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U.S. Defies China, Americans Back Iran Deal 2-to-1: Early Bird—Brought to You By United Technologies

By Stacy Kaper (@KaperSLK) and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)

Welcome to NJ's Early Bird, a 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.


U.S. Flies Two Warplanes Over East China Sea, Ignoring New Chinese Air Defense Zone
(The Washington Post: Craig Whitlock)
The U.S. military has flown two warplanes over the East China Sea on a training exercise, the Pentagon announced, a move that blatantly ignored a recent edict from China.

U.S. Looks to Bypass Karzai on Afghanistan Security Deal
(Los Angeles Times: David S. Cloud and David Zucchino)
U.S. officials seeking to resolve a tense standoff with Afghan President Hamid Karzai are exploring whether they could bypass him and get other senior officials to sign a security deal authorizing American troops to remain in the country after 2014.

Americans Back Iran Deal By 2-to-1 Margin, Poll Finds
(Reuters: Matt Spetalnick)
According to the Reuters/Ipsos survey, 44 percent of Americans support the interim deal reached between Iran and six world powers in Geneva last weekend, and 22 percent oppose it.


Referendum on Egypt's Constitution Seen in December
(Reuters: Asma Alsharif)
Egypt will hold a referendum on an amended constitution in December, the group drafting it said on Tuesday, an important step in an army-backed roadmap meant to lead to elections.

One Syrian Rebel Group Balks on Peace Talks, Another Uncertain
(Los Angeles Times: Patrick J. McDonnell)
The head of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army said Tuesday that his group had no intention of attending January peace talks unless it was guaranteed that President Bashar al-Assad would relinquish power.

Microsoft, Suspecting NSA Spying, to Ramp Up Efforts to Encrypt Its Internet Traffic
(The Washington Post: Craig Timberg, Barton Gellman, Ashkan Soltani)
Two previously unreleased NSA slides that describe operations against Google and Yahoo include references to Microsoft's Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger services.


Iran's Rouhani Delivers Optimistic 100-Day Progress Report
(The Washington Post: Jason Rezaian)
One-hundred days into his first term as Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani offered an upbeat progress report to the country Tuesday.


Hard-Liners Hold Fire on Iran Nuclear Deal, but for How Long?
(Reuters: Marcus George)
To ensure the deal stays on track, Iran's new moderate government needs to protect it from powerful, virulently anti-Western security hard-liners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

EU to Maintain Sanctions on Most Iran Firms
(The Wall Street Journal: Laurence Norman)
The European Union will maintain sanctions against all but two Iranian firms that won challenges to the bloc's sanctions regime in EU courts in September, an EU official said.

Firm Charged With Defying Sanctions Settles With U.S.
(The New York Times: Rick Gladstone)
The SEC said the company that settled, Weatherford International Ltd., a Swiss provider of oil and gas services that operates in more than 100 countries, had agreed to pay more than $250 million to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other laws from 2002 to 2011.

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U.S. Military to Continue Flights in Air Defense Zone Claimed by China
(ABC News: Luis Martinez)
U.S. military aircraft will not change how they conduct operations in the East China Sea despite China's announcement that it has established an air defense zone over those waters, Pentagon officials said.

Flournoy Urges 'Hedge' Against China as U.S. Bombers Send Message to Beijing
(Defense News: John T. Bennett)
Former Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy called the relationship with Beijing "the most important strategic question we will face in coming decades."

Japan Asks Airlines to Ignore China Flight-Plan Rule
(The Wall Street Journal: Hiroyuki Kachi, Yoshio Takahashi)
Japan's aviation authorities issued an order Tuesday to the national airline association instructing them to disregard a Chinese request for the flight plans of all flights that pass over the area in dispute.

China Says It Monitored Defiant U.S. Bomber Flights
(Associated Press: Christopher Bodeen)
China said all aircraft flying through the zone would be monitored, but made no mention of a threat to take "defensive emergency measures" against noncompliant aircraft.

China's Navy Breaks Out to the High Seas
(Reuters: David Lague)
In late October, flotillas of Chinese warships and submarines sliced through passages in the Japanese archipelago and out into the western Pacific for 15 days of war games.

