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Checkpoint Washington: September, 2011

Posted at 12:01 AM ET, 09/30/2011

Up next on al-Jazeera: Donald Rumsfeld

“Its audience has grown and it can be an important means of communication in the world and I am delighted you are doing what you are doing,” Rumsfeld tells Sir David Frost in an interview on the news channel.

By Alice Fordham  |  12:01 AM ET, 09/30/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:22 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Rights groups fight weapons sale to Bahrain

The Defense Department notified Congress on September 14 of a plan to sell equipment including 44 Humvees, more than 50 bunker-buster missiles and night-vision technology for the army of the island nation.

By Alice Fordham  |  06:22 PM ET, 09/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 09/29/2011

Ambassador to Syria pelted with tomatoes

The assault came as Robert Ford was visiting with a prominent opposition figure at an office building in the capital city of Damascus, State Department officials confirmed.

By Joby Warrick  |  11:08 AM ET, 09/29/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:08 PM ET, 09/28/2011

At UN, Syria sanctions falter

The dispute in the Security Council comes as violence has been steadily worsening in Syria. Government forces have killed more than 2,700 civilians engaged in largely peaceful demonstrations, according to the United Nations.

By Colum Lynch  |  06:08 PM ET, 09/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:31 AM ET, 09/28/2011

Obama team facing new Russian leader

Obama has met only once with Vladmir Putin, in July 2009, days after declaring the former KGB chief had “one foot” in the Cold War.

By Mary Beth Sheridan  |  10:31 AM ET, 09/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 09/28/2011

U.S. quietly sought Pakistani help to stop Haqqani attack

The U.S. commander in Afghanistan asked Pakistani intelligence officials last month to urge Haqqani network not to carry out planned truck bombing.

By Greg Miller  |  08:48 AM ET, 09/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:26 PM ET, 09/27/2011

Jihadi magazine commemorates 9/11 anniversary

This seventh issue of Inspire departs from its usual mix of interviews and tips on bomb making in favor of remembrances of what its editors call “The Greatest Special Operation of All Time.”

By Julie Tate  |  05:26 PM ET, 09/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 09/27/2011

The upsides and downsides of logistics

In a new book, “From A to B,” war correspondent David Axe explores the vast logistical underpinning of the military, and the way it has come to define the way that its wars are fought.

By Alice Fordham  |  11:50 AM ET, 09/27/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 09/26/2011

Gates starts to say what he really thinks

By Walter Pincus  |  01:40 PM ET, 09/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 09/26/2011

At U.N., incivility breaks through

By Cameron W. Barr  |  10:56 AM ET, 09/26/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:11 PM ET, 09/23/2011

U.S. perplexed by Yemeni’s return

High-level diplomatic meetings brought few conclusions about Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s intentions or how to proceed with international efforts to push him from power.

By Karen DeYoung  |  04:11 PM ET, 09/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:50 PM ET, 09/23/2011

A conservative lobbies to save foreign aid

British government minister tells U.S. lawmakers that providing international aid is not only the “right thing to do” but is in Britain’s--and America’s--interest.

By Mary Beth Sheridan  |  03:50 PM ET, 09/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:00 AM ET, 09/23/2011

As drones proliferate, Navy avoids the rush

Service has taken some knocks over the years for resisting the onrush of the technology

By Craig Whitlock  |  08:00 AM ET, 09/23/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 09/22/2011

U.S.: Pakistanis supported Afghan attacks

Comments were the most specific in a week of strong administration criticism of Pakistan.

By Karen DeYoung  |  12:12 PM ET, 09/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:09 AM ET, 09/22/2011

In tropical paradise, U.S. drones meant revenue

The U.S. military’s deployment of MQ-9 Reapers to the Seychelles generated $3.1 million for local businesses during their first four months of operations, according to an unclassified diplomatic cable

By Craig Whitlock  |  08:09 AM ET, 09/22/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:03 PM ET, 09/21/2011

Senate threatens to cut aid to Palestinians

The appropriations committee raised the stakes for the Palestinians’ bid for U.N. membership by threatening to cut off U.S. economic aid and close the Palestinians’ office in Washington

By Mary Beth Sheridan  |  06:03 PM ET, 09/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 09/21/2011

Court allows challenge of U.S. surveillance law

Second Circuit Court of Appeals says a group of American lawyers, human rights activists and journalists may pursue case involving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

By Ellen Nakashima  |  03:04 PM ET, 09/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:10 PM ET, 09/21/2011

With more space needed, U.S. planning major expansion at detainee facility in Afghanistan

Officials had announced that they would retain control of the Parwan Detention Facility well beyond the planned 2012 transfer because of concerns that Afghan’s legal system is too weak.

