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Karzai Says He Won't Sign U.S. Deal
(The Wall Street Journal: Nathan Hodge, Yaroslav Trofimov)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday that the security deal with the U.S. should be deferred until after his successor is elected, even as he boasted of securing key concessions from President Barack Obama.
Defense Bill Stalled as Senators Feud Over Amendments
(Roll Call: Meredith Shiner, Niels Lesniewski)
The Senate is stumbling into a two-week Thanksgiving recess with hope fading for completing action on a defense authorization bill.
Iran: Easing Oil, Banking Sanctions Part of Talks
(The Associated Press)
A senior Iranian envoy says nuclear talks have included possible ways to reduce sanctions on oil sales and banking in exchange for curbs in Tehran's atomic program.
U.S. May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country as Refugees
(ABC News: James Gordon Meek, Cindy Galli, Brian Ross)
Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents.
U.S., U.K. Struck Secret Deal to Allow NSA to 'Unmask' Britons' Personal Data
(The Guardian: James Ball)
The phone, Internet, and email records of U.K. citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analyzed and stored by the NSA under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Deal May Be Near as New Iran Talks Open
(The New York Times: Michael Gordon, Thomas Erdbrink)
Senior diplomats from six world powers and Iran opened a new round of talks on Wednesday in Geneva amid expectations that they were closing in on an agreement to freeze Tehran’s nuclear program.
Americans Support an Iran Nuclear Deal 2 to1
(The Washington Post: Max Fisher)
A just-out Washington Post/ABC poll finds that 64 percent of Americans support a nuclear deal with Iran, while 30 percent disapprove of one.
Iran's Comments on Israel Deemed 'Unacceptable' as Talks Open
(The Wall Street Journal: Jay Solomon, Stacy Meichtry, Farnaz Fassihi)
Iran's leader launched an anti-Western broadside as global powers resumed negotiations on curbing Tehran's nuclear program, injecting fresh uncertainty into a diplomatic process viewed as crucial to Middle East stability.
Israel, Gulf in 'Strange Alliance' Against Iran
(Associated Press: Brian Murphy)
In one of the region's oddest pairings, Israel and the Gulf Arab states led by Saudi Arabia increasingly are finding common ground on their mutual dismay over Iran's history-making overtures to Washington.
Afghan President Tells Elders He Backs U.S. Deal
Afghanistan's president has told a gathering of elders that he supports signing a security deal with the United States if safety and security conditions are met.
Pact May Extend U.S. Troops Stay in Afghanistan
(The New York Times: Thom Shanker, Rod Nordland)
Seretary of State John Kerry announced the United States and Afghanistan had finalized the wording of a bilateral security agreement that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024 and set the stage for billions of dollars of international assistance to keep flowing to the government in Kabul.
Afghans Release Draft of Security Accord With U.S.
(Los Angeles Times: David Zucchino)
The Afghan government published late Wednesday what it described as a "pre-decisional" copy of an agreement being negotiated with the United States.
The Taliban's Absurd Twitter War
(The Daily Beast: Sam Schneider)
As NATO forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, the group is waging a battle for the hearts and minds of Afghan youth—and it's spilling onto social media.
Sen. Carl Levin 'Optimistic' Senate Will Finish NDAA This Week
(Defense News: John Bennett)
Senate Armed Services Committee chairman said the chamber could finish work on a Pentagon policy bill this week, despite its plodding start.
Amendment Snafu Snags Defense Bill
(National Journal: Stacy Kaper)
The bill hit a land mine Wednesday when Senate Republicans objected that Majority Leader Harry Reid was refusing to allow debate on their amendments. Some charged that Reid was shielding President Obama from an unwanted debate on new Iran sanctions.
Work on Sexual Assault in Military Signals Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Evolution
(The Washington Post: Ed O'Keefe)
There is near-universal agreement among lawmakers that the Pentagon must find a way to curb incidents of sexual assault and rape.
Merkley Demands Congressional Vote on Afghan Postwar Force
(The Hill: Carlo Muñoz)
The language is part of an amendment filed by the Oregon Democrat to the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill.
Senator Seeks to Prevent Use of Chinese Technology in NATO Missile Shield
(Global Security Newswire: Rachel Oswald)
The amendment to the Senate version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, offered by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., pertains to a possible Turkish effort to buy an antimissile system from Beijing.
United States Can Spy on Britons Despite Pact, NSA Memo Says
(The New York Times: James Glanz)
The National Security Agency is authorized to spy on the citizens of America’s closest allies, including Britain, even though those English-speaking countries have long had an official non-spying pact, according to a newly disclosed memorandum.
