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Bahrain Expels U.S. Diplomat, Senators Clueless About NSA Bombshell, Navy Can't Meet Funding Needs Bahrain Expels U.S. Diplomat, Senators Clueless About NSA Bombshell, N...

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Bahrain Expels U.S. Diplomat, Senators Clueless About NSA Bombshell, Navy Can't Meet Funding Needs

By Jordain Carney (@jordainc)

Welcome to NJ's Early Bird, today's best national security, defense, and foreign policy coverage. To contact us, email


Bahrain Ejects U.S. Diplomat After He Met Shiites
(Associated Press: Reem Khalifa)
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. State Department official's actions "run counter to conventional diplomatic norms."

Senators Clueless About NSA Bombshell
(The Daily Beast: Tim Mak)
These are the men and women who are supposed to keep watch over the nation's spies. And they have no idea about the latest revelations of inappropriate NSA snooping.

CIA Was Involved in U.S. Spying on Germany: Report
(Reuters: Mark Hosenball)
CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally.


Four NATO Servicemen Killed in Afghanistan
(Reuters: Mirwais Harooni)
ISAF said in a statement that four of its servicemen were killed. The Talian claimed responsibility for the attack.

U.S. Navy Warns It Can't Meet 30-Year Funding Needs
(Bloomberg: Tony Capaccio)
The U.S. Navy can't meet its funding needs for surface warships and a new class of nuclear attack submarines from 2025 to 2034.


CIA Is Said to Link Cuba to Plot to Smear Senator
(The Washington Post: Carol Leonnig, Manuel Roig-Franzia)
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez wants the Justice Department to investigate evidence about the source of fabricated claims connecting him to prostitutes.

Congress Has Little Time to Finalize VA, Defense Bill
(Army Times: Leo Shane III)
Congress is scheduled to be in session only 28 days before breaking in August.


VA Whistleblowers to Detail Retribution
(Politico: Lauren French)
House lawmakers will hear testimony on Tuesday from whistleblowers who accuse the Department of Veterans Affairs of retaliating against them for exposing shoddy medical care.

Cybersecurity Bill in Senate Committee, Quietly, on Tuesday
(Roll Call: Anne Kim)
The Senate Intelligence Committee is set to mark up its long-awaited cybersecurity bill.

House Benghazi Panel May Cost $3 Million This Year
(USA Today: Paul Singer)
It's a bigger budget than the House Veterans' Affairs and Ethics committees were given this year.

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McCain: Cut Aid to Countries Fueling Immigration Crisis
(Roll Call: Niels Lesniewski)
It's been widely reported that most of the children come from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.


Iraqi Parliament Wobbles Over Forming Government
(The New York Times: Alissa Rubin, Suadad Al-Salhy)
The announcement of the five-week delay was quickly followed by charges and countercharges about which political bloc was to blame for slowing down the political process.

Two 'Abandoned' Cylinders Seized in Syria Contained Sarin: U.N.
(Reuters: Michelle Nichols)
Two cylinders reportedly seized by Syrian government troops in an area controlled by armed opposition groups contained deadly sarin.

U.S. Ship Begins Neutralizing Syrian Chemical Weapons
(Reuters: Missy Ryan)
The ship began processing about 600 metric tonnes of chemical weapons and raw materials that could be used in them.

U.S.: Assad's 'Machinery of Death' Worst Since the Nazis
(The Daily Beast: Josh Rogin)
New evidence of the Assad regime's mass murder shows a systematic approach to atrocities not seen since the Holocaust, says the State Department's top war crimes official.

Israel Steps Up Air Offensive Against Hamas in Gaza
(The New York Times: Isabel Kershner, Jodi Rudoren)
Israel intensified its offensive in Gaza early Tuesday, bombing about 50 targets, after about 80 rockets were fired out of Gaza on Monday. Hamas's military wing called the bombing "a serious escalation."

Jihadis Tug at Edges of a Staunch American Ally
(The New York Times: Ben Hubbard)
Poverty, unemployment and anti-government sentiment in the small town of Maan have created modest but growing support for Islamic militancy among residents.


Kerry Warns Against Illegal Power Grab in Afghanistan
(Reuters: Maria Golovnina)
Kerry warned that any attempt to take power illegally following a disputed presidential election run-off would cost it U.S. support.

Afghan Vote Results Are in Question as Fraud Count Widens
(The New York Times: Matthew Rosenberg)
The country's Independent Election Commission reported that Ashraf Ghani was more than a million votes ahead of Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghans Will Learn Who Their New President Is, Probably, in Two Weeks
(Defense One: Ben Watson)
A turnout of 8 million voters out of a possible 13.5 million eligible Afghans took many election watchers by surprise.


U.S. Seeks to Salvage Dialogue With China at Beijing Summit
(The Wall Street Journal: Jeremy Page, Ian Talley)
The U.S. and China will try to reset a strained relationship, as senior officials meet in Beijing this week for talks on strategic and economic issues on which they have made scant progress.

China's Rise and Asian Tensions Send U.S. Relations Into Downward Spiral
(The Washington Post: Simon Denyer)
Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew visit Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday for the sixth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Chinese Cyberspies Have Hacked Middle East Experts at Major U.S. Think Tanks
(The Washington Post: Andrea Peterson)
The group behind the breaches, called "DEEP PANDA" by security researchers, appears to be affiliated with the Chinese government.


