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Marine Killed at Camp Lejeune, U.S. to Cut Nuke Missile Force, NATO to Triple Baltic Air Patrol Marine Killed at Camp Lejeune, U.S. to Cut Nuke Missile Force, NATO t...

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Marine Killed at Camp Lejeune, U.S. to Cut Nuke Missile Force, NATO to Triple Baltic Air Patrol

By Jordain Carney ( @jordainc)

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


Marine Shoots, Kills Fellow Marine Gate Guard at Camp Lejeune
(Marine Corps Times: Hope Hodge Seck)
It's unclear how many times the Marine was shot, said Nat Fahy, a spokesman for Camp Lejeune.

U.S. to Cut Nuclear Launchers Under Treaty With Russia: Officials
(Reuters: David Alexander)
The Pentagon, however, will not retire a missile squadron as some lawmakers had expected.

NATO to Triple Baltic Air Patrol From Next Month
(Reuters: Adrian Croft)
The strengthening of air patrols over the Baltics is part of a plan of air, land, and sea reinforcements for Central and Eastern European allies.


Secret Service Shakes Up Staff in Wake of Embarrassing Drinking Incidents
(The Washington Post: Carol Leonnig)
The agency also implements stricter drinking rules after problems at home and abroad.

Reprising Grim Role, Obama to Grieve at Fort Hood
(Associated Press: Josh Lederman)
President Obama is reprising his role as chief comforter.

John Kerry: New Settlements Derailed Peace Talks
(The Hill: Rebecca Shabad)
The Republican Jewish Coalition slammed the secretary of State for laying the blame on Israel and called his remarks "outrageous."


GOP Lawmakers Offer New Russia Bill
(The Hill: Kristina Wong)
The legislation stopped short of calling on more material military aid for Ukraine, although Rep. Mike Turner said the bill left that open for discussion.


U.S. Official: In Key Ways, Russian Military is 'Very Limited'
(Defense News: John Bennett)
Defense Department officials vowed to a House committee that the Obama administration is prepared to "punish Russia" for invading Ukraine's Crimea region.

'Cuban Twitter' Dominates USAID Hearing
(Roll Call: Niels Lesniewski)
Sen. Patrick Leahy connected the ZunZuneo debate with the detention of Alan Gross, who was arrested while working as a subcontractor for a USAID project.

Cuba Social Media Project Was No Plot, Agency Says
(The New York Times: Ron Nixon)
Rajiv Shah, USAID's administrator, told members that the program was similar to others that the agency has financed in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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'Cuban Twitter' Overtly Political, Poking Castros
(Associated Press: Jack Gillum, Desmond Butler, Peter Orsi)
The messages conflict with claims by the Obama administration that the program had no U.S.-generated political content and was never intended to stir unrest on the island.

McCain, Kerry Have Tense Exchange at Foreign Relations Hearing
(Roll Call: Bridget Bowman)
Sen. John McCain confronted Secretary of State John Kerry about the Obama administration's foreign policy in a heated exchange at a Senate Foreign Relations hearing.

Senators Knock Kerry for Foreign Policies That Make Them Look Weak
(National Journal: Stacy Kaper)
Lawmakers call into question U.S. leadership on Russia, Syria, and Iran (and how it reflects on them).


U.S. Could 'Re-Examine' Its Military Posture in Europe
(Agence France-Presse)
Russia's takeover of Crimea could prompt a review the US military presence in Europe.

Dozens Leave Offices Seized By Ukraine Separatists
(Associated Press: Peter Leonard)
The Luhansk security services building was among several government offices seized by pro-Moscow groups.

Pro-Russian Protestors in Ukraine Dream of Soviet Glory Days
(The Daily Beast: David Patrikarakos)
After the a takeover of public buildings and a "declaration of independence" in major East Ukraine cities, the streets are quiet, but the mood is ugly.

Ukraine Tries to Quell Pro-Moscow Uprisings
(Associated Press: Peter Leonard)
The Ukrainian government and the U.S. have accused Moscow of fomenting the unrest as a pretext for another Russian military incursion.


Feinstein Asks White House to Take Lead in Releasing CIA Report
(McClatchy: Ali Watkins, David Lightman)
In a letter to Obama, Sen. Dianne Feinstein challenged both the White House and CIA, which have suggested in recent days that the agency would spearhead the declassification.

