National Security

3:13pm

Tue March 27, 2012
National Security

Romney, GOP Pounce On Obama's Russia Comment

President Obama's remarks about missile defense to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were meant for his ears only. But they were picked up by a microphone, and have drawn sharp criticism from Mitt Romeny and other Republicans. Obama and Medvedev are shown here on Monday at a nuclear summit in Seoul, South Korea.
Jewel Samad Getty Images

President Obama went to South Korea to talk about nuclear security, only to find that the presidential campaign followed him there.

Obama is now facing sharp criticism from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other GOP figures following comments he made Monday, in seeming confidence, to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

As reporters gathered for a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, Obama leaned over to his Russian counterpart. Without realizing a microphone was open, he said:

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10:01pm

Mon March 26, 2012
National Security

For U.S. Analysts, Rethinking The Terror Threat

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:16 am

U.S. officials are looking more closely for signs of state-sponsored terrorism these days. In this attack, Israel blamed Iran for bombing a car belonging to the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 13. The wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured. Iran denied it was involved.
Joji Thomas AP

There has been a subtle shift taking place in the intelligence community in recent months.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials say analysts and experts who have been tracking al-Qaida for more than a decade have been quietly reassigned. Some are being moved completely out of al-Qaida units. Others are being asked to spend less time watching al-Qaida and more time tracking more traditional foes — like state-sponsored terrorists.

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2:40am

Thu March 22, 2012
National Security

Cybersecurity Bill: Vital Need Or Just More Rules?

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 5:03 am

The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities in Idaho Falls, Idaho, are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. U.S. security officials and members of Congress are convinced a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.

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8:48am

Wed March 21, 2012
National Security

Accused Sergeant Heads Down A Long Legal Road

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 9:50 am

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, will have the case heard in the military justice system, which has significant differences from the civilian courts. Here, Bales is shown in a training exercise in Fort Irwin, Calif., last August.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AP

The military justice system has been crafted to work efficiently, but Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales can expect a lengthy legal process as he faces accusations that he killed 16 men, women and children in Afghanistan

Bales is locked up in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as he and his lawyer prepare for a case that involves a horrendous mass murder. In addition, it's a stress point that could trigger retaliation against American troops and even affect the course of a U.S. war that's more than a decade old.

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10:01pm

Thu March 15, 2012
National Security

Defense Contractors See Hope In Homeland Security

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 8:24 am

A vendor talks to attendees at the Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz., next to a display of sophisticated cameras and sensors painted to blend into the desert.
Ted Robbins NPR

The Defense Department is bracing for billions of dollars in budget cuts — and that has defense contractors looking for new markets. Homeland Security is one of the most promising, particularly border security, which hasn't suffered any big cuts. So companies are lining up in hopes of landing a contract.

At a border security trade show in Phoenix, Ariz., there's enough surveillance equipment on the floor of the convention center to spot a federal appropriation from 5 miles away.

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