Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cuban Intelligence Following Reconciliation with US | » Al Qaeda’s Yemen Branch Confirms U.S. Missile Strike Killed Leader 17/06/15 00:00 from NYT > United States Defense and Military Forces - U.S. National Security and Military News Review

Army to establish unified cyber corps

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In a historic move indicative of the dangers and potency of the digital medium as a weapon, the commander of the Israeli army decided Monday to establish a new IDF corps responsible for all cyber activity.
Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot called the establishment of the new corps, to be headed by a two-star general and on par with the Navy and the Air Force, a matter of supreme importance that is becoming “more significant with each passing day.”
Cyber security is today dispersed throughout the army. The Military Intelligence Directorate handles offensive capacities while the C4I branch deals with protection. The new corps, subject to the approval of the defense minister and to be operational within two years, would bring the army’s cyber know-how under a single roof.
Nationally, the Shin Bet security service, Mossad, IDF and National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office operate without a unified and hierarchical cyber framework. This incoherence, coupled with Iran’s investments in the field and the fact that the threat can be launched by anyone, from anywhere, without any clear stockpiling of weapons in advance, has led some to voice concern.
“Massive cyber attacks, like the Egyptian onslaught on Yom Kippur,” are feasible, the commander of the IDF Cyber Defense Unit told The Times of Israel earlier this year.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot at a ceremony held in his honor in Jerusalem, on February 16, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot at a ceremony held in his honor in Jerusalem, on February 16, 2015. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
“We don’t need to be naive,” the unit commander said. “It’s simple” – the axis of Islamist resistance is constantly probing for chinks in the IDF’s armor; hence the rise of the rocket and missile threat. As that threat has been partially thwarted, he said, the tunnel threat, a dominant feature of the Gaza war, was pushed to the fore.
“In the coming wars,” he said, “especially those in the north, I imagine that the cyber capacity will be far more significant than in the past wars.
Col. (ret) Gadi Siboni, the director of the Cyber Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank in Tel Aviv, wrote shortly after last summer’s war in Gaza that Iran’s progress in developing cyber weapons, as seen by the unprecedented offensives launched during the 50-day war, “is evidence of the beginning of a process in which cyber war replaces the classic terror as a central tool in Iran’s doctrine of asymmetric warfare.”
Cyber attacks would enable Israel’s enemies to strike the home front and are often easily deniable — two elements that are central to the Iranian approach to asymmetric warfare against Israel, Siboni wrote.
Iran, he added, is quickly and adroitly “bridging the gap” in cyber technology between itself and Israel.
Brig. Gen. Herzi Halevi speaking Thursday. (photo credit: Mitch Ginsburg/Times of Israel)
Herzi Halevi, during his time as commander of the IDF’s Galilee division. (photo credit: Mitch Ginsburg/Times of Israel)
Promptly upon taking command of the IDF in February, Eisenkot tasked Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy, the commander of military intelligence, with heading a team that would examine ways to “improve the operational efficacy” of the army’s cyber teams.
In a nod to the infighting that will likely ensue, over both the prestige and funds of a cyber corps, the IDF Spokesperson’s statement said that the command would be set up initially “in parallel” in both the Military Intelligence Directorate and the C4I Corps before a final decision is made about from where the new corps should spring forth.
Deputy Chief of the IDF General Staff Yair Golan and Maj. Gen. Nimrod Shefer will head the planning and implementation committee.
“The establishment of the corps will allow the IDF to operate in a better way,” Eisenkot said, “and to give expression to the technological and human capital advantage that already exists today in the State of Israel.”
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CIA Memo – Clinton Gutted Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Before 911

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ImageThe CIA released a memo on Friday where George Tenet, Clinton’s CIA Director, accused the Clinton administration of gutting anti-terrorism efforts against al Qaeda before 911.
As head of the CIA, Tenet repeatedly requested more money directed to anti-terrorism efforts or, to be allowed to prioritize those efforts ahead of narco-trafficking. He was turned down for more money and ignored on reprioritization.
Tenet noted that the efforts they were able to use to target al Qaeda stopped a major attack in late 1999-2000. The memo did not provide details.
The document was a response to an inspector general’s draft report that had accused Mr. Tenet of failing to give al Qaeda enough attention in the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks. But Mr. Tenet said he did take steps, amid all the other work CIA was also required to do.
“Your report does not adequately address the context of an intelligence community that had to respond to wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, the prospect of war between India and Pakistan, China’s military buildup and threat to Taiwan, the requirements of policy makers, particularly in Congress, to pursue narco-traffickers in Central and South America, and numerous other such requirements,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “Despite all of these stresses, despite the fact that we had effectively been in Chapter 11 as an intelligence community, we continued on a path to methodically increase both CIA and intelligence community resources and our personnel base devoted to terrorism.”
In response to criticism by the Inspector General, tenet detailed the follow-up efforts he made, and the number of times he pleaded with administration officials for more money to fight terrorism. On nine occasions Tenet sent memo to senior White House officials and to Congress warning of terrorist plots.
Here’s the coffin nail for the Clinton administration.
“Even though senior policy makers were intimately familiar with the threat posed by terrorism, particularly those in the [Clinton administration] who had responded to major attacks, they never provided us the luxury of either downgrading other high priority requirements we were expected to perform against, or the resource base to build counterterrorism programs with the consistency that we needed before September 11.
Looks like Hillary followed in Bill’s footsteps before the attack in Benghazi. She wanted her own 911. She got it.
Benghazi Four Never Forget
Unfortunately, Amb. Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, and Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty paid for it.
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Corruption in Romania: Ponta's inconvenient truth

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 Romania PM Victor Ponta. Demotix/Putan Cornel. Some rights reserved.Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta missed a hearing with anticorruption prosecutors today, following being called in for questioning earlier this month at the headquarters of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), a specialized agency that is charged with investigating high-level corruption.
The premier claimed on his Facebook page to have flown out to Turkey for ‘complicated’ surgery on his knee, after Ponta’s lawyer asked prosecutors to postpone the hearing.
Ponta, whose centre-left Social Democratic Party (SNP) has a comfortable majority in Parliament, is suspected of over 17 counts of forgery, conflict of interest, tax evasion and money laundering.
Since June 5, when Ponta was first called in for questioning, Parliament has blocked prosecutors’ requests to lift Ponta’s parliamentary immunity, and last Friday survived a no-confidence motion from opposition.
Ponta’s immunity means that DNA can only investigate him for activities before he took office, when he was still a working lawyer.  So an investigation into forgery, tax evasion and money laundering remain to go ahead.
The country’s president, Klaus Iohannis, has called multiple times for Ponta’s resignation since the allegations were revealed, but so far Ponta has refused to go.
"It is a proof of maximum irresponsibility and lack of respect for public opinion that most lawmakers are preventing justice from doing its duty and are willing to destroy the institution of Parliament ... and harm Romania's image to save a single person," President Iohannis said in a statement.
Prosecutors claim that Ponta fabricated documents for payments of about 40,000 euros ($45,000) - for work that was never carried out - for his friend Dan Sova’s law firm, whom he later appointed as transport minister.
Last week Parliament were attempting to push through 22 amendments to legal code, that would change ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ to ‘beyond any doubt,’ which would make it far harder to prosecute graft.
The Superior Magistrates’ Council ruled against SNP’s 22 proposals on June 15, but this move is not irreversible.
For too long Romanian elites have enjoyed the spoils of personal gain often at public cost or by ill means, without ever being held accountable.
But over the last few years Romania, one of Europe’s most graft-ridden nations, has been running an anticorruption campaign that has seen over a thousand individuals convicted in the last year alone.
The whip that is now being cracked in the form of DNA, has convicted over a thousand individuals of corruption, including politicians, judges, prosecutors, and businessmen, tallying almost ten-times the amount of convictions in 2006.
Among the convicted are 24 mayors, five members of parliament, two ex-ministers, seven judges and 13 prosecutors, and former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase (2000-2004), who was investigated for bribery and blackmail and sentenced to four years in jail in January 2014.
In that year DNA convicted 1,138 individuals, more than 90% that were indicted.
Ponta is the first serving prime minster to be under investigation, so no one appears to be immune. Initially the DNA taskforce went after smaller figures, but eventually turned its attention to higher-level graft of more than 10,000 euros ($11,268).
Christian Ghinea, Director at Romanian Center for European Policies, says: “We have this anticorruption campaign which has had huge successes and a consistent record, and what questioning of Ponta says is that they are able to press some charges, it’s not as though Ponta is a particular victim of this,”
“DNA has not lost cases when it comes to big fishes; I assume they are considering the evidence quite well before sending the case to court.”
Ponta is no stranger to scandal but has survived thus far in Romania’s political quagmire. In December 2014 Ponta renounced his doctorate after plagiarism claims surrounding the validity of his law thesis. This came a month after a surprise defeat in the presidential election where he lost out to Iohannis.
Iohannis, in his presidential campaign, pledged to clean up corruption.
If convicted of any of the recent charges, Ghinea believes Ponta’s career will be over: “I think that the pressure from within the party will be big enough to end his career. We will have a prime minister going to court and answering the questions, it will be a huge embarrassment to the government and the party,”
“It will bigger than the Nastase conviction because he [Ponta] is the prime minister in function, but on the other hand Nastasse was more difficult because it was a novelty back than. Nastase was prime minister and it was always more difficult to start where no one did it before.”
Other high-profile Romanians that have been convicted with corruption charges this year are Elena Urdea, a glamorous MP and former tourism minister. She was charged in February on counts of money laundering, influence peddling, and taking bribes during her reign as MP.
Urdea, a lawyer by trade, finished fourth in last year’s presidential election and was indicted with Ion Ariton, a former economy minister, who was charged with abuse of power. 
Part of the terms to support Romania’s ascension into the EU in 2007 - some eight years ago - was for it to put an end to corruption, which reaches all facets of society in this Eastern European state, and levels the country on the EU corruption scale alongside Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy.
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Shapsugs Increasingly Important Players in Circassian Struggle With Moscow