Problems Pile Up In Asia For U.S. Policymakers
(Associated Press: Matthew Pennington)
While the Obama administration is making diplomatic progress on some of the Mideast's thorniest security issues, problems are piling up in Asia, a region that President Barack Obama had wanted to play a bigger part in American foreign policy.


Karzai Makes Stand on Shakier Ground
(The Wall Street Journal: Yaroslav Trofimov)
The Afghan president, used to wringing concessions from the U.S., may have pushed too far on the security pact.

Karzai's Bet: U.S. Is Bluffing in Warning on Security Pact
(The New York Times: Rod Nordland, Alissa Rubin)
Karzai has made it clear that he considers the security pact a bluff. Not only did he refuse to sign, he added conditions, including the release of all inmates from the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

Pakistan Chooses Moderate to Take Over as Army Chief
Pakistan on Wednesday named a career infantry officer credited with re-writing the infantry manual as its new all-powerful army chief, a key position as the country fights a Taliban insurgency and increasing Islamist violence.


Penny Lane: Gitmo's Other Secret CIA Facility
(Associated Press: Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo)
In the early years after 9/11, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents, then sent them home to help the U.S. kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said.


Egyptian Police Forcibly Disperse Protesters Under New Law Curtailing Demonstrations
(The Washington Post: Erin Cunningham)
Egyptian police violently disbanded a small protest mounted by pro-democracy activists in central Cairo on Tuesday night.


Views on Iran Nuclear Accord Split Capitol Hill
(Global Security Newswire: Diane Barnes)
Leaders of key U.S. congressional committees aired deep divides this week on whether an initial nuclear accord with Iran is a good deal for Washington and the rest of the world.

Aide: Senate to Tee Up NDAA Again—After Two-Week Break
(Defense News: John T. Bennett)
The Senate likely will take a second swipe at passing a Pentagon policy bill as soon as it returns from a two-week Thanksgiving break.

Sensenbrenner Vows to Challenge Leadership on NSA Reform
(National Journal: Stacy Kaper)
A recent power play by House leadership on legislation to reform the National Security Agency has left reform advocates in a tailspin.


U.N. Says Syria Combatants Stymie Aid Effort
(Reuters: Stephanie Nebehay)
The United Nations says its aid convoys cannot reach around 250,000 people in areas besieged by Syrian government forces or rebels, despite "growing needs and intensifying conflict."

Syrian Rebel Group Skeptical of Talks
(The New York Times: Ben Hubbard)
A planned international peace conference aimed at ending the civil war in Syria is facing its first hurdles.


EU Demands Protection Against U.S. Data Surveillance
(Reuters: John O'Donnell)
EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said she wanted Washington to follow through on its promise to give all EU citizens the right to sue in the United States if their data is misused.

U.N. Committee Calls for End to Excessive Electronic Spying
(Reuters: Michelle Nichols)
A U.N. General Assembly committee on Tuesday called for an end to excessive electronic surveillance and expressed concern at the harm such scrutiny, including spying in foreign states and the mass collection of personal data, may have on human rights.

Malaysia Summons Singapore Envoy Over Spying Reports
Media reports citing documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden put Singapore, a key U.S. ally, at the center of a spy network that reportedly taps undersea cables in the region.

Intelligence Researchers Want to Analyze the Analysts
(Nextgov: Joseph Marks)
The intelligence community's research arm has launched a multi-year effort to understand how analysts understand intelligence data on a neural level.

Leakers, Privacy Activists Find New Home in Berlin
(The Washington Post: Michael Birnbaum)
An international cadre of privacy advocates is settling in Germany's once-divided capital, saying they feel safer here than they do in the United States or Britain


13 Executed Corpses Found in Iraq as Attacks Kill 5
(Associated Press: Sinan Salaheddin)
Police around Iraq's capital found the corpses of 13 men Wednesday apparently gunned down in executions, as other attacks in the country killed at least five.