Ukraine Says Rebels Must Disarm Before Talks
(Associated Press)
Valery Heletey's statement, posted on the Defense Ministry website, comes amid growing confidence among government forces.

Ukraine Advances, Putin Stays Silent
(The Wall Street Journal: James Marson, Julian Barnes)
Russian President Vladimir Putin faced a critical decision on whether to answer rebel pleas for military help.

Russia, U.S. Ships Sail in Competing Black Sea Exercise
(Navy Times: David Larter)
It's the tale of the two maritime exercises.

EUCOM Chief: Time to Stop the Drawdown in Europe
(Defense News: Andrew Tilghman
But first he has to persuade the Pentagon to officially halt the U.S. military drawdown that has been underway in his command since the Cold War ended.

Rasmussen to Push Readiness Action Plan at NATO Summit
(Defense News: Marcus Weisgerber)
The move would better prepare the alliance to respond to a wide array of security threats in regions such as Northern Africa and Eastern Europe.


Germany to Escalate Counter-Espionage Efforts in Wake of U.S. Spying Allegations
(The Guardian: Philip Oltermann)
Bild newspaper says interior ministry emphasising the need for effective counterintelligence in wake of arrest of BND staffer.

Is There a Second NSA Leaker After Snowden?
(The Hill: Julian Hattem)
Top experts say there could be a new person leaking details about the National Security Agency, in addition to former contractor Edward Snowden.

CIA Celebrates Twitterversary and Addresses Tupac's Whereabouts
(Time: Joan Greve)
To commemorate the occasion, the government agency decided to address five questions some of their followers had tweeted to them.


DOD Finds Health Problems Similar to What VA Faces
( Richard Sisk)
The Defense Department has acknowledged systemic problems in the vast Military Health System for active-duty and retired troops similar to the Veterans Affairs Department.

International Partners Key To DoD's New R&D Strategy
(Defense News: Zachary Fryer-Biggs)
Although the document doesn't mention it, the strategy is focused on joint work with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.


Marine Hopeful About Release From Mexican Prison
Tahmooressi said he's feeling more optimistic about his chances for release.


Lockheed Martin Awarded LRASM Contract
(Seapower Magazine: Richard Burgess)
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for accelerated acquisition of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile.

Poland Shortlists Patriot Missile, Excluding MEADS
(Defense News: Tom Kington)
The decision by Poland to admit Raytheon's Patriot to a short list of bidders for its antimissile program, while excluding the MEADS program, has spurred rival claims over performance.

Northrop Takes the Lead From BAE on $11B T-X Trainer
(Breaking Defense: Colin Clark)
While the BAE-Northrop team is still offering BAE's Hawk jet, the move highlights Northrop's political and manufacturing power.

Sources: Engine 'Definitely' to Blame for June F-35 Fire
(USNI News: Dave Majumdar)
The Pentagon grounded the entire F-35 fleet on July 3 after it became apparent the June fire on an Air Force variant of the fighter was much more serious than originally thought.


Pressure Mounting to Rescind VA Bonuses Over Scheduling Scandal
(The Washington Post: Josh Hicks)
Veterans Affairs paid more than $2.8 million in performance awards to its senior executives.

VA Rejects Link Between Gulf War Service and Cancers
(USA Today: Kelly Kennedy)
VA officials said the number of brain-cancer deaths for soldiers exposed to sarin gas was too low to be conclusive, though it was double the rate of soldiers not exposed.

Jump in Appeals Dog the VA's Progress on Disability Claims
(The Wall Street Journal: Ben Kesling)
The next secretary of Veterans Affairs will be confronted by an issue former Secretary Eric Shinseki hailed as a success: faster processing of disability claims.

Vets in Congress on Steep Decline
(Politico: Jeremy Herb)
Only 20 percent of today's lawmakers have served in the military, the lowest rate since World War II and a dramatic fall from over 70 percent in the 1970s.

Veteran Who Died Waiting for Ambulance ID'd
(Associated Press: Russell Contreras)
The family of Jim Napoleon Garcia provided his name but declined to comment further about the death that drew national attention.

Vet Sues After Burial With Gay Partner Is Denied
(Associated Press: Rebecca Boone)
A U.S. Navy veteran filed a civil rights lawsuit after the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery refused to allow her to be buried with the ashes of her late wife.


Review Aimed at Framework for Cyber Stability Plows Familiar Ground
(Inside Cybersecurity: Christopher Castelli)
A yearlong State Department study effort to craft a "framework for international cyber stability" fails to break much new ground.


Prosecutor: Tsarnaev Said Martyrs Go to Heaven
(Associated Press)
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev texted a friend 90 minutes after the deadly explosions and said, "Don't go thinking it's me."


Vetting vs. Abetting
(The Washington Post)
U.S. military aid shouldn't go to those who commit human rights abuses.

Tea Party's Death: Greatly Exaggerated
(Defense News: John Bennett)
And that bodes ill for the defense sector.

What the West Can Do If It's Really Serious About Middle East Peace
(The Huffington Post: Prince El Hassan bin Talal)
What is unwelcome is the kind of short-sighted series of ill-advised interventions that we have become accustomed to since the Second World War.

NATO Should Buy French-Built Warship
(The Huffington Post: Rep. Eliot Engel)
There is already ample precedent for NATO to purchase shared assets, including the alliance's fleet of E-3A AWACS aircraft.

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