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Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 12 Issue: 112
June 16, 2015 02:33 PM Age: 12 min
Category: Eurasia Daily Monitor, North Caucasus Analysis, Home Page, Domestic/Social, Foreign Policy, The Caucasus, North Caucasus , Russia
(Source: <a href="http://radioadiga.com" rel="nofollow">radioadiga.com</a>)
Most analysts concerned with the Circassian issue in the North Caucasus have focused on the three republics where subgroups of that nation are the titular nationalities—Adygea, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria—or on the enormous diasporas in Turkey, Jordan and elsewhere. But another player has emerged in the Caucasian struggle with Moscow for recognition of the tragic events of 1864 as “genocide,” the reunification of a common Circassian homeland and, ultimately, independence.
The Shapsugs are a subgroup of the Circassians in the Northwestern Caucasus. With a population centered on Sochi, they were perhaps more radicalized by the Circassian campaign about genocide recognition in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympiad last year. They are a community heavily represented in the diaspora and its various political organizations. And precisely because they do not have a republic of their own but are more urban and modernized than many ethnic groups or nationalities that do, they are a group that can act in ways that others in the North Caucasus may be constrained from doing and link these communities together. And perhaps most importantly, the Shapsugs may be able to help connect the 500,000 Circassians of the North Caucasus with the more than five million Circassians living outside of Russia.
In recent months, they have become even more active in Circassian gatherings, both inside the borders of the Russian Federation and abroad. Illustratively, their presence generated spirited discussions at meetings devoted to the restoration of a common Circassian alphabet (Kavkazsky Uzel, June 15). As a result, they have become the object of increasing attention by Russian officials and Russian scholars working for Moscow who are quite concerned that this subgroup of Circassians may represent an even greater challenge to Russia’s position in the region than other, larger ones.
A new article by Aleksandr Skakov, the coordinator of the working group of the Center for the Study of Central Asia and the Caucasus of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, provides important background information on the Shapsugs. But even more importantly, Skakov’s article suggests that Moscow plans to try to separate them from other Circassians by promoting their distinct identity, up to and including by the restoration of a Shapsug political-territorial unit, and to attempt to use them as a bridge to Circassians in the Middle East in the interest of promoting Moscow’s foreign policy goals (Kavkazoved.info, June 2).
Skakov begins by asserting that despite their failure to block the Sochi Olympiad, “foreign forces continue their attempts to give an anti-Russian direction to ‘the Circassian factor’ and in particular to the problem of the Shapsugs, a small Adygei [Circassian] people living in Greater Sochi.” To that end, he says they continue to promote the idea that there was a “Circassian genocide” in 1864. As a result of these efforts, the Moscow scholar says, “the situation on the southern borders of Russia continues to remain unsettled and it is not hard to predict that ‘the Circassian factor’ sooner or later will again be used with anti-Russian goals by this or that external force.”
The Shapsugs, once one of the largest of the Circassian sub-ethnic communities, now number only a few more than 10,000 and live mostly in two districts of the city of Sochi or in the Adygei Republic. While nearly all of the latter consider themselves part of the Circassian nation, he suggests, many of the former still maintain their distinct Shapsug identity; and Moscow should make use of that fact.
The original areal of the Shapsugs was occupied by Russian forces in 1864, and between 165,000 and 300,000 Shapsugs were forced to emigrate to the Ottoman Empire. This action cost many of them their lives but also explains why the Shapsugs are such an important element of the Circassian diaspora and why so many of them view what happened a century and a half ago as a “genocide.” This is all the more so because they were not treated well either by the tsarist authorities, the Soviets or the post-Soviet Russian government.
After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, the Shapsugs sought to form a union republic within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), but Moscow vetoed the idea. Instead, it created a Shapsug national district. Later that was joined to Russian areas and, as a result, the Shapsugs became a tiny minority within a Russian sea. At the end of Soviet times, the Shapsugs sought to restore their national district, but that effort was caught up in Moscow politics with the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) supporting it while the USSR government vetoed it. Nevertheless, even after 1991, Moscow did not agree to this territorial change, largely because all of the proposed borders for such a district would have left the Shapsugs constituting “no more than 5 or 6 percent” of its population. That failure has created conditions for the radicalization of Shapsug opinion, Skakov says.
Moreover, he suggests, there is the possibility that religious radicalism will exacerbate such feelings. The Shapsugs are Sunni Muslims, “but the level of their religiosity is quite low” and they retain many pre-Islamic religious beliefs and practices. Nonetheless, some outside forces may seek to turn the Shapsugs in the direction of Islamist ideas and movements. And consequently, “even minimal involvement” by Western forces with the Circassians “does not correspond to the interests of the Russian Federation,” Skakov argues.
At the end of his article, the Russian scholar makes two proposals: On the one hand, he says, Moscow should devote more efforts to preserve and develop a separate Shapsug identity lest they mobilize as Circassians, even considering the possibility of yielding to their demands for their own political territory as a means of doing so. And on the other, Moscow should view the Shapsugs as a political resource for itself in the North Caucasus. According to Skakov, the Shapsugs can be a bridge to other groups and in the Middle East, where they have close ties to many of the governments of the region.

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FBI: Man shot near Arkansas base not linked to terrorism

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By ANDREW DeMILLO
Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The armed man who was shot and critically wounded while trying to get into Little Rock Air Force Base had no ties to terrorist groups, and a search of his home and vehicle turned up no explosives, authorities said Tuesday.
The FBI identified the man as 43-year-old Larry McElroy of Jacksonville, the city that abuts the sprawling base. Investigators have said he drove his SUV over a curb outside the base's main gate on Monday and struck a street sign, then was shot by guards after he exited the vehicle holding a rifle.
"There was no apparent motive nor any ties to terrorism," the FBI said in a statement released Tuesday morning.
McElroy, a civilian, remained in critical condition Tuesday at a Little Rock hospital, according the statement.
The FBI said bomb squads didn't find any explosives in his vehicle or his home in Jacksonville, the city that abuts the base about 15 miles northeast of Little Rock. The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said it helped secure a property searched by the FBI shortly after the shooting, and public records show that a Larry D. McElroy Jr., 43, lives at that home.
The agency didn't release any details about McElroy, though court records show that he and a woman who lived with him at his Jacksonville home filed for bankruptcy in 2010. They reported more than $112,000 in assets and more than $230,000 in liabilities. An attorney who represented McElroy in that case, Mary Ellen Vandegrift, declined to comment Tuesday.
The base commander, Col. Charles Brown Jr, said Monday that it was unclear whether the man fired his weapon, how many shots were fired or if the man exchanged words with the two guards before the shooting. The base didn't immediately respond to a message seeking updates Tuesday from The Associated Press.
Brown also said it was unclear why McElroy wanted to get on the base, which is a major C-130 training facility and home to more than 8,000 active-duty military personnel and civilian employees. The C-130, an aircraft with a roughly 129-foot wingspan capable of carrying more than 40,000 pounds, is used to move troops and equipment into hostile areas.
The incident was reported around 9:15 a.m. near the main gate along busy U.S. 67 in Jacksonville. Heavily armed security personnel quickly sealed off access to the base, and the main gate was closed for several hours.
The commander said as the SUV approached, it hit and jumped a curb and knocked over a street sign. He said the man, whom Brown only described as white, then started to get out of the vehicle while holding a rifle.
"It appears he may have lost control of the vehicle," Brown said.
No one from the base was injured, and investigators were interviewing the guards, Brown said.
A bomb squad could be seen checking an SUV parked near a curb and sidewalk outside a visitor center at the base's main gate Monday afternoon. All four of its doors, along with its tailgate, were opened, and officials told those standing nearby to take cover behind other vehicles as workers wearing ordnance-disposal gear approached the vehicle.
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Associated Press writer Allen Reed contributed to this report from Little Rock.
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Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/ademillo" rel="nofollow">www.twitter.com/ademillo</a>
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Cuban Intelligence Following Reconciliation with US