By Jason Ukman  |  01:10 PM ET, 09/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:48 AM ET, 09/21/2011

Secret drone bases: Avoiding past mistakes

In assembling a constellation of installations around Yemen and Somalia, the United States is trying to eliminate the kinds of al-Qaeda refuges that were allowed to flourish in Pakistan and Afghanistan

By Greg Miller  |  09:48 AM ET, 09/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:04 AM ET, 09/21/2011

At Medal of Honor event, the story left untold

Circumstances of the ambush and the counterattack in the Ganjgal valley of Sept. 8, 2009, remain shrouded in a degree of controversy

By David Nakamura  |  08:04 AM ET, 09/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:59 PM ET, 09/20/2011

U.S., other donors supported 90 percent of Afghan budget over five years, GAO finds

In a letter to Congress, the GAO notes that it has repeatedly raised concerns about Afghanistan’s ability to fund its public expenditures, a worry that is particularly salient with the drawdown of U.S. forces

By Jason Ukman  |  03:59 PM ET, 09/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 09/20/2011

How many security clearances have been issued? Nearly enough for everyone in the Washington area

More than 4.2 million people have security clearances for access to classified information, a number that vastly outstrips previous estimates and nearly rivals the population of metropolitan Washington

By Greg Miller  |  12:50 PM ET, 09/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:26 AM ET, 09/20/2011

After Stuxnet, waiting on Pandora’s box

An interview with Ralph Langner, a German cyber expert who was among the first to analyze the computer worm to hit Iran’s nuclear program.

By Jason Ukman  |  09:26 AM ET, 09/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:57 AM ET, 09/20/2011

The end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Almost 18 years after its birth, policy banning gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military passes into the history books.

By Jason Ukman  |  07:57 AM ET, 09/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:00 AM ET, 09/20/2011

U.S. companies playing by Chinese cyber-rules

Although the United States is at the forefront of nations supporting freedom of expression online, voluntary codes of ethical conduct so far have not worked.

By Ellen Nakashima  |  01:00 AM ET, 09/20/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:07 AM ET, 09/19/2011

How did North Korea nearly put itself out of the missile business? It was just too good at selling

According to new report, Pyongyang’s important cash crop has nearly evaporated, and it bears much of the blame

By Joby Warrick  |  08:07 AM ET, 09/19/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 06:03 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Taiwan getting F-16s refurbished but no new jets

If no new jets are part of the package, the decision will be seen as a victory by Beijing - which has opposed any arms sales to Taiwan--and infuriate Taipei — which has pressed since 2006 to acquire newer, more sophisticated F-16s.

By Andrew Higgins and William Wan  |  06:03 PM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Hackers take a swipe at intelligence alliance

Intelligence and National Security Alliance, a group of several hundred former intelligence, military and government officials, had just put out report on importance of cyber security

By Ellen Nakashima  |  03:45 PM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 09/16/2011

Top-secret U.S. surveillance satellite, now declassified, gets a public showing in Virginia

The Big Bird, formally known as the KH-9 Hexagon satellite, was first placed in orbit in 1971 by the National Reconnaissance Office, making it one of the most advanced spy satellites of its time

By Jason Ukman  |  02:38 PM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:19 AM ET, 09/16/2011

WikiLeaks cables surface American fears over Afghanistan’s approval of ban on cluster bombs

U.S. officials lobbied for the right to retain munitions as part of their arsenal

By Alice Fordham  |  09:19 AM ET, 09/16/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:58 PM ET, 09/15/2011

Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer receives Medal of Honor

Dakota Meyer recognized in White House ceremony for actions in Afghanistan, where he braved enemy fire to save comrades.