Senators Want to Use Defense Bill to Force NSA Disclosures
(The Hill: Brendan Sasso)
Three Democratic senators are pushing an amendment to the Defense authorization bill that would require more disclosures about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
Poll: Most Americans Say Snowden Leaks Harmed National Security
(The Washington Post: Scott Clement)
Americans increasingly believe that former federal contractor Edward Snowden’s exposure of U.S. surveillance programs damaged national security, even as the programs have sparked widespread privacy concerns, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll has found.
Warrantless Surveillance Continues to Cause Fallout
(The New York Times: Charlie Savage)
The Justice Department has notified a Somali-American man who was convicted this year of trying to detonate a bomb in Portland, Ore., that his trial included evidence derived from warrantless wiretapping, a move that could disrupt plans to sentence him next month.
U.S. Says Dozens of Americans Have Sought to Join Rebels in Syria
(The New York Times: Eric Schmitt)
Dozens of Americans have traveled or tried to travel to Syria to fight with the rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011, American intelligence officials said Wednesday.
Beirut Bomb Was Meant to Kill Iran's Ambassador
(The Wall Street Journal: Nour Malas, Rima Abushakra)
The twin suicide bombings in Beirut appeared aimed at killing the Iranian ambassador and heavily damaging the country's embassy, but they fell short of their targets, Lebanese officials said Wednesday.
Beirut Blast: Jolt From Past and Omen of Dark Future
(Reuters: Dominic Evans)
Thirty years after the Lebanese capital gave birth to the modern suicide bomber, a killer has again driven his explosive-packed car towards an embassy in Beirut.
U.S. Drone Strike Kills Three in Middle East
(The Hill: Carlo Muñoz)
Al-Qaida's Yemeni cell is considered by U.S. military and intelligence officials as the most dangerous and best funded faction within the terrorist organization.
Kerry: Muslim Brotherhood 'Stole' Egypt Revolution
Speaking at the State Department to leaders of multinational U.S. firms, Kerry said the Islamist group had appropriated the revolt against Mubarak from young people.
Egyptian Soldiers Killed in Sinai Attack
(The New York Times: Kareem Fahim, David Kirkpatrick)
The attacks were the latest in a campaign of almost daily violence by militants against soldiers and police officers that began in July, when the military ousted Egypt’s democratically elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi.
Dempsey: U.S. 'Vulnerable' to Massive Cyberattacks
(The Hill: Carlo Muñoz)
Pentagon leaders have created new measures for firms working with the department.
Task Force Seeks Landpower Concept to Influence Joint Doctrine
Following the Army's failed push to establish a joint landpower office, a task force of soldiers, Marines, and special-operations personnel is focusing on developing a landpower concept paper with the ultimate goal of influencing joint doctrine.
Active and Improvising, Kerry is Taking on Tough Problems
(The New York Times: Mark Landler)
An Iran deal would ratify Kerry’s status as the biggest surprise of the president’s second-term cabinet.
Kerry Gets Credit for Moving Ball on Thorny Foreign-Policy Issues
(McClatchy: Hannah Allam)
Foreign policy analysts are giving Kerry credit for new signs of life on long-stagnant international debates, though they caution that the revivals could prove short-lived if they aren't managed delicately.
Policy Ends Deportation of Troops' Families
(Military.com: Bryant Jordan)
The White House took the action in response to Defense Department concerns over troops' families being ripped apart by the forced removal of a relative who is in the country illegally.
Army to Discharge Convicted Sex Offenders
(Military Times: Antonieta Rico)
The move is part of the Army's campaign against sex assault in the service.
Army Explores Replacing Its Military Networks With Commercial Ones
(Breaking Defense: Sydney Freedberg Jr.)
As defense budgets shrink and commercial networks grow, top brass are questioning the service's current plan to keep developing custom-built, military-specific, and extremely expensive communications networks.
Three Women Pass Marine 'Grunt' Test, But Corps Holds Off On Allowing Them in Infantry
(The Washington Post: Craig Whitlock)
Marine Corps leaders say they need two more years to study whether it makes sense to allow women to serve as grunts.
U.S. Ospreys Show Worth in Philippines Aid Effort
(Associated Press: Eric Talmadge)
The U.S. Marines' newest and in some quarters most controversial transport airplane is showing the world what it's got - for the sake of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and perhaps its own future.