Eric Holder Calls for Release of 'As Much As Possible' of CIA Torture Report
(The Huffington Post: Matt Sledge)
Holder's voice is significant to the ongoing debate over CIA torture practices like waterboarding conducted under President George W. Bush.

Holder Pressed on James Clapper Testimony
(Politico: Josh Gerstein)
A senior House Republican pressed the attorney general to prosecute Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for perjury.

Snowden: NSA Ignored My Formal Complaints
(Time: Alexandra Sifferlin)
The former NSA contractor says he voiced his concerns to the agency's oversight and compliance bodies before leaking classified data.


At Fort Hood, Wrestling With Label of Terrorism
(The New York Times: Manny Fernandez, Alan Blinder)
In the hours and days after a deadly shooting at Fort Hood last week, Army officials have not shied away from talking about terrorism.

Experts: Fort Hood Shooter Fit Profile of Rampage Killer
(Stars and Stripes: Nancy Montgomery)
The search for answers as to why Spc. Ivan Lopez opened fire on strangers may take months to resolve, if not longer.


The Navy Wants 'Spidey Sense' to Spot Bombs
(War Is Boring: Michael Peck)
Human intuition may become a weapon.

Struggle Ahead to Reach 8-Month Sea Deployments
( Richard Sisk)
The Navy faces an uphill struggle in trying to get back to 8-month sea deployments.

Sailor Found Dead at Portsmouth Naval Hospital
(Newport News: Tyra Vaughn)
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth was temporarily placed on lockdown after a sailor was found dead on base.

U.S. Navy Converting Seawater Into Fuel
(Japan Today)
The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer."


Airmen at Odds With Air Force Brass Over Future of Beloved A-10 Plane
(PBS: Dan Sagalyn)
Air Force brass say they want to retire the A-10 because it would be more cost-effective to field aircraft that perform multiple missions.


Former Marine Guilty of Murder, Could Face Execution
(Associated Press: Matthew Barakat)
A jury in U.S. District Court in Alexandria convicted Jorge Torrez, 25, of killing Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell in July 2009.


Boeing: Growler Eclipses F-35's Stealth Advantage
( Brendan McGarry)
Boeing is touting the effectiveness of its fourth-generation EA-18G electronic attack plane over Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter.

Defense Hawks May Look to Boost Competition in Air Force Satellite Launches
(Roll Call: Megan Scully)
United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between defense giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, has a stranglehold on the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

DOD Withholds $25.7M Payment to Pratt & Whitney for F135
(Breaking Defense: Colin Clark)
The money withheld varies "from engine to engine and lot to lot."

Alion Wins $17.7M Contract to Help DOD Defeat Emerging IED Threats
(Seapower Magazine)
Alion will support conception, prototyping, improving, and experimenting with technologies, devices, and systems, bringing next-generation capabilities to counter IED hazards.

Hewson Seeks to Solidify Lockheed
(Politico: Leigh Munsil)
Lockheed Martin is best known as the $45 billion-a-year builder of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other such war machines.

Hewson Eyes the Defense Downturn
(The Hill: Leigh Munsil)
Lockheed Martin's CEO talks Pentagon downturn, F-35 troubles, and running for public office.


U.S. Defense Chief Gets Earful as China Visit Exposes Tensions
(Reuters: Phil Stewart)
Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, standing side-by-side with Hagel, called on the United States to restrain ally Japan and chided another U.S. ally, the Philippines.

China Angered by Latest U.S. Arms Sale Plan for Taiwan
(Reuters: Ben Blanchard, Michael Martina)
China's defense ministry said it was resolutely opposed to all arms sales to Taiwan, saying it was an interference in China's internal affairs.

U.S., China Defense Chiefs Trade Barbs Over Regional Ambitions
(The Wall Street Journal: Dion Nissenbaum)
Chang Wanquan tells Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: China "can never be contained."

U.S.-China Differences Are Clear Even As Hagel Stresses Cooperation in Beijing Visit
(The Washington Post: Ernesto Londono)
Hagel urged officers at China's premier military university to work toward a new era of cooperation between the world's top military rivals.

New Chinese Cruiser—Not as Big as We Thought
(War Is Boring: David Axe)
But still pretty big.

Kerry: 'When Did the Comedians Go to India?'
(The Washington Post: Colby Itkowitz)
Did you hear the one about the Indian-American comedians the State Department sent to tour India?