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By William Tucker
Chief Correspondent for In Homeland Security
Nearly a year after floating the idea, the Obama administration instructed the State Department to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. The delisting will have minimal impact on U.S. policy as the embargo of the island nation remains in place. In most instances, inclusion on the State Departments State Sponsor of Terrorism list comes with economic and political consequences, but for Cuba the delisting was certainly important, though mostly symbolic. Cuba reconciliation
Naturally, some members of Congress representing both parties and many opposed to the Castro regime were not pleased with the delisting because Cuba didn’t make any concessions in return. Generally speaking, the attempts at rapprochement with Cuba does appear to haphazard, but truth be told the restoration of diplomatic ties does seem likely to happen. With the restoration of diplomatic ties, how the mission of Cuban intelligence will change, if at all, should be a more pressing issue; however it appears to be an issue widely overlooked in lieu of other matters such as the embargo and human rights on the island. Cuba and the U.S. have held a mutual antipathy towards one another over the last half century and the respective intelligence agencies of both nations have fought a battle in the shadows during that same time frame. Though there are likely to be some shifts in the focus of Cuban intelligence operations, much will remain the same out of necessity.
Cuba is a small nation of 11 million people and its intelligence apparatus is estimated to employ around 20,000. Given its small size, it may come as a surprise that the Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) and the Military Counterintelligence Department are amongst the best in the world. Cuba has managed to infiltrate U.S. intelligence agencies recruiting insiders that are ideologically sympathetic to the Cuban regime, recruit spies in Florida to monitor the Cuban ex-pat population, and the small nation currently has the third largest mission to the UN in New York City with half of those employed at the mission belonging to the DGI. Havana still views Washington as its main foe and the investment of intelligence assets in the U.S. easily demonstrates this. Perhaps equally concerning is Cuba’s penchant for allowing its elites to operate akin to organized crime through everything from money laundering to drug running, and its long history of supporting revolutionary and terrorist groups. That being said, Cuba may be distancing itself from such support because of the changing landscape in South America. In fact, in 2013, the last time the State Department updated their Country Report on Terrorism, it said the following:
“Cuba has long provided safe haven to members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).  Reports continued to indicate that Cuba’s ties to ETA have become more distant, and that about eight of the two dozen ETA members in Cuba were relocated with the cooperation of the Spanish government.  Throughout 2013, the Government of Cuba supported and hosted negotiations between the FARC and the Government of Colombia aimed at brokering a peace agreement between the two.  The Government of Cuba has facilitated the travel of FARC representatives to Cuba to participate in these negotiations, in coordination with representatives of the Governments of Colombia, Venezuela, and Norway, as well as the Red Cross. Therewas no indication that the Cuban Government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.
The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States. The Cuban Government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.”
It is most likely that this shift is influenced more by reality and less by becoming a responsible state. The Cuban still maintains a relationship with FARC – one that goes beyond ideological compatibility. Cuba has assisted in getting illicit drugs from FARC to the U.S. market by allowing use of its waters and airspace. This allowed Cuba to take a cut off the proceeds and helps FARC raise money. Much of this activity is facilitated by the high ranking officials in the Cuban military, but the relationship is managed by the DGI and the Military Counterintelligence Department. Additionally, Cuba still sells or shares much of the intelligence it collects on the U.S. with other foes of Washington such as North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. Cuba’s intelligence work is so vital to the functioning of the state its hard to see any transformation taking place should the U.S. and Cuba formally reestablish ties.
With the Cuban economy struggling as it is, and Raul Castro’s reforms merely limping along, the concern over a post-Castro Cuba is weighing on many in Washington. Its also clear that the way the intelligence apparatus is integrated into the dark side of the Cuban economy and the concern that a major power could come to influence the island negatively that Havana simply cannot change course without causing political turmoil.
Many military leaders and political officials make money off black market operations, thus making it difficult to remove this activity as a source of income unless the Cuban companies that are used to mask many of these illicit activities are made to go fully legitimate while maintaining their current leadership structure. Otherwise, such a loss in revenue could cause these leaders to become a threat to the regime. In the not too distant past, the Castro brothers have not been shy about eliminating anything that could challenge their power – the case involving the suspicious death of their former friend and intelligence leader Manuel Piñeiro, aka “Red Beard,” should be seen as a cautionary tale for those who could be slighted in a potential political/economic transformation. That being said, it’s hard to eliminate an entire cadre of officials that have served to state for so long. It’s not impossible, but could easily lead to instability.
Interestingly enough, these very issues may have served as an impetus for the U.S. to try and reengage Cuba while the Castro’s are still in power. With organized crime led by cronyism as the backbone of much of the Cuban political and economic system, the death of the Castro’s could lead to a free for all among the elites to carve up the nations holdings and create a failed state/criminal state on the U.S. doorstep. Washington may be banking on using restored diplomatic relationship as a lever to usher in economic reform by, hopefully, allowing more robust foreign investment. Such investment has long been banned in Cuba until recently, but foreign investment has been so tightly controlled by the government that it has been dissuasive for many foreign companies. Economic reform that allows existing Cuban companies to operate more legitimately – not only on the island itself, but internationally – could help in the political transformation that will ultimately manifest after the Castro’s pass. For the U.S. there are no guarantees that such an approach could work, but options for managing a potential political transition are limited. This is just a theory as to why there is a certain urgency in DC to normalize ties with Cuba.
Other reasons could certainly exist, but rapprochement with Cuba is politically risky and it’s doubtful many politicians involved in this policy transition would risk such capital with an upcoming election in 2016.

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The Pentagon's War Budget Won't Be Easy To Roll Back