Nuke Troubles Run Deep; Key Officers 'Burned Out'
(Associated Press: Robert Burns)
An unpublished study for the Air Force cites "burnout" among launch officers with their fingers on the triggers of 450 weapons of mass destruction.
New Deployment System Begins in October
(Air Force Times: Stephen Losey)
Beginning in October 2014, most airmen will start deploying under a new system that aims to keep them with their units and that follows six months of deployment with 12 months at home.
Navy was Warned of Contractor in Bribery Scandal
(The New York Times: Christopher Drew, Danielle Ivory)
Interviews with American officials and documents provide the first detailed look at how Francis and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, lowballed rivals to win contracts as the first step in the overcharging scheme.
Navy Suspends Some Drone Operations After Cruiser Hit
(Navy Times: Sam Fellman)
An official with the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division said that officials suspended all operations involving the BQM-74E drone.
GAO Finds Navy Ship-to-Shore Communications Lacking
(Bloomberg News: Tony Capaccio)
The U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship lacks the robust communications systems needed to transmit critical data to support facilities ashore, according to an unreleased congressional audit.
Climate Change Will Keep the U.S. Navy Busy With Disaster Relief
(War Is Boring: Michael Peck)
Rising sea levels and bigger storms mean more humanitarian missions.
GAO Finds Coast Guard Has Improved Its Data Sharing
(Defense News: Michael Peck)
GAO had previously discovered data-sharing issues with the Coast Guard for the past two years.
Another American Citizen is Arrested in North Korea
(The New York Times: Jane Perlez)
An 85-year-old American veteran of the Korean War was detained in North Korea last month as he was about to depart after having visited the country on a tourist visa, his son said on Wednesday.
No Dialogue if North Korea Keeps Nukes Running
(Associated Press: Matthew Pennington)
National Security Adviser Susan Rice also warned Pyongyang could face tougher sanctions if it acts provocatively.
Congress Urged to Counter Chinese Naval Building
(The Hill: Julian Pecquet)
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in its annual report recommended that Congress boost defense funding so the Navy could increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific to at least 60 ships.
Marines Scale Back Typhoon Relief Operations
(Stars and Stripes: Ashley Rowland)
The Marines are scaling back their relief efforts as roads in the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan are being cleared, allowing the Philippine military and aid groups to deliver supplies on their own.
Germany to Boost Anti-Spy Efforts
(The Wall Street Journal: Anton Troianovski)
German intelligence officials plan to strengthen their countersurveillance capability in response to revelations about National Security Agency spying programs, a move that could further strain relations with the U.S.
Stop Sexual Violence in the Military
(USA Today: Sens. Ted Cruz and Kirsten Gillibrand)
We are blessed with the most disciplined, honorable, and effective military force the world has ever known, and improving the system to report and prosecute sexual assault within the Armed Forces will help us maintain that distinction for years to come.
U.S. Should Be Wary of Iran's Goal to Dominate Middle East
(The Washington Post: Joseph Lieberman, Vance Serchuk)
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is the most alarming manifestation of a much more profound strategic problem: a perceived long-standing hegemonic ambition by Iran’s rulers to dominate the Middle East.
United States Must Stand Firm Against Russian Bullying in Europe
(Roll Call: Rep. Eliot Engel)
While Washington was preoccupied by the recent political crisis and turmoil in the Middle East, another drama has been playing out in the eastern reaches of Europe.
Sen. Rubio Peddles Muscular Middle Ground on Foreign Policy. Will It Sell?
(The Christian Science Monitor: Howard LaFranchi)
In a major foreign policy speech to boost his stature for 2016, Sen. Marco Rubio warned against isolationism and an over reliance on force.
Libya's Resurgent Violence
(The New York Times)
The situation teeters toward civil war as rival militias provoke a rising tide of violence and Libya, awash in arms, continues to serve as a base for the smuggling of weapons into places like Mali.
How Bush Let Iran Go Nuclear
(The New York Times: Ari Shavit)
If Bush had decided to display American leadership and exercise American power by launching a diplomatic campaign against Iran rather than a military one against Iraq 10 years ago, the United States’ international standing would be far greater today.
Asking Not What Our Country Can Do for Us
(Real Clear Defense: Tim Connors)
The case for preserving the future value of pay and benefits for our servicemen and military retirees is sure to be vigorous and loaded with moral overtones.
CORRECTION: Wednesday's email subject line incorrectly labeled the number of negotiations between world powers and Iran. This is the third round of talks.
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