By David Nakamura  |  04:58 PM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:24 PM ET, 09/15/2011

Al-Qaeda operations chief in Pakistan killed

Abu Hafs al-Shahri was killed in Pakistan’s tribal areas earlier this week, less than a month after the killing of al-Qaeda’s no. 2 official

By Jason Ukman and Peter Finn  |  01:24 PM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 09/15/2011

Revisiting ‘Warlord Inc.’ and seeking answers

Nearly half of the 93,118 private contractors working for the U.S. military in Afghanistan are Afghan citizens, and ensuring the contracts are not feeding “endemic corruption” or funneling money to insurgents “remains a challenge,” Pentagon contracting officials said Thursday

By Karen DeYoung  |  11:58 AM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/15/2011

Rights groups rally to oppose U.S. aid to Uzbekistan

The provision of assistance to Central Asian country, a key supply route in Afghanistan, could prove crucial to war effort

By Jason Ukman  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/15/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:39 PM ET, 09/14/2011

Al-Qaeda’s affiliates in Africa, working side by side

Three regional Islamic extremist groups – al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa, the Boko Haram in Nigeria and the al-Shabab militia in Somalia – are sharing trainers and copying each other’s tactics, according to Gen. Carter F. Ham, chief of the U.S. Africa Command

By Craig Whitlock  |  02:39 PM ET, 09/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:14 PM ET, 09/14/2011

In Britain, King pressed to explain support for IRA

Congressman was in London to testify on his panel’s findings on issue of terrorism and self-radicalization

By Jason Ukman  |  01:14 PM ET, 09/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 09/14/2011

In Havana, appeals for release of Alan Gross are drowned out by calls to free the ‘Cuban Five’

This week marks 13 years since the U.S. imprisonment of group convicted of espionage and related charges in Miami

By Karen DeYoung  |  07:00 AM ET, 09/14/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:34 PM ET, 09/13/2011

Envoy to Syria inches closer toward confirmation

Robert Ford has won praise from protesters for standing up to the government. Now the question is: Can he win approval from the U.S. Senate?

By Mary Beth Sheridan  |  04:34 PM ET, 09/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 09/13/2011

U.S.: Israeli conglomerate not a target of sanctions

State Department indicated in a brief notice that Ofer Holdings Group was not responsible for the sale of tanker to Iranian front company

By Jason Ukman  |  12:38 PM ET, 09/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:56 AM ET, 09/13/2011

Petraeus: Al-Qaeda aims to carry out small attacks

Testifying publicly for the first time as CIA director, retired general says the killing of Osama bin Laden and subsequent blows have created “an important window of vulnerability for the core al-Qaeda organization”

By Greg Miller  |  10:56 AM ET, 09/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:20 AM ET, 09/13/2011

Al-Qaeda releases Sept. 11 anniversary video

Footage includes previously unreleased warnings from Osama bin Laden, an audio message from successor Ayman al-Zawahiri and, naturally, a recommendation for a Bob Woodward book.

By Jason Ukman  |  08:20 AM ET, 09/13/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:37 AM ET, 09/12/2011

Post-Sept. 11 papers recount the shift to war

George Washington University’s National Security Archive releases a collection of previously secret U.S. documents about the government’s response to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

By Jason Ukman  |  08:37 AM ET, 09/12/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:08 PM ET, 09/09/2011

With reports of threat, Clinton warns against allowing terror fears to undermine U.S. values

Secretary of State, in speech marking anniversary of Sept. 11, warns against danger of obsessive fear undermining U.S. values

By Joby Warrick  |  12:08 PM ET, 09/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 09/09/2011

Cheney: No regrets on criticism of Obama policy

Obama administration’s success in national security is “in part because of the capabilities we left them with,” Cheney says.