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For nearly fourteen years, the U.S. military has been on a war footing. Extraordinary amounts of money—often in excess of $100 billion dollars each year—have been appropriated beyond the military’s base budget to fund operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. At the peak of the Iraq surge in late 2007, $211 billion was allocated for the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, on top of $541 billion in base spending. Today, even as most of our troops have redeployed from Afghanistan and Iraq, the OCO fund has remained high. Atop a base budget of $490 billion, Congressional leaders have added an OCO of roughly $88 billion—$36 billion more than the Pentagon’s OCO request. The President has threatened to veto the bill, stating his preference that this $52 billion delta reside in the base budget, not OCO. This whole showdown raises questions: Is this just a political shell game or does it actually matter which pot of money funds what if the total amount is nearly the same anyway? More broadly, why—if the number of U.S. troops in direct combat roles has shrunk to its lowest point since 2001—is the OCO still so large a percentage of the total budget?
To understand the current stand-off, we must take a step back to understand the purpose of OCO. This fund, known as the “Supplemental” until 2009, is designed to provide emergency funding for pop-up missions and, more generally, a congressional check on presidential authority to wage war. The military’s legal (Title 10) responsibility is to organize, train, and equip the force through annual appropriations (that the Congress also approves) and then to be ready to execute when the time comes. There is generally no operational “slush fund” authorized in the base budget. There is an “operations and maintenance” budget for steady-state things like normal ship deployments and training rotations, but if and when the president wants to wage war or otherwise send troops abroad into harm’s way, she or he must ask the Congress for the money to do so. Although this seems like a perfectly reasonable democratic process in theory, in practice, the lines are never quite clear as to what should or should not qualify as OCO.
This is not a new issue. After the first Gulf War, and throughout the 1990s, the United States maintained a “no-fly zone” over Iraq, which was funded for a long time through the “Supplemental.” The same was true for multi-year, follow-on peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. When such things were eventually moved to the base budget, difficult questions were raised. Did this mean the operations were destined to go on indefinitely? Was it wise to fund current operations in the base budget?
For both Congress and the Pentagon, therefore, it can sometimes be politically expedient to keep expenses wrapped up in OCO. Because OCO is technically appropriated for “emergencies” (the definition of which may be very vague), the White House and Pentagon have significantly more latitude in determining how the money is divvied up and spent. In the case of Congress, OCO is a great way to authorize funds without having to exercise the same level of oversight and responsibility. Because OCO can swing so drastically from year to year, this also leaves Congress the option to “turn off the spigot” without confronting the same level of institutional resistance that a base budget cut might provoke—this is an important lever of congressional power over the executive.
<a href="http://adclick.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=L&ai=BgL2SBIqAVZPBFcuF3QGWkoLID9-gvo4IAAAAEAEgADgAWL-jnre2AWDJ3o6LwKTYD4IBF2NhLXB1Yi00NDI5NjEwOTMxODU0NDM4sgESd3d3LmRlZmVuc2VvbmUuY29tugEJZ2ZwX2ltYWdlyAEJ2gFbaHR0cDovL3d3dy5kZWZlbnNlb25lLmNvbS9pZGVhcy8yMDE1LzA2L3BlbnRhZ29ucy13YXItYnVkZ2V0LXdvbnQtYmUtZWFzeS1yb2xsLWJhY2svMTE1NDMyL8ACAuACAOoCIDYxNy9kZWZlbnNlb25lLmNvbS9zZWN0aW9uX2lkZWFz-AL_0R6QA-ADmAPgA6gDAdAEkE7gBAGQBgGgBiDYBwA&num=0&cid=5GgrvnaQlOlA04hAIJf0Mn8V&sig=AOD64_3iBDQMlCe-90J-KHStQpNXHh_dBQ&client=ca-pub-4429610931854438&adurl=" rel="nofollow">http://adclick.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=L&ai=BgL2SBIqAVZPBFcuF3QGWkoLID9-gvo4IAAAAEAEgADgAWL-jnre2AWDJ3o6LwKTYD4IBF2NhLXB1Yi00NDI5NjEwOTMxODU0NDM4sgESd3d3LmRlZmVuc2VvbmUuY29tugEJZ2ZwX2ltYWdlyAEJ2gFbaHR0cDovL3d3dy5kZWZlbnNlb25lLmNvbS9pZGVhcy8yMDE1LzA2L3BlbnRhZ29ucy13YXItYnVkZ2V0LXdvbnQtYmUtZWFzeS1yb2xsLWJhY2svMTE1NDMyL8ACAuACAOoCIDYxNy9kZWZlbnNlb25lLmNvbS9zZWN0aW9uX2lkZWFz-AL_0R6QA-ADmAPgA6gDAdAEkE7gBAGQBgGgBiDYBwA&num=0&cid=5GgrvnaQlOlA04hAIJf0Mn8V&sig=AOD64_3iBDQMlCe-90J-KHStQpNXHh_dBQ&client=ca-pub-4429610931854438&adurl=</a>
This brings us back to the current debate over how big OCO should be, especially given the significantly smaller number of “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Afghanistan as compared to previous years (based on current trends, we estimate an average of 13,500 U.S. service members deployed in these countries in 2016—down from a peak of 187,000 in 2008), though OCO does support operations in other parts of the world. The actual size of OCO is driven by three factors.

Bureaucracy: The Nature of the Beast

The first driver is bureaucratic politics. The Pentagon bureaucracy has a hard time agreeing on what should or should not qualify for OCO. If your job as Chief of Naval Operations or Chief of Staff of the Army or Air Force is to organize, train, and equip, your service, then actually having to fight wars is a bummer. Combat (and high tempo operations in general) breaks your gear, depletes your ammo stockpiles, and leaves big maintenance and training gaps—all of which cost money to repair, replace, and reset. So if your war goes on for a long time, as they tend to do, and is exacerbated by inevitable pop-up crises (natural disasters, an Ebola outbreak, an air campaign in Libya), what is the legitimate “cost” of a given operation? Fuel, ammo, and food, for sure, but what about replacement costs for wear-and-tear on big weapons platforms and all the other gear that gets blown up or used down?
After years of operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, the distinction between OCO and base budget began to blur. In 2009, lawmakers tried to use OCO to acquire eight new C-17’s, which former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did not want, and to procure more F-22’s, even though the plane had never been used in Iraq or Afghanistan. With such light oversight of the OCO process, people jokingly started calling it “budget crack,” because it was too addictive and too easy to use. As part of the quest to wind down American operations abroad, the Obama administration began to move many questionable items out of OCO and back into the base budget. Thus the slope of the line the interactive above (“A Closer Look at OCO”) reflects not only redeployments, but also a rebalancing of some of the pathologies driven by bureaucratic politics.

“Tooth to Tail” Math

The second consideration when examining the data is the fact that OCO costs will never correlate perfectly with the numbers of boots on the ground. Just because the “tooth” goes down does not mean the “tail” declines in linear proportion. Commanders still need to maintain a certain level of logistics and enablers for a given operation: things like intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); airfield and base security and utilities; and enough people to run the coalition headquarters, whether there are 5,000 or 50,000 combat troops to support a mission. Likewise, maintaining a carrier battle group in the Gulf to support airstrikes costs the same despite the number of troops ashore (though other costs may change with the number of sorties ). So while the proportion of defense spending devoted to OCOshould decrease as troops come home, a linear relationship cannot be assumed.
Consider, for instance, some of the items present in the White House’s original 2016 OCOrequest. The Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) lists nearly $4 billion dollars for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, $715 million for the Iraq Train and Equip Fund, $500 million for anti-IED research, and $300 million specifically for the procurement of missiles for the Air Force (on top of $3 billion more for Air Force missiles already in the base budget). There is nearly $8 billion forU.S. operations in Afghanistan and $16 billion for activities abroad—the sorts of missions and exercises that form the bedrock of the United States’ global presence. There is even an extra $10 million request for the Office of the Inspector General, to ensure all these other appropriations are used in a responsible way. This is an immense sum, only a fraction of which goes to directly fundU.S.“boots on the ground,” but most of which are directly or indirectly linked to current operations.

Politics: How Things Get Done (or Don’t)

The third and final driver of OCO pathologies, of course, is the political fight over sequestration.
The fallout of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (or BCA, popularly known as “sequestration”) has launched thousands of op eds and frequent predictions of doomsday. Conceived as a series of ugly, automatic cuts to defense and domestic spending intended to drive a bipartisan budget compromise and avert a default on the national debt, the BCA’s authors underestimated just how deeply the two sides disagreed. After a congressional “super committee” failed to find a solution, the automatic cuts began in early 2013. Although the BCA imposed harsh restrictions that saw a more than $40 billion reduction in base defense spending between 2012 and 2013, OCO was exempted from all mandatory sequester cuts. From 2013 onward, therefore, OCO has become a vehicle for both the White House and Congress to fund Pentagon requirements while flouting the limits of the OCO“emergency” spending classification. Thus a “slush fund,” outside the BCA, was born.
In his 2016 request, President Obama sought to force a renegotiation of the BCA (and particularly the deep cuts to domestic programs like welfare and food stamps that have no OCO safety valve) by purposefully breaking the base defense spending limit of $490 billion. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and other key figures in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees decried the move as “holding defense spending hostage.” They have responded with their own defense spending bill that moves an $36 billion from base into OCO, thus conforming to the letter of the BCA. Some of these proposed “emergency” OCO authorizations include $7 billion in regular compensation and $13 billion in long-term acquisitions projects. The White House has threatened to veto.
Regardless of the outcome of this particular fight, OCO’s increasing use as a budgetary linchpin is a bad deal for both the Pentagon and Congress. Relying on “emergency,” year-by-year appropriations to fund standard personnel expenses and multi-year acquisition projects makes it virtually impossible for Pentagon officials to think ahead. Organization, training schedules, research, technology development, and maintenance are all subject to extreme unpredictability under OCO—particularly unwelcome for an institution built on long-term strategic planning.
This OCO “shell game” hurts Congress, too. By funneling routine defense appropriations through flexible “emergency” accounts, it becomes perversely harder for Congress to control how this money is actually spent. In a society defined by strong democratic control of the military, this is a bad outcome for all sides involved.

