in 25 years. But officials in Washington and allied capita …"

"… use they are presently asking Russia for a big favor — to destroy Syrian chemicals on its own soil. Speaking in New York after the report was presented to …"

"… ation of last week’s agreement in Geneva to strip Bashar al-Assad of the chemical weapons he has guarded so zealously. The reason — spoken in private by U …"

"… hat Russia is virtually the only nation that could haul the immense Syrian chemical arsenal away and destroy it on its own territory, particularly within the …"

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 "Vladimir Putin":

"… stration official said. That was one day after Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin had what several officials describe as a difficult private conversation ab …"

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 "Iraq War":

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

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 "Able Archer 83":

"… tial note cards to previously secret CIA reports, the documents describing Able Archer 83 offer fresh insight into a much studied but incompletely understood episod …"

"… able of reaching Moscow in less than ten minutes. Considered in a vacuum, Able Archer 83, in which officer’s at NATO’s Belgium headquarters practiced their res …"

"… ight not have seemed particularly threatening. But for two years prior to Able Archer 83, KGB agents had been scouring the world for evidence of what the Soviet le …"

"… sm in Washington about Andropov’s sincerity. Three days after the end of Able Archer 83, the CIA issued a Top Secret Joint Net Assessment of U.S. and Soviet strat …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Combined Security Transition Command":

"… dgers in “decentralized, unlinked and inconsistent systems.”  The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which oversees the training effort, reported last year “the …"

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 "Navy":

"… e no promise to build all 12 new missile-carrying submarines sought by the Navy. The United States is not the only nuclear weapons state considering a re …"

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.

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 "U.S. military":

"… l activity.” But he noted that the shredding began within days after the U.S. military’s Central Command specifically ordered managers “not to destroy or dis …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kofi Annan":

"… saying, 'Well, we'll let the U.N. deal with it.' And Assad — excuse me, Kofi Annan — came in and said we're going to try to have a cease-fire. That didn't …"

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.

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… al Republicans who criticized Obama’s New START nuclear treaty with Russia. In comparison, the Democratic Party platform offers strong support for Ne …"

"… rm offers strong support for New START and calls for further treaties with Russia and the international community.Obama’s aides have been vague in this el …"

"… ore quickly than the treaty’s 2018 deadline, or informally deciding with Russia that both countries should deploy even “lower levels of nuclear weapons …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… cleans shop after five decades of military rule. "Today, the United States is easing restrictions to allow U.S. companies to responsibly do business …"

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 "India":

"… U.S. increase came from vastly expanded sales to Saudi Arabia, Brazil and India.“Obviously, we’re going to continue to press and advocate for U.S. arm …"

"… s conference addressing arms exports. “We are hopeful that arms sales to India will increase. We’ve made tremendous progress in this relationship over …"

"… Shapiro explained that by “progress” he meant that U.S. arms sales to India went from “nearly zero” to around $8 billion in that period.Here’s w …"

"… issued by State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor said about India: “The most significant human rights problems were police and security fo …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. military":

"… the decade, “strategic leadership repeatedly failed,” and as a result, U.S. military training, policies, doctrine and equipment were ill-suited to the tasks th …"

"… nflict. When completed, “it will be used by senior leaders” to develop U.S. military forces for the future, according to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cindy Fields, a Joint S …"

"… r who read author Thomas Ricks’ seminal, bestselling 2006 account of the U.S. military’s early failings in Iraq, bluntly titled “Fiasco.” An internal Army …"

"… nor resourced to accept these responsibilities,” the chronicle explains.U.S. military forces were also not equipped “to combat adaptive insurgencies” in bot …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Air Force":

"… of 5,000 companies; the 60,000-member Navy League; and the 100,000-member Air Force Association.Of the top twenty Senate recipients of nuclear weapons contrac …"

"… ludes Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Lockheed factories, as well as a major Air Force base. Feinstein has a substantial portion of the aerospace industry in her …"

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