EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to NJ's Early Bird, a free morning assembly of the best national security, defense and foreign-policy coverage from around the web. Get this by forward? Click here to sign up directly.
IRAN TO GIVE U.N. INSPECTORS MORE ACCESS TO NUCLEAR SITES
(Reuters; Fredrik Dahl, Marcus George)
Iran will grant U.N. inspectors "managed access" to a uranium mine and a heavy-water plant within three months as part of a cooperation pact reached on Monday that aims to allay concern about Tehran's nuclear program.
KERRY: NUCLEAR TALKS FELL APART BECAUSE IRAN BALKED
(The Los Angeles Times; Paul Richter)
Weekend talks seeking a deal on Iran's nuclear program fell apart not because of divisions among six world powers, but because Iran balked at the last moment, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
IRAN FOREIGN MINISTER BLAMES WEST FOR NUCLEAR TALKS BREAKDOWN
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back at Kerry late on Tuesday and blamed divisions between Western powers for the failure of talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program in Geneva last week.
U.S. PROVIDES $20 MILLION IN EMERGENCY AID FOR PHILIPPINES
(Associated Press; Matthew Pennington)
Kerry said he assured Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario "of our full commitment to providing all necessary assistance."
HAQQANI MILITANT LEADER KILLED IN PAKISTAN
(The New York Times; Declan Walsh, Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud)
The leader, Nasiruddin Haqqani — a son of the militant group's founder, the Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani — was gunned down outside a bread store on Sunday night by a man riding a motorcycle.
OBAMA FACES WORRY AT HOME, ABROAD OVER IRAN TALKS
(Associated Press; Julie Pace)
President Barack Obama's hopes for a nuclear deal with Iran now depend in part on his ability to keep a lid on both hard-liners on Capitol Hill and anxious allies abroad, including Israel, the Persian Gulf states and even France.
U.K.: IRAN TO FACE TOUGHER SANCTIONS WITHOUT NUCLEAR DEAL
(Reuters; Peter Griffiths)
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday that there would be pressure to intensify sanctions on Iran if it could not reach a deal with world powers.
KHAMENEI CONTROLS MASSIVE FINANCIAL EMPIRE BUILT ON PROPERTY SEIZURES
(Reuters; Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, Yeganeh Torbati)
A Reuters investigation details a key to the supreme leader's power: a little-known organization created to help the poor that morphed into a business juggernaut worth tens of billions of dollars.
U.S. OFFICIAL LEAVES ISRAEL WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING ON IRAN
(Times of Israel)
Wendy Sherman was in Jerusalem to brief Israelis on substance of talks with Tehran and smooth out disagreements.
SENATE WILL WAIT BEFORE MOVING ON IRAN SANCTIONS
(Reuters; Patricia Zengerle, Matt Spetalnick)
U.S. lawmakers will wait for a briefing by Kerry this week before deciding whether to impose tough new sanctions on Iran, aides said Monday.
OFFICIAL: SEN. INHOFE'S SON KILLED IN PLANE CRASH
The Secretary of Defense confirmed the death of Sen. Jim Inhofe's son, 52-year-old Dr. Perry Inhofe, who was killed in a weekend plane crash in northeast Oklahoma.
CONGRESS COULD SEE POWER TO CONFIRM NSA CHIEF
(Politico; Tony Romm)
Frustration with the National Security Agency's spying and the pending departure of its longtime director have fueled a congressional push to put its future leaders through the Senate confirmation process — a scenario the White House has warned against.
ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN BACK FROM AFGHANISTAN CALLS FOR THOUSANDS OF TROOPS TO REMAIN
(The Chicago Tribune; Katherine Skiba)
After a visit to Afghanistan, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he supports the drawdown of U.S. forces at the end of 2014 but believes 9,000 to 10,000 U.S. troops will be needed on the ground afterward.
WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERS APPOINTING CIVILIAN NSA CHIEF
(The Guardian; Spencer Ackerman)
The Obama administration is giving strong consideration to appointing a civilian to run the surveillance apparatus and splitting it from the military command that has been its institutional twin since 2010.
McCAIN: DIDN'T CALL FOR NSA CHIEF'S RESIGNATION OR FIRING
(United Press International)
Sen. John McCain didn't call for U.S. National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander to leave, McCain's office said, denying remarks attributed to him.
GOP LAWMAKER: EUROPE CAN HELP CURB NSA
(The Hill; Pete Kasperowicz)
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., touted his legislation to rein in the National Security Agency's spying powers in a speech to the European Parliament Monday.
AFGHAN TALIBAN THREATEN TRADITIONAL ASSEMBLY ON EXTENDING U.S. PRESENCE
(The Wall Street Journal; Nathan Hodge, Habib Khan Totakhil)
The Afghan Taliban threatened Monday to target participants in a traditional assembly that will decide whether U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan after next year.