The Future of OCO

Even barring major emergencies abroad and (optimistically) assuming a renegotiation of the currentBCA sequester caps, a large OCO is here to stay for the foreseeable future. In modern conflict, whatever line that once stood between “war” and “peace” has gradually dissolved. The United States no longer musters a temporary army of citizen-soldiers as the Constitution envisions, releasing them to their fields once the moment of crisis has passed. Instead, the U.S. military is a highly trained, professional force, constantly in demand from a range of allies around the world. This necessitates a high level of readiness—and all the resources and multi-year planning that go with it.
This post appears courtesy of CFR.org.
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Over 400 people left Chechnya to join ISIL in Syria: Russia

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Iran Press TV
Iran Press TV
Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:7AM
Russia says more than 400 Chechens have left for Syria to join ISIL Takfiri militants since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country in 2011.
A spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry said Monday that more than 400 Chechens have joined the ranks of ISIL militants in Syria, adding that the fate of most of them is unknown.
'A total of 405 people, according to our data, have left Chechnya to join the fighting in Syria" on the side of ISIL since the beginning of the war there, the spokesman told RIA Novosti on Monday.
'Among those, 104 have been killed and 44 came back, while the fate of the rest is unknown,' the official said.
Syria has been hit by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The violence in the Arab country has been further fueled by Takfiri groups, including ISIL, which also have members from several Western countries.
Back in April, a report by France's Senate revealed that nearly half of European militants known to have traveled to Iraq and Syria are French.
Over 1,430 French people have made their way to Iraq and Syria, representing 47 percent of militants from Europe that are known and accounted for, Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur said.
The report came as European countries expressed concern that foreign militants operating in Syria may carry out terrorist attacks once they return home.
In October 2014, a UN report warned about the unprecedented number of foreign militants operating in Iraq and Syria.
According to the report, around 15,000 people have traveled to fight alongside ISIL militants and other terrorist groups.
AR/GHN/HMV

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Stratfor has 11 chilling predictions for what the world will look like a decade from now - Business Insider

