By Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr
At first glance, it was the unlikeliest of potential alliances: Apple Inc. and the U.S. Army.
The company of the late Steve Jobs, the epitome of leading-edge private sector innovation, meeting up with the often tradition-bound military. But last March the two organizations came together when top Army brass paid a groundbreaking visit to Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, to talk about the use of Apple products on the battlefield.
Most senior military officials will tell you that companies like Apple and Google are the role models for what they would like to achieve. Those companies' abilities to constantly introduce new products and upgrades that appeal to their customer base - largely young people - is exactly what many in the military say they would like to achieve.
And while the Army eventually decided to largely use the Google Android smart phone in the field, thousands of troops are using iPhones and the tablet technology developed by Jobs.
Even the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, uses an iPad every day to read his classified intelligence. Dempsey has made it clear he is a huge supporter of handheld technology and wants to see it in the hands of savvy young troops as much as possible. FULL POST
By CNN Senior Producer Carol Cratty
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is "a significant threat to the homeland" despite the death of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed last week in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike, FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Thursday.
Mueller said al-Awlaki was "behind the recruiting of personnel who could undertake attacks in the United States." Mueller said AQAP still has the ability to make improvised explosive devices, and it would be "somewhat more difficult" for the group to find operatives to bring them into the U.S. on airplanes. But the FBI chief said the possibility of finding such people still exists.
By CNN Senior National Security Producer Charley Keyes
The United States believes NATO has accomplished its mission in Libya, but the formal decision to end air attacks and other operations is still in the future, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
After meeting NATO allies in Brussels, Panetta said the conclusion of Libyan operations depends on the safety of civilians, the remaining capability of toppled leader, Moammar Gadhafi, and whether opposition forces can provide security.
"The decisions there will depend a great deal on the recommendations of our commanders who I think will review all of those guidelines and come forward with their recommendations when the mission ought to conclude," Panetta said at a news conference Thursday. "But ultimately it is the decision of the political leaders there, all of the political leaders that are involved to make the decision when in fact the mission would come to an end."
A day before he gives a speech unveiling his foreign policy stance at The Citadel, Republican candidate Mitt Romney just released a list of national security and foreign policy advisory team replete with Bush-era names.
Among those on the list – former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Director of the CIA and National Security Agency Michael Hayden to advise on counterterrorism and intelligence. Former Foreign Policy advisor Dan Senor. Eric Edelman will advise on counter-proliferation and former Pentagon comptroller Dov Zakheim on defense policy.
By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty and CNN National Security Producer Jamie Crawford
The defeat of a U.N. Security Council draft resolution condemning Syria for its violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrators leaves the resolution's backers frustrated and wondering whether the two vetoes that killed it were really about Syria.
"This looks very much like a sort of punitive veto, almost, to express some sort of dissatisfaction and punishment about Libya," a Western diplomat, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the issue, told CNN.
The two countries that vetoed the resolution, Russia and China, had argued that even in its watered-down form without economic sanctions, it was a slippery slope to military intervention, a la the NATO operation to protect anti-government protesters in Libya - a fig-leaf for efforts to carry out regime change.
By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy
Editor's note: This is the fourth of a five-part series on 10th anniversary of the start of the US war in Afghanistan. It tracks key moments from the past decade. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 were published earlier this week; Part 5 will be published Friday.
After the thunderous start to the war in Afghanistan in late 2001, the situation quickly settled into an almost quiet routine. Make no mistake: U.S. and coalition troops were still dying, but not at the rate that was seen at the start of the war and nothing like the death toll seen in recent years.
But by May 1, 2003, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told reporters that "we are at a point where we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction activities."
Such stability would last through October 2004, when interim President Hamid Karzai would face a slew of competition in Afghanistan's first-ever national presidential election.