'LACK OF U.S. COOPERATION' HALTS AFGHAN PROBE INTO CIVILIAN KILLINGS
(Reuters; Hamid Shalizi, Dylan Welch)
Afghanistan's intelligence service has abandoned its investigation into the murder of a group of civilians after being refused access to U.S. special forces soldiers suspected of involvement.
MILITARY SUICIDES DROP
(Associated Press; Lolita Baldor)
Suicides across the U.S. military have dropped by more than 22 percent this year, defense officials said, amid an array of new programs.
WITH BLACKBERRY'S FUTURE UNCERTAIN, PENTAGON READIES A CONTINGENCY PLAN
(NextGov; Aliya Sternstein)
The Defense Department, owner of 470,000 BlackBerrys, is distancing itself from the struggling vendor while moving ahead with construction of a department-wide app store and a system for securing all mobile devices, including the latest iPhones, iPads and Samsung smartphones and tablets.
TEXAS AND 5 OTHER STATES RESIST PROCESSING BENEFITS FOR GAY COUPLES
(The New York Times; Richard Oppel Jr.)
Texas is one of six states refusing to comply with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's order that gay spouses of National Guard members be given the same federal marriage benefits as heterosexual spouses.
LEADING OPPOSITION GROUP, YIELDING TO PRESSURE, VOTES TO JOIN PEACE TALKS
(The New York Times; Anne Barnard, Hwaida Saad)
Under intense American, British and European pressure, the coalition voted that it would attend peace talks sponsored by the United States and Russia in Geneva if certain conditions were met, including full access for delivery of humanitarian aid and the release of prisoners.
SYRIAN OPPOSITION COALITION SAYS IT WILL ATTEND PEACE TALKS IF ASSAD LEAVES OFFICE
(The Washington Post; Loveday Morris)
Although the Syrian Opposition Coalition's announcement was hailed by Kerry as an important step, one of its demands is that President Bashar al-Assad not play any role in a transitional government.
WEST SCORNS ASSAD 'SHOPPING LIST' FOR CHEMICAL CONVOYS
(Reuters; Anthony Deutsch)
Western powers will turn down a Syrian request for military transport equipment to ship out chemical weapons material, saying the armored trucks and other gear could be used to fight the revolt.
SYRIAN OPPOSITION GROUP APPROVES PARTIAL CABINET
(Associated Press; Desmond Butler, Diaa Hadid)
The move by the Syrian National Coalition late Monday follows its announcement earlier in the day that it plans to attend proposed peace talks with the Syrian government, if certain conditions are met.
SYRIA REBELS RECRUIT AT REFUGEE CAMP
(Associated Press; Jamal Halaby)
Wary of further increasing tensions with the government in neighboring Syria, Jordan has sought to keep its support for rebels under the radar, officially denying that any training of anti-Assad fighters takes place on its soil.
CBS NEWS FACING CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO 60 MINUTES' FALSE BENGHAZI ACCOUNT
(The Guardian; Ed Pilkington)
CBS News is facing mounting calls for an investigation into how its flagship program 60 Minutes was duped into running a fantasy eyewitness account of the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.
RELIEF EFFORT BEGINS AFTER PHILIPPINE TYPHOON
Foreign governments and agencies have announced a major relief effort to help victims of the Philippine typhoon.
U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER TO SUPPORT PHILIPPINES RELIEF EFFORTS
(Reuters; Phil Stewart)
The USS George Washington aircraft carrier is being sent to support relief efforts in the Philippines, as the U.S. military ramps assistance after a devastating typhoon killed an estimated 10,000 people.
100 MORE U.S. MARINES AND SAILORS SENT TO HELP PHILIPPINES
(The Los Angeles Times; David Cloud)
Rescuers are still in the early stages of reaching remote areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, which officials say may have killed thousands of people as it lashed the island chain with winds of more than 200 mph and widespread flooding.
'TRIDENTS' ASSIST IN TYPHOON-RAVAGED PHILIPPINES
(Navy Times; Tony Lombardo)
The Navy has two P-3 Orion aircraft in the Philippines assisting the country's search and rescue efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR RECENT VETERANS IS INCREDIBLY HIGH
(The Washington Post; Brad Plumer)
A chart from the Council of Economic Advisers shows that the unemployment rate for recent veterans remains incredibly high — about 10 percent — and remains noticeably higher than it is for non-veterans in the same demographic group.
AT 107, NATION'S OLDEST VETERAN ENJOYS LIMELIGHT
(The Houston Chronicle; Kolten Parker)
Richard Overton served in the Army during World War II in the South Pacific. He still drives and says the key to his longevity was "staying out of trouble."