U.S. National Security and Military News Review


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» Over 400 people left Chechnya to join ISIL in Syria: Russia
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Russia says more than 400 Chechens have left for Syria to join ISIL Takfiri militants since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country in 2011.
» Syrian Kurdish Fighters Seize ISIL-Held Town on Turkish Border
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An Egyptian court has sentenced ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, to life in prison over spying.
» Finland's President Dismisses Criticism Of Visit With Putin
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has dismissed criticism from an unnamed Estonian government official and Finnish political pundits who questioned his decision to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16.
» AU Summit Ends With Growing Concern About International Court
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Heads of state gathered for the African Union summit in Johannesburg say they made great strides in solving the continent's many problems, which include a political crisis in Burundi. But the meeting was overshadowed by the arrival of Su...
» Nine arrested in plot to bomb districts in Hong Kong
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Hong Kong authorities haven't ruled out further arrests after police said on Monday that they busted nine radical activists who were allegedly preparing to bomb sites around the city's center of government.
» Top al-Qaida leader in Yemen killed by U.S. drone: security sources
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Top al-Qaidaleader Nasir al-Wuhayshi was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, security sources told Xinhua on Monday night.
» Nasir al-Wuhayshi: From Bin Laden Aide to AQAP Chief
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) chief Nasir al-Wuhayshi was the United States' highest level Al-Qaida target since the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed former leader Osama bin Laden.
» S. Korea reports 4 more MERS cases, 3 deaths
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Four more cases of infection with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) were reported in South Korea Tuesday, while three deaths were added among the confirmed cases, the health ministry said.
» 3 more MERS deaths reported in South Korea
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
South Korea has reported three more fatalities from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), bringing the death toll to 19 in an outbreak that began in May.
» US Lawmakers Slam Government Officials Over Massive Cyber Attack
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
U.S. lawmakers sharply attacked government hiring and technology officials Tuesday for not preventing a cybersecurity attack that compromised personal information for millions of U.S. federal workers.
» US Senate Votes to Ban Torture in War on Terrorism
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
The U.S. Senate has voted 78-21 to ban the use of torture in the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees held by the United States.
» Russia Begins Mass Production of Glonass-K1 Navigation Satellites
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Russia's Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems company has put the advanced Glonass-K1 navigation satellite into mass production.
» German BND spy agency plans reforms after NSA spy scandal
16/06/15 15:45 from GlobalSecurity.org
Head of Germany's BND foreign intelligence service has announced plans to restructure the spy agency in a bid to avert yet another US National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandal that engulfed it earlier this year though he has affirmed...
» The Cardinals hacking scandal is a major early test for Rob Manfred - NBCSports.com
16/06/15 15:44 from Cyberwar - Google News
NBCSports.com The Cardinals hacking scandal is a major early test for Rob Manfred NBCSports.com The Deflategate/St. Louis Cardinals hacking scandal comps are fun, so let's add another fun wrinkle to all of that. By, say, comparing Ca...
» The Pentagon's War Budget Won't Be Easy To Roll Back
16/06/15 15:31 from Defense One - All Content
Congress has too many reasons to keep overseas contingency operations funding as it is.
» FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros' database, per report - SB Nation
16/06/15 15:29 from Cyberwar - Google News
New York Times FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros' database, per report SB Nation Major League Baseball originally believed the leak came from a "rogue hacker ," but after an investigation was opened, "agen...
» UNO wins grant to improve cybersecurity courses - New Orleans CityBusiness (blog)
16/06/15 15:19 from cybersecurity - Google News
UNO wins grant to improve cybersecurity courses New Orleans CityBusiness (blog) Cybersecurity is a growing field, according to UNO spokesman Adam Norris, who said it was one of the strongest departments at the university. But the courses...
» Cyber-Security Startup Ensilo Announces $10m Funding For Preventing Threat ... - Dark Reading
16/06/15 15:18 from CyberWar - Google News
Cyber-Security Startup Ensilo Announces $10m Funding For Preventing Threat ... Dark Reading By generating only one alert per active threat, enSilo eliminates the paralyzing scourge of alarms faced by information -security teams. David Gu...
» Cuban Intelligence Following Reconciliation with the US
16/06/15 15:08 from InHomelandSecurity.com - News &#38; Analysis of Critical Issues in Terrorism &#38; Homeland Defense
By William Tucker Chief Correspondent for In Homeland Security Nearly a year after floating the idea, the Obama administration instructed the State Department to remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. The delisting will h...
» FBI takes to social media to find man on the run since killing of family in 1976 - AL.com
16/06/15 15:00 from fbi - Google News
whnt.com FBI takes to social media to find man on the run since killing of family in 1976 AL.com William Bradford Bishop, accused of killing his wife, mother and three sons in 1976, is shown in a picture taken around that time and in bus...
» Putin says Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal, NATO denounces 'saber-rattling' - Reuters
16/06/15 14:59 from nato - Google News
Reuters Putin says Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal, NATO denounces 'saber-rattling' Reuters Putin made his comments a day after Russian officials denounced a U.S. plan to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO member states on...
» The IDF cancels the off-limits order for a Golan border zone
16/06/15 14:54 from DEBKAFile
Two hours after announcing that the northeastern section of the Golan is a closed military zone, the IDF lifted restrictions on the area, but continued to keep watch on Druze movements on the Syrian side of the border. The measure was sh...
» FBI identifies man shot outside Arkansas air force base - WHDH-TV
16/06/15 14:53 from fbi - Google News
WHDH-TV FBI identifies man shot outside Arkansas air force base WHDH-TV The FBI said Larry McElroy was the man who drove his SUV over a curb outside the sprawling military base's main gate on Monday, struck a street sign and exited t...
» 69469Search 69,469 Articles:
16/06/15 14:50 from United States Defense and Military Forces - News - Times Topics - The New York Times
69469 Search 69,469 Articles: Yemen Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Targeted Killings Drones (Pilotless Planes) Military Deaths in ISIS Operations The Department of Defense has identified six American service members who have died supp...
» FBI, DPS were investigating slain Balcones Heights officer before his murder - KSAT San Antonio
16/06/15 14:45 from fbi - Google News
KSAT San Antonio FBI , DPS were investigating slain Balcones Heights officer before his murder KSAT San Antonio According to testimony from an FBI special agent Tuesday during a Federal Court hearing, surveillance footage set up by the F...
» Kazakhstan’s Crackdown on Rumors Fails to Prevent their Spread
16/06/15 14:40 from Eurasia Daily Monitor - The Jamestown Foundation
On January 1, 2015, the new Criminal Code, which was approved by President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s...
» Is the Kremlin Worried About NATO's Reinforcements in … - Foreign Policy (blog)
16/06/15 14:37 from nato - Google News
Foreign Policy (blog) Is the Kremlin Worried About NATO's Reinforcements in … Foreign Policy (blog) Your series of “snap exercises” all around the periphery of our country have clearly frightened NATO . Additionally, the brilliant co...
» Is the Kremlin Worried About NATO's Reinforcements in Europe? - Foreign Policy (blog)
16/06/15 14:37 from nato - Google News
Foreign Policy (blog) Is the Kremlin Worried About NATO's Reinforcements in Europe? Foreign Policy (blog) Your series of “snap exercises” all around the periphery of our country have clearly frightened NATO . Additionally, the brilli...
» Al-Qaida confirms drone strike killed high-ranking leader in Yemen
16/06/15 14:37 from News - Stripes
Al-Qaida confirms drone strike killed high-ranking leader in Yemen A CIA drone strike has killed the leader of al-Qaida’s feared affiliate in Yemen, a group that has repeatedly sought to launch ambitious attacks on or over American soil,...
» Shapsugs Increasingly Important Players in Circassian Struggle With Moscow
16/06/15 14:33 from Eurasia Daily Monitor - The Jamestown Foundation
Most analysts concerned with the Circassian issue in the North Caucasus have focused on the three...
» FBI using social media to search for Top Ten Fugitive; citizens encouraged to ... - whnt.com
16/06/15 14:32 from fbi - Google News
whnt.com FBI using social media to search for Top Ten Fugitive; citizens encouraged to ... whnt.com HUNTSVILLE, Al. (WHNT) – The FBI is using social media in its search for a top ten fugitive – William Bradford Bishop, Jr. Bishop is accu...
» FBI, DPS investigating slain Balcones Heights officer - KSAT San Antonio
16/06/15 14:26 from fbi - Google News
KSAT San Antonio FBI , DPS investigating slain Balcones Heights officer KSAT San Antonio In Tuesday's hearing, an FBI special agent discussed how surveillance footage from Pesina's tattoo shop and from a camera set up by the FBI ...
» Ukrainian President Replaces Governor of War-Torn Donetsk Province
16/06/15 14:26 from Eurasia Daily Monitor - The Jamestown Foundation
On June 11, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fired General Oleksandr Kikhtenko as governor of...
» UN’s David Kaye on Encryption, Anonymity, and Human Rights
16/06/15 14:21 from Just Security
Faiza Patel In his first report as UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye fired a shot across the bow of governments trying to force companies to build “back do...
» NATO accuses Moscow of dangerous 'sabre-rattling' - Deutsche Welle
16/06/15 14:17 from nato - Google News
Deutsche Welle NATO accuses Moscow of dangerous 'sabre-rattling' Deutsche Welle NATO was responding to Russia's actions by ensuring the alliance could provide "the terms of protection of all allies against the enemy,&quo...
» Why the new far-right political group in the European Parliament is a political failure
16/06/15 14:11 from openDemocracy
Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders announced the formation of the new Europe of Nations and Freedoms group in the European Parliament today. A financial success? Sure. A political success? Unlikely. Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are the a...
» The Show Me the Money State
16/06/15 14:10 from Washington Free Beacon
Missouri’s second highest elected official blasted Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon for accepting lucrative union campaign donations after vetoing right to work legislation.
» FIFA scandal: Chuck Blazer worked undercover for the FBI - UPI.com
16/06/15 13:50 from fbi - Google News
RTE.ie FIFA scandal: Chuck Blazer worked undercover for the FBI UPI.com Blazer, 70, an American, agreed to work undercover for the FBI , supplying information about corruption within the hierarchy of international soccer's organizing...