By Jason Ukman  |  11:45 AM ET, 09/09/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:38 PM ET, 09/08/2011

Cost of civilian ‘surge’ in Afghanistan: $1.7 billion

Special inspectors general report says initiative faces significant challenges going forward

By Jason Ukman  |  04:38 PM ET, 09/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 09/08/2011

Facing tighter budget, Army gets ready to downsize

Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno says force likely shrink below the 520,000 troops called for in the current Pentagon plans

By Greg Jaffe  |  03:13 PM ET, 09/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:59 PM ET, 09/08/2011

Brennan: Al-Qaeda offshoot in Yemen gaining strength as a powerful domestic insurgency

Counterterrorism adviser insists that United States will not get involved in a domestic conflict

By Karen DeYoung  |  01:59 PM ET, 09/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:29 PM ET, 09/08/2011

Afghan journalist was mistakenly killed by U.S. soldier, NATO investigation concludes

Ahmed Omaid Khpulwak was believed to be suicide bomber, NATO says

By Jason Ukman  |  01:29 PM ET, 09/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 09/08/2011

Call to arms over Pentagon budget accelerates

With Congress back in town, the full-scale defense of military spending is in full swing.

By Jason Ukman  |  11:26 AM ET, 09/08/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:29 PM ET, 09/07/2011

Panetta: bin Laden expected warning

During planning sessions for the early morning raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, U.S. officials discussed how bin Laden could escape once an attack took place, Panetta said.

By Walter Pincus  |  09:29 PM ET, 09/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:01 PM ET, 09/07/2011

Former Saudi spy chief: U.S. should have declared end to Afghan war after killing of bin Laden

Prince Turki al-Faisal says Obama administration missed a chance to exploit al Qaeda leader’s demise as a pretext for declaring victory in the war

By Craig Whitlock  |  03:01 PM ET, 09/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:08 PM ET, 09/07/2011

In talks over U.S. troops in Iraq, details over mission, not just numbers, remain murky

How many American troops will remain behind, where they will be based and what they will do is the subject of a grindingly slow and frequently frustrating debate inside the Obama administration and in Baghdad

By Greg Jaffe and Annie Gowen  |  01:08 PM ET, 09/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:11 PM ET, 09/07/2011

Pentagon raises security levels at all military installations on eve of 9/11 anniversary

Pentagon official said the decision was not prompted by any specific terrorist threats but was a “prudent” acknowledgment that al-Qaeda leaders in the past have indicated a desire to strike again on Sept. 11.

By Craig Whitlock  |  12:11 PM ET, 09/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:51 AM ET, 09/07/2011

In frenzy over al-Qaeda threat against Letterman, the real danger was in the coverage

Terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann on how jihadists have started to realize just how easy it is to use Western news organizations for their own purposes

By Jason Ukman  |  07:51 AM ET, 09/07/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:51 PM ET, 09/06/2011

On first day at CIA, Petraeus goes it alone

Former general had been cautioned against bringing an entourage with him to the agency

By Greg Miller  |  02:51 PM ET, 09/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 09/06/2011

Panetta, in N.Y., pays tribute to those lost on 9/11

Defense secretary visits memorial in New York a few days ahead of official dedication

By Greg Jaffe  |  12:49 PM ET, 09/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 09/06/2011

Gates takes chancellor’s post at William and Mary

Former defense secretary to return to alma mater to succeed Sandra Day O’Connor in office

By Jason Ukman  |  10:55 AM ET, 09/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:40 AM ET, 09/06/2011

Al-Qaeda in Iraq, down but hardly out

Terrorist group still poses serious threat, and could even turn its focus on West, expert says

By Alice Fordham  |  07:40 AM ET, 09/06/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 09/02/2011

Documents show Pentagon’s communications shop girding for battle over military spending

Internal documents show

By Craig Whitlock  |  11:43 AM ET, 09/02/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 09/01/2011

U.N. panel concludes Israel’s armed raid on Gaza flotilla was legal but ‘excessive’

Report calls for a public expression of “regret” for the loss of life on the Mavi Marmara

By Colum Lynch and Joel Greenberg  |  03:45 PM ET, 09/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:23 AM ET, 09/01/2011

WikiLeaks suffers major breach, prompting accusations and a theory on what went wrong

Full, unredacted versions of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables are apparently available online after a massive leak

By Jason Ukman  |  10:23 AM ET, 09/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 08:45 AM ET, 09/01/2011

New film recalls massive 9/11 sea evacuation

Short documentary tells story of makeshift armada of fishing vessels, ferries and party boats that rescued hundreds of thousands

By Jason Ukman  |  08:45 AM ET, 09/01/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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