MICHELLE OBAMA, JILL BIDEN: 'JOINING FORCES' WITH YOU ON VETERANS DAY
(Army Times; Michelle Obama, Jill Biden)
"We're not going to stop until every veteran and military spouse who wants a job has one; until we reach every family affected by the unseen wounds of war; until every student veteran and military child gets the education they need; and until every community and every American shows their admiration and support for you and your families in ways that you feel every single day."
CHINA, U.S. ARMIES TO BEGIN JOINT DISASTER EXERCISE
(Associated Press; Oskar Garcia)
Army officials from China and the United States are meeting in Hawaii for an annual disaster relief exercise that will include field training for the first time this year.
NAVY TESTS WEAPONS TO BATTLE BUGS
(The Wall Street Journal; Cameron McWhirter)
Navy Lt. Jennifer Wright is itching to test new weapons to combat some of the U.S. military's most intractable foes: bugs.
NAVY INVESTIGATING ALLEGED TIES BETWEEN OFFICERS, CONTRACTOR
(The Wall Street Journal; Julian Barnes)
A Navy investigation involving alleged ties between high-ranking officers and a military contractor is climbing higher into the service's ranks, with senior officials warning that more members are likely to be ensnared in the legal proceedings.
NAVY CHRISTENS NEXT GENERATION OF AIRCRAFT CARRIER
(Associated Press; Brock Vergakis)
The Gerald Ford is the lead ship in the Navy's next class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
AIRMEN FIGHT TO FREE PEOPLE TRAPPED IN INTERSTATE PILEUP
(Air Force Times; Jeff Schogol)
For one hour and 25 minutes, the airmen treated a total of 20 people before enough emergency responders arrived on scene.
U.S. REPORT: 1ST SUB-LAUNCHED NUKE MISSILE AMONG CHINA'S RECENT STRIDES
(Defense News; Wendell Minnick)
For the first time in the country's history, China's sea-based nuclear deterrent is nearing initial operational capability, according to a forthcoming report by a U.S. congressional commission on China.
JAPAN'S MILITARY HOLDS MISSILE DRILLS ON PACIFIC GATEWAY
Japanese troops practiced surface-to-ship missile drills Monday on an island at the gateway to the Pacific, as part of a huge military exercise that has unsettled China.
NO IRAN DEAL, BUT A CHANCE FOR A BETTER STRATEGY
(The Washington Post; Editorial Board)
The Obama administration is right to move forward — but it should work harder to align any deal with its goals and to bring Congress and allies on board.
IRAN NEGOTIATIONS VS. WAR
(USA Today; Editorial Board)
Don't let foreign policy hardliners scuttle nuclear talks.
IRAN'S RECORD OF DECEPTION
(USA Today; Sen. Robert Menendez)
Tougher sanctions will serve as an incentive for Iran to verifiably dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
NUCLEAR TALKS UNFINISHED, BUT ALIVE
(The New York Times; Editorial Board)
No one has proposed a better path than negotiations, and getting the best deal possible should remain the goal for Iran and the major powers as they look to another round of talks later this month.
AXIS OF FANTASY V. AXIS OF REALITY
(The Wall Street Journal; Bret Stephens)
When the history of the Obama administration's foreign policy is written 20 or so years from now, the career of Wendy Sherman, our chief nuclear negotiator with Iran, will be instructive.
EVERY NATION IS JUST POSTURING ON IRAN
(National Journal; Michael Hirsh)
Yes, there are differences, but they're not as big as the diplomats have made them seem -- and they probably won't stop a temporary nuclear deal.
SPYING SCANDAL ALTERS U.S. TIES AND RAISES TALK OF POLICY SHIFT
(The New York Times; Alison Smale, David Sanger)
Almost never before has a spying scandal resulted in such a concrete, commercial backlash. Now it is also driving a debate inside the American government.
WHY TAKING SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES OUT OF THE CHAIN OF COMMAND PROTECTS OUR TROOPS
(Defense One; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand)
Even the top military leadership admits the current system "has failed" and lost the trust of its servicemembers.
REP. MICHAEL McCAUL: NOBODY'S HOME AT HOMELAND SECURITY
(The Wall Street Journal; Michael McCaul)
Nearly half of the top positions at the third-largest agency in the U.S. government aren't filled—a problem that has impaired its operations and speaks volumes about this administration's commitment to homeland security.
WHAT DOES NASIRUDDIN HAQQANI'S DEATH MEAN?
(Defense One; Joshua Foust)
Almost regardless of who really killed Nasiruddin, his death is sure to complicate an already complicated war, and leave its prospects even less certain than they were before.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com
National Journal's Early Bird is not produced by or officially sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Defense. It was created to serve the defense community upon U.S. DoD's announcement, on Nov 1, 2013, of its decision to discontinue the much-beloved Early Bird news report.