National Security

2:49pm

Fri March 9, 2012
National Security

Experts: A Strike On Iran Poses Many Challenges

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 7:12 am

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addresses a meeting in Tehran on Thursday. Khamenei is a staunch defender of Iran's nuclear program.
AFP/Getty Images

The question hanging over Washington for months has been this: Will Israel strike the Iranian nuclear program?

The Obama administration seems to have bought some time this week after rounds of meetings and speeches with Israeli officials in Washington.

Still, the president assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will do all in its power to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

So the military option is still on the table.

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3:31pm

Mon March 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Attorney General Holder Defends Targeted Killings Of Americans

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 3:48 pm

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives a speech at Northwestern Law School on Monday in Chicago.
John Gress Getty Images

In a speech today, Attorney General Eric Holder explained the Obama administration's rationale for using lethal force against Americans who join al-Qaida.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports that in a speech at Northwestern University Law School, Holder said the issue is one of the most serious he faces. Carrie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Eric Holder says U.S. citizens who take up arms against their own country deserve due process under the Constitution.

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10:01pm

Wed February 29, 2012
National Security

In Mock Village, A New Afghan Mission Takes Shape

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

Lt. Col. Mark Schmitt, who will be among a group of U.S. military trainers heading to Afghanistan soon, calls out orders during a mock attack on the model Afghan village at the U.S. military base in Fort Polk, La.
David Gilkey NPR

At the Fort Polk military base in the pine forests of central Louisiana, the Army has created a miniature version of Afghanistan — with mock villages and American soldiers working alongside Afghan role-players.

This is the training ground for a new American approach in Afghanistan as the U.S. begins to look ahead to the goal of bringing home the U.S. forces by the end of 2014. The idea is that Afghan forces have to be good enough to defend their country against the Taliban, and to make that happen, the U.S. Army is creating small U.S. training teams at Fort Polk.

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10:01pm

Wed February 29, 2012
National Security

Officials Look For Signs Of Al-Qaida Surge In Syria

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:18 am

This frame grab from video provided by the SITE Intel Group shows al-Qaida's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calling on Muslims to support rebels in Syria. The video was released earlier this month.
AP

U.S. intelligence officials tracking the situation in Syria have their eye on one group in particular: al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq.

The group has longstanding ties to Syria, and its early members weren't just Iraqis; many of them were Syrians. The former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, not only established a network of fighters in Syria, but he also folded them into his northern Iraqi faction of al-Qaida.

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3:14pm

Mon February 27, 2012
National Security

Afghan Violence Raises Questions About U.S. Strategy

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 6:27 pm

The latest violence in Afghan has raised doubts about the U.S. strategy. Here, Afghan demonstrators shout anti-U.S. slogans as they carry a wounded man during a protest in the Western city of Herat on Feb. 24.
Aref Karimi AFP/Getty Images

The violence against U.S. forces in Afghanistan has called into question the American exit strategy, which is set to play out steadily over the next three years.

It was only a few weeks ago that the second-ranking American military officer in Afghanistan laid out a new phase of that strategy. Small groups of U.S. advisers would team up with larger Afghan units to train them, said Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.

The first of these U.S. assistance teams will head into Afghanistan this spring to train Afghan police and soldiers.

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