» FBI and DPS both investigating slain Balcones Heights Officer - KSAT San Antonio
16/06/15 13:49 from fbi - Google News
KSAT San Antonio FBI and DPS both investigating slain Balcones Heights Officer KSAT San Antonio In today's hearing a FBI special agent discussed how surveillance footage from Pesina's tattoo shop and from a camera set up by the F...
» NATO Chief Slams Russian 'Saber Rattling' - RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
16/06/15 13:48 from Nato Russia - Google News
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty NATO Chief Slams Russian 'Saber Rattling' RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty "We are responding by making sure that NATO also in the future is an alliance which provides the terms of protection of all ...
» Russia's new missiles to overcome any type of missile defense systems - Pravda
16/06/15 13:48 from missile defense - Google News
Pravda Russia's new missiles to overcome any type of missile defense systems Pravda Putin said at the opening of the international military-technical forum "Army 2015" that the new missiles would be capable of overcoming an...
» FBI, While Hating On Encryption, Starts Encrypting All Visits To Its Website - Techdirt
16/06/15 13:43 from fbi - Google News
FBI , While Hating On Encryption, Starts Encrypting All Visits To Its Website Techdirt FBI .gov. No, seriously. This may surprise you. After all, this is the very same FBI that just a couple of weeks ago had its assistant director Michae...
» Cybersecurity Firm Says It Found Spyware on Government Network in April - Wall Street Journal
16/06/15 13:37 from cybersecurity - Google News
Wall Street Journal Cybersecurity Firm Says It Found Spyware on Government Network in April Wall Street Journal WASHINGTON—A Virginia cybersecurity company said Monday it had discovered spyware in the federal Office of Personnel Manageme...
» Stock Update: Raytheon Co (NYSE:RTN) – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and ... - Jutia Group
16/06/15 13:34 from CyberWar - Google News
Stock Update: Raytheon Co (NYSE:RTN) – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and ... Jutia Group Summary (NYSE:RTN): Raytheon Company develops integrated products, services, and solutions in the areas of sensing; effects; command, control, communica...
» Foam systems designed to protect military aircraft keep activating by accident
16/06/15 13:29 from National Security: National Security, Pentagon & Defense Department News - The Washington Post
In case you were wondering: Mixing alcohol with muscular fire suppression foam systems is not a good idea.A Marine in Okinawa, Japan, who was allegedly drunk, learned that lesson recently, according to reports in Stars and Stripes and Ma...
» Cardinals hacking case a huge test for first-year MLB commish Manfred - CBS sports.com (blog)
16/06/15 13:12 from Cyberwar - Google News
CBS sports.com (blog) Cardinals hacking case a huge test for first-year MLB commish Manfred CBS sports.com (blog) Hacking into anyone else's personal database is an illegal breach. With large companies, it's an even worse situati...
» Feds Can’t Verify $2.8 Billion in Obamacare Subsidies
16/06/15 13:10 from Washington Free Beacon
The federal government cannot verify nearly $3 billion in subsidies distributed through Obamacare, putting significant taxpayer funding “at risk,” according to a new audit report.
» Iran Détente Still a Poison Pill for Gulf Arabs, Nuclear Question or Not
16/06/15 13:05 from Foreign Policy BlogsForeign Policy Blogs | The FPA Global Affairs Blog Network
There is little chance that Iran and the Arab monarchies, led by Saudi Arabia, can countenance each another's respective aspirations. The U.S. is trying to make a deal with Iran while still tying itself to the demands of its other securi...
» Putin says Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal, NATO denounces 'sabre-rattling' - Reuters
16/06/15 12:56 from nato - Google News
Reuters Putin says Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal, NATO denounces 'sabre-rattling' Reuters Putin made his announcement a day after Russian officials denounced a U.S. plan to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO member state...
» Top Ten Findings of the CIA Inspector General's Report on 9/11 - Council on Foreign Relations (blog)
16/06/15 12:51 from cia - Google News
Council on Foreign Relations (blog) Top Ten Findings of the CIA Inspector General's Report on 9/11 Council on Foreign Relations (blog) Last week, in response to long-standing FOIA requests, the CIA declassified—with significant redac...
» FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros' databases - Comcast SportsNet New England
16/06/15 12:50 from fbi - Google News
FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros' databases Comcast SportsNet New England Because the Patriots -- reviled outside New England as win-at-all-costs rule-breakers -- never had the FBI on their tail. The St. Louis Cardinals...
» NATO rebukes Russia's 'nuclear saber-rattling' - Al-Arabiya
16/06/15 12:50 from Nato Russia - Google News
Al-Arabiya NATO rebukes Russia's 'nuclear saber-rattling' Al-Arabiya “The feeling is that our colleagues from NATO countries are pushing us into an arms race,” RIA news agency quoted Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov as...
» Senate Votes To Outlaw Torture - Huffington Post
16/06/15 12:50 from cia - Google News
Huffington Post Senate Votes To Outlaw Torture Huffington Post The road to that symbolic vote, though, was not an easy one, despite still-simmering outrage after the December release of a gruesome Senate summary report on the CIA's p...
» NATO chief slams 'dangerous' Russian nuclear 'saber rattling' - Yahoo News
16/06/15 12:49 from nato - Google News
International Business Times AU NATO chief slams 'dangerous' Russian nuclear 'saber rattling' Yahoo News BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of nuclear "saber rattling" af...
» NATO head says Russia 'nuclear sabre-rattling' is 'dangerous' - Bangkok Post
16/06/15 12:45 from Nato Russia - Google News
NATO head says Russia 'nuclear sabre-rattling' is 'dangerous' Bangkok Post BRUSSELS - NATO head Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that Russian plans to deploy 40 new nuclear ballistic missiles announced by President Vladimi...
» Senate panel OKs cybersecurity funding - FCW.com
16/06/15 12:42 from cybersecurity - Google News
FCW.com Senate panel OKs cybersecurity funding FCW.com The Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee approved a $47.1 billion DHS spending bill June 16 that includes funding for the cybersecurity programs DHS provides to other...
» NATO chief slams 'dangerous' Russian nuclear 'saber rattling' - Reuters
16/06/15 12:42 from nato - Google News
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty NATO chief slams 'dangerous' Russian nuclear 'saber rattling' Reuters BRUSSELS NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of nuclear "saber rattling" after it announced a...
» NATO Chief Slams ‘Dangerous’ Russian Nuclear ‘Saber Rattling’
16/06/15 12:42 from Washington Free Beacon
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of nuclear "saber rattling" after it announced an increase in its missile arsenal on Tuesday and he warned that it was "destabilizing and dangerous."
» Northeastern Golan declared off-limits military zone
16/06/15 12:40 from DEBKAFile
The IDF Tuesday announced that the northeastern section of the Golan is a closed military zone. The announcement added that the IDF is closely watching Druze movements on the Syrian side of the border. DEBKAfile: This measure was designe...
» Donald Trump challenges Jeb Bush as presidential contender
16/06/15 12:40 from DEBKAFile
Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, officially confirmed Monday that he will be running for the Republication presidential nomination in the 2016 race. From the New York tower in his name, multi-billionaire Donald Trump Tuesday announced ...
» FBI Using Social Media to Search for Top Ten Fugitive - whnt.com
16/06/15 12:35 from fbi - Google News
whnt.com FBI Using Social Media to Search for Top Ten Fugitive whnt.com HUNTSVILLE, Al. (WHNT) – The FBI is using social media in its search for a top ten fugitive – William Bradford Bishop, Jr. Bishop is accused of using a sledgehammer ...
» Ramadan and the Leadership Crisis in the Middle East
16/06/15 12:32 from Foreign Policy BlogsForeign Policy Blogs | The FPA Global Affairs Blog Network
This Ramadan comes at a time when the world is facing a catastrophic leadership deficiency, and nowhere is that catastrophe more evident than in the Middle East.
» NATO head says Russia 'nuclear sabre-rattling' is 'dangerous' - Yahoo! Maktoob News
16/06/15 12:30 from Nato Russia - Google News
Yahoo! Maktoob News NATO head says Russia 'nuclear sabre-rattling' is 'dangerous' Yahoo! Maktoob News NATO head Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that Russian plans to deploy 40 new nuclear ballistic missiles announced by P...
» Texas Governor Abbott Goes Shooting After Signing New Pro-Gun Laws
16/06/15 12:25 from Washington Free Beacon
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed an open carry and campus carry law before hitting the range to celebrate the new statutes on Saturday.
» NATO chief slams 'dangerous' Russian nuclear 'sabre rattling' - Channel News Asia
16/06/15 12:21 from Nato Russia - Google News
NATO chief slams 'dangerous' Russian nuclear 'sabre rattling' Channel News Asia BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of nuclear "sabre rattling" after it announced an increase in its ...
» Al Qaeda Deputy Leader Killed in U.S. Bombing in Yemen
16/06/15 12:19 from Washington Free Beacon
DUBAI/SANAA (Reuters) - The deputy leader of al Qaeda, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, has been killed in a U.S. bombing in Yemen, the group and the White House said on Tuesday, removing the director of a string of attacks against the West and a man...
» Joint statement by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the ... - NATO HQ (press release)
16/06/15 12:16 from nato - Google News
NATO HQ (press release) Joint statement by the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the ... NATO HQ (press release) The EU and NATO are unique and essential partners who share common values and strategic interests. We work side by...
» Greek PM tears into lenders, euro zone prepares for 'Grexit'
16/06/15 12:12 from Search Results
Greek PM tears into lenders, euro zone prepares for 'Grexit' Wall St. rises as M&A chatter picks up; Fed meeting eyed U.S. building permits near eight-year high; starts pull back Euro slumps amid Greek standoff, dollar up ahead of Fe...
» George Pedersen: ManTech Eyes Cyber, Homeland Security Markets With KCG ... - GovConWire
16/06/15 12:11 from Cyberwarfare - Google News
GovConWire George Pedersen: ManTech Eyes Cyber , Homeland Security Markets With KCG ... GovConWire ManTech International (Nasdaq: MANT) has acquired Reston, Virginia-based cybersecurity advisory contractor Knowledge Consulting Group for ...
» FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros internal network - SI.com
16/06/15 12:09 from fbi - Google News
SI.com FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros internal network SI.com The FBI has served the Cardinals and Major League Baseball with subpoenas, The New York Times reports. Authorities suspect that Cardinals employees hacked the ...
» Report: FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros internal network - SI.com
16/06/15 12:06 from fbi - Google News
SI.com Report: FBI investigating Cardinals for hacking Astros internal network SI.com The FBI has served the Cardinals and Major League Baseball with subpoenas, The New York Times reports. Authorities suspect that Cardinals employees hac...
» Study: Anti-Semitism Skyrockets in Canada
16/06/15 12:00 from Washington Free Beacon
Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada skyrocketed over the last year and have now hit highest levels “ever recorded” by human rights group tracking the number of anti-Jewish episodes, according to a new study.
» NASCAR: Kurt Busch's Ex Investigated By FBI And IRS - Beyond the Flag
16/06/15 12:00 from fbi - Google News
Beyond the Flag NASCAR: Kurt Busch's Ex Investigated By FBI And IRS Beyond the Flag Last week things got even worse for Driscoll when Outside The Lines confirmed through their sources that Driscoll is being investigated by the FBI an...