Why Saudi Arabia Doesn't Trust the Iran Deal, Either
(The Atlantic: Simon Henderson)
The Saudis see the negotiations as power politics played as a zero-sum game. A perceived victory for Iran, even a reprieve from tougher action, is to the disadvantage of the kingdom.


How Ash Carter Oversold DOD's Savings Record and His Role
(Defense One: Lawrence J. Korb)
Outgoing Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter's article convincingly demonstrates why and how the DOD has and continues to waste so much of the taxpayer's money.


The Quiet Americans
(Defense One: Kenneth Weisbrode)
The shift in public attention to the State Department is marked. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in the headlines almost from the day he took office.


Re-up Bonuses Dropped for 46 AFSCs
(Air Force Times)
The Air Force is dropping 46 career fields from the list of jobs eligible for selective re-enlistment bonuses — and airmen in those fields have only until Dec. 4 to sign up again and still get a bonus.

Air Force Cancels Retraining in 35 Career Fields
(Air Force Times: Stephen Losey)
The Air Force announced Tuesday that it has dropped at least 35 career fields from the list of jobs that airmen can retrain into, affecting as many as 1,000 airmen.


Sailor Arrested for Alleged Rape in Australia
(Navy Times: Meghann Myers)
The sailor, a seaman assigned to the amphibious transport dock Denver, was arrested in Darwin on Sept. 11 on suspicion of aggravated sexual assault.

Submarine USS Dallas Completes Last Deployment
(Navy Times)
The submarine, led by Navy Cmdr. Jack Houdeshell, traveled about 34,000 miles on it latest deployment, calling on ports in Bahrain, Diego Garcia, Spain and Portugal.


New Requirements to Make Sergeant Go Live Jan. 1
(Army Times: Jim Tice)
The first tier of Structured Self Development, or SSD-1, becomes a hard-and-fast requirement for promotion to sergeant on Jan. 1, which means some 14,000 promotable specialists and corporals must have credit for the online course if they want to remain on the E-5 recommend list.


Marine Vet: No Fear Trying to Catch Woman at Stadium
(Associated Press: Terry Collins)
When he saw a woman jumping from the upper deck at the Oakland Raiders' stadium on Sunday, Donnie Navidad said his military instincts immediately kicked in as he lunged forward trying to catch her.


Man Behind Bogus Veterans' Raffle Gets Prison Term
(Associated Press)
A St. Louis-area man who posed as a Marine veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq in soliciting donations for a bogus raffle will spend a year in federal prison.


U.S.: Russia Repeatedly Cheating on Nuclear Missile Treaty
(Global Security Newswire)
Senior Obama administration officials informed congressional lawmakers in a closed-door 2012 briefing that Russia was not abiding by a bilateral arms-control accord that bans the fielding of intermediate-range missiles.

Ukraine Leader to Go to EU Summit, but Not Ready to Sign Pact
(Reuters: Natalia Zinets and Richard Balmforth)
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said he would attend an EU summit this week, but declared he would sign a free-trade pact only when it suited Ukraine's interests.


Iran Deal Deserves a Chance
(Los Angeles Times)
The deal worked out in Geneva over the weekend represents progress in the long and frustrating effort to ensure that the Islamic Republic doesn't develop a nuclear weapon.

Just Ignore Karzai and Press On
(The Wall Street Journal: Seth G. Jones)
While the current impasse may further tempt the United States to rethink its long-term commitment to Afghanistan, that decision would be rash.

'Why Care About the NSA?'
(The New York Times: Brian Knappenberger)
Now is the moment for a course correction, where civil liberties are written not just into our laws but also into our computer code.

60 Minutes and Benghazi: Five Hard Realities
(The Washington Post: Erik Wemple)
On Tuesday, CBS News distributed a summary of findings from an internal investigation into the discredited Oct. 27 60 Minutes report on Benghazi.

Opinion: High Speed Could Be the Next Stealth
(Aviation Week & Space Technology: Bill Sweetman)
Lockheed Martin has labeled the hypersonic technology to be used in the proposed SR-72 Mach 6 aircraft as the "new stealth."

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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.

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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

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