White House Says Iran's U.N. Diplomat 'Not Viable'
(The New York Times: Rick Gladstone, Thomas Erdbrink)
The administration's objections over the nominee could turn into a new confrontation with the Iranian government.


Number of Election Complaints 'Almost Nothing,' Afghanistan Says
(The New York Times: Rod Nordland, Matthew Rosenberg)
None of the leading candidates have said so far that they would dispute this year's balloting.

Afghanistan's Surprises
(Reuters: David Rohde)
Two forces that have long destabilized the country—its political elite and its neighbors—could easily squander the initial success.


Wounded in War But Not in Combat
(The Washington Post: Rajiv Chandrasekaran)
More than half of the 2.6 million service members dispatched to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan say their health is now worse.

VA Doesn't Track Tissue Used in Surgeries, GAO Says
(Air Force Times: Leo Shane III)
Veterans Affairs officials used tens of thousands of biological implants in surgeries last year, but they can't fully account for their safety.

VA: Delayed Treatment Led to Cancer Deaths
(USA Today: Gregg Zoroya)
Delays in endoscopy screenings for potential gastrointestinal cancer in 76 veterans treated at Veterans Affairs hospitals are linked to 23 deaths.

Small Study Finds Problem in Gulf War Vets' Cell Function
(Navy Times: Patricia Kime)
By testing recovery time of muscles at the cellular level following exercise, the researchers found that affected Gulf War veterans "displayed significantly delayed recovery."


West Point to House Cyberwarfare Research Institute
(Army Times: Joe Gould)
The Army's academy has established a cyberwarfare research institute to groom elite cybertroops and solve thorny problems for the Army.


National Guard Chief Changes Tone on Cuts
(The Hill: Blake Neff)
The National Guard's leader dialed back his opposition to an Army plan that would shift resources and cut total Guard personnel by 19,000 soldiers.


Coast Guard Searches for Icebreaker Cash
(Politico: Philip Ewing)
The United States will not be able to step up its maritime presence in the melting Arctic without a budget boost or some other assistance from Congress.


Increase the Pressure on Russia
(The Washington Post)
Only tougher sanctions can keep the country from destroying Ukraine.

Putin Invades, Obama Dismantles
(The Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. rushes to obey a nuclear arms treaty while Russia cheats.

A Russian Invasion of East Ukraine Would Make Crimea Seem Like a Cinch
(Time: Simon Shuster)
Separatist violence in eastern Ukraine has set the stage for another Russian invasion.

Putin Isn't Invading Ukraine—He's Sabotaging It
(Quartz: Steve LeVine)
With Crimea in hand, Russia appears to be using powerful tools to secure influence in the rest of Ukraine in advance of May 25 presidential elections.

GOP Bill to Counter 'Russian Aggression' Could Put Dems in Tough Spot
(Defense News: John Bennett)
It remains unclear whether the new bill will ever reach the House floor. That should become more clear as the week rolls on and House GOP leaders face reporters.

A Clear Choice on Defense
(Real Clear Defense: Rep. Paul Ryan)
The world is less safe when America doesn't lead. But for Obama, this lesson has yet to sink in.

The Republicans' Cynical Defense Budget
(Real Clear Defense: Rep. Chris Van Hollen)
The Republican budget inflates defense funding above what the Pentagon proposes, but triples the sequester cuts to the parts of our budget that fund education, infrastructure, and life-saving medical research.

Democracy Dividends from the Afghanistan Investment
(The Wall Street Journal: David Petraeus, Michael O'Hanlon)
American sacrifices of 13 years paid off in a successful election. By late summer we may know how well.

Guns Galore Won't Make Military Bases Safer
(USA Today)
If troops can carry firearms to defend themselves in combat zones, some lawmakers ask, why not here at home, where they might be able to stop deranged shooters?

Soldiers as Soft Targets
(USA Today: Steve Stockman)
The ban on allowing military personnel to carry weapons on base is a 20-year experiment that failed and places servicemembers in danger.

Using the 'Top Secret' Stamp to Hide Lies and War Crimes
(The Atlantic: Conor Friedersdorf)
By letting the CIA vet the torture report, the White House and Congress are giving Americans a new reason to have contempt for an illegitimate classification system.

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Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Keeps me informed about national leadership concerns."

Senior Military Officer

The best!"

Mark, Compensation Analyst

Timely and informative."

Dave, HR specialist

I can browse over breakfast or while on the metro."

AJ, US Army Officer

Sign up form for the newsletter
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