» Jeb Bush Officially Announces Intention To Run For President In 2016, But Can ... - Huffington Post UK
16/06/15 11:48 from anti-Americanism - Google News
Huffington Post UK Jeb Bush Officially Announces Intention To Run For President In 2016, But Can ... Huffington Post UK However, this standardisation emanates from the Federal government, so conservatives have dismissed it as a conspirac...
» Cardinals Face FBI Inquiry in Hacking of Astros' Network - New York Times
16/06/15 11:45 from Cyberwar - Google News
New York Times Cardinals Face FBI Inquiry in Hacking of Astros' Network New York Times WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors are investigating whether front-office officials for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of th...
» UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at LRAFB; suspect in critical condition - KATV
16/06/15 11:44 from fbi - Google News
KATV UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at LRAFB; suspect in critical condition KATV Base officials speaking to the media Monday afternoon say the motivation for the incident is unknown, but the FBI has determined the suspect was a "lone actor...
» Corruption in Romania: Ponta's inconvenient truth
16/06/15 11:42 from openDemocracy
Romania's  National Anticorruption Directorate has been diligently prosecuting mayors, judges and businessmen at an unprecedented rate. But now they have their sights set on their biggest target: Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Romania...
» Russia Vows 'Adequate' Response to US Fighters Deployment in Europe - Sputnik International
16/06/15 11:42 from Nato Russia - Google News
Russia Vows 'Adequate' Response to US Fighters Deployment in Europe Sputnik International The US-led NATO military bloc has been building up its forces along the borders with Russia after the start of the Ukrainian crisis last ye...
» 'Russia and US far too powerful, cooperation has to be possible' - RT (blog)
16/06/15 11:34 from Nato Russia - Google News
RT (blog) ' Russia and US far too powerful, cooperation has to be possible' RT (blog) Now that we do have these additional countries such as Poland and the Baltic States within NATO , I think that this is a fairly measured respon...
» NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game (Op-Ed) - The Moscow Times
16/06/15 11:33 from Nato Russia - Google News
The Moscow Times NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game (Op-Ed) The Moscow Times Both Russia and the West continue to stage all kind of major military exercises and demonstrations, even while both accuse the other of provocation and ag...
» Fighting The Long War - RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
16/06/15 11:24 from anti-Americanism - Google News
Fighting The Long War RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty Moscow is presenting a potent cocktail that unites cultural resentment, antiglobalization, Euroskepticism, cultural conservatism, and anti-Americanism . "The whole ideology of Putin...
» Cybersecurity Industry Blame Game at RSA Conference - Network World
16/06/15 11:23 from cybersecurity - Google News
Cybersecurity Industry Blame Game at RSA Conference Network World With the dangerous threat landscape and seemingly endless string of data breaches, there was quite a bit of industry bashing at this year's RSA conference. Discussions...
» OPM Director Defends Cybersecurity Protocol in Wake of Massive Hack - National Journal
16/06/15 11:09 from cybersecurity - Google News
National Journal OPM Director Defends Cybersecurity Protocol in Wake of Massive Hack National Journal The director of the Office and Personnel Management struck a defensive tone during her appearance before a congressional panel Tuesday,...
» St. Louis Cardinals Investigated by FBI for Hacking Astros - New York Times
16/06/15 11:06 from Cyberwar - Google News
New York Times St. Louis Cardinals Investigated by FBI for Hacking Astros New York Times WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors are investigating whether front-office officials for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the ...
» Israeli military to set up cybersecurity command - UPI.com
16/06/15 11:00 from CyberWar - Google News
UPI.com Israeli military to set up cybersecurity command UPI.com Israel currently has the responsibilities dispersed throughout its military structure, with the military Intelligence Directorate of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) dealing ...
» Neil Wallis, ex-NoW deputy editor, felt 'persecuted' over hacking - BBC News
16/06/15 10:59 from Cyberwar - Google News
BBC News Neil Wallis, ex-NoW deputy editor, felt 'persecuted' over hacking BBC News The ex-deputy editor of the News of the World told police he felt he was being persecuted when they quizzed him about phone- hacking claims for a...
» Obama Invites Netanyahu for Post-Iran Deal Talks
16/06/15 10:55 from Washington Free Beacon
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Washington next month after a deadline for reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, an Israeli newspaper reported on Tues...
» FBI: Ex-Texas man sought for kidnapping son is found in Medina - Niagara Gazette
16/06/15 10:54 from fbi - Google News
Niagara Gazette FBI : Ex-Texas man sought for kidnapping son is found in Medina Niagara Gazette The FBI says Kestel abducted his son Justin during a scheduled parental visit in June 1992 in Lorena, Texas. Officials say Kestel was to retu...
» FBI ties 3rd suspect to Muhammad cartoon exhibit attack - USA TODAY
16/06/15 10:50 from fbi - Google News
USA TODAY FBI ties 3rd suspect to Muhammad cartoon exhibit attack USA TODAY FBI ties 3rd suspect to Muhammad cartoon exhibit attack. Federal investigators arrested a third suspect in the shooting attack on a "Draw the Prophet" ...
» Cyber warfare overshadows 'netwar' concept putting US at risk, new ODNI paper ... - FierceGovernmentIT
16/06/15 10:50 from cyber warfare - Google News
Cyber warfare overshadows 'netwar' concept putting US at risk, new ODNI paper ... FierceGovernmentIT While many government officials are focused on cyberwarfare following a spate of high-profile cyberattacks including the recent ...
» Al Qaeda Confirms U.S. Strike Killed Nasser al-Wuhayshi, Its Leader
16/06/15 10:37 from United States Defense and Military Forces - News - Times Topics - The New York Times
Al Qaeda Confirms U.S. Strike Killed Nasser al-Wuhayshi, Its Leader in Yemen , Wuhayshi, Nasser al- , Terrorism This post has been generated by Page2RSS
» Ex-CIA head: 'Shame on us' for allowing government hack - The Hill
16/06/15 10:36 from cia - Google News
Wall Street Journal Ex- CIA head: 'Shame on us' for allowing government hack The Hill “If I as director of CIA or NSA would have had the opportunity to grab the equivalent in the Chinese system, I would not have thought twice,” h...
» Air Force secretary: F-22s could be deployed to counter Russia threat
16/06/15 10:26 from News - Stripes
Air Force secretary: F-22s could be deployed to counter Russia threat Air Force secretary: F-22s could be deployed to counter Russia threat Lakenheath airman gets France's highest award for crash rescue Afghan official: Roadside bombs ki...
» Putin Says Russia Beefing Up Nuclear Arsenal
16/06/15 10:21 from Washington Free Beacon
KUBINKA, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year, a remark that is likely to increase alarm in the West.
» IDF establishes new cyber command
16/06/15 10:18 from DEBKAFile
The new cyber command announced Monday by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Gady Eisenkott will oversee all activity related to cyber warfare operations, cyber defense,  cyber attacks, cyber intelligence-gathering and operational planning....
» Reuters: Russian defense ministry official says NATO provoking Moscow into ... - Kyiv Post
16/06/15 10:11 from Nato Russia - Google News
Kyiv Post Reuters: Russian defense ministry official says NATO provoking Moscow into ... Kyiv Post CNBC: Russia warns of 'new military confrontation' in Europe · Military fee revenue reaches Hr 3.3 billion in five months. ...
» Yemen: under fire, desperate for peace
16/06/15 10:08 from openDemocracy
Can the Yemen peace talks succeed? The dire humanitarian situation demands it but political factionalism and external interference may prove inordinate obstacles. The first tentative steps towards peace in Yemen are being taken in Geneva...
» Stratfor has 11 chilling predictions for what the world will look like a ... - Business Insider
16/06/15 10:07 from stratfor russia - Google News
Business Insider Stratfor has 11 chilling predictions for what the world will look like a ... Business Insider "There will not be an uprising against Moscow, but Moscow's withering ability to support and control the Russian Fede...
» Influential Anti-Tax Group Okays Key Trade Measure
16/06/15 10:00 from Washington Free Beacon
A career Democratic operative is pushing GOP lawmakers to oppose a pending trade bill on the grounds that it violates a pledge to oppose tax increases, but the group behind the pledge says it does no such thing.
» CIA Memo – Clinton Gutted Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Before 911 - Wizbang (blog)
16/06/15 09:52 from cia - Google News
Wizbang (blog) CIA Memo – Clinton Gutted Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Before 911 Wizbang (blog) As head of the CIA , Tenet repeatedly requested more money directed to anti-terrorism efforts or, to be allowed to prioritize those efforts ah...
» Cyber Security Experts Question Whether North Korea Acted Alone in Sony Hack - Hollywood Reporter
16/06/15 09:51 from Cyberwarfare - Google News
Hollywood Reporter Cyber Security Experts Question Whether North Korea Acted Alone in Sony Hack Hollywood Reporter While North Korean involvement in the cyber attack that hit Sony late last year shouldn't be discounted, the story mig...
» The ‘parasite law’ in Belarus
16/06/15 09:44 from openDemocracy
In the Soviet Union, anyone without an official job could be charged with ‘parasitism’ and sentenced to internal exile. Now Belarus has revived the idea. This year the Belarusian government issued a decree on ‘the prevention of social de...
» Self-determined citizens? A new wave of civic activism in Armenia
16/06/15 09:42 from openDemocracy
‘When people on the street approached us and asked, “What NGO are you from?” We replied, “We are not from any NGO. We are citizens of the Republic of Armenia."’ Since 2010, protests sparked by civic initiatives have become very common in...
» JMU Hosting Cyber Security Boot Camp - WHSV
16/06/15 09:32 from Cyberwarfare - Google News
WHSV JMU Hosting Cyber Security Boot Camp WHSV HARRISONBURG, Va. High school teachers from across the country are at James Madison University for a few days of cyber security training. JMU chose just 20 teachers out of the more than 100 ...
» Army to establish unified cyber corps - The Times of Israel
16/06/15 09:29 from CyberWar - Google News
The Times of Israel Army to establish unified cyber corps The Times of Israel Cyber security is today dispersed throughout the army. The Military Intelligence Directorate handles offensive capacities while the C4I branch deals with prote...
» An Egyptian court upholds Morsi death sentence
16/06/15 09:18 from DEBKAFile
The death sentence imposed on ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, initially passed in May, was confirmed by Egypt’s highest religious authority the Grand Mufti, and upheld by an Egyptian court. He was convicted of a series of...
» Russia: NATO provoking us into arms race - www.worldbulletin.net
16/06/15 09:16 from Nato Russia - Google News
www.worldbulletin.net Russia : NATO provoking us into arms race www.worldbulletin.net President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year and a d...
» NATO provoking Moscow into new arms race: Russian defence ministry official - Reuters
16/06/15 09:10 from nato - Google News
NATO provoking Moscow into new arms race: Russian defence ministry official Reuters MOSCOW Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov accused NATO on Tuesday of seeking to drag Moscow into a new arms race, RIA news agency reported. ...

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