Next war could be a click away
CNN Photo
November 7th, 2011
10:27 PM ET

Next war could be a click away

By Senior National Security Producer Larry Shaughnessy

DARPA, the agency that really did invent the Internet, is now looking at ways the Web might be used to fight the next war.

DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a Pentagon office that researches everything from cutting-edge cybersecurity to hypersonic airplanes.

The agency's director, Regina Dugan, told a gathering of cybersecurity experts Monday that "DARPA will focus an increasing portion of our cyber research on the investigation of offensive capabilities to address military specific needs."
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Filed under: Budget • Cybersecurity • DARPA • Homeland Security • Spying • weapons
Ship bombing suspect in a Guantanamo Bay military courtroom Wednesday
A U.S. sailor salutes the American flag at Guantanamo Bay Navy Base
November 7th, 2011
06:35 PM ET

Ship bombing suspect in a Guantanamo Bay military courtroom Wednesday

By Senior National Security Producer Charley Keyes

A terror suspect will emerge from the shadows after nine years of detention this week when he’s led into a military courtroom at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri’s was captured in 2002 and has remained virtually invisible since then, detained first overseas in secret facilities and then at Guantanamo.

The United States claims he is the brains behind the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, which killed 17 U.S. Navy sailors, wounded dozens more and left the warship crippled in the harbor of Aden, Yemen.
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Filed under: Gitmo • Terrorism • Yemen
November 7th, 2011
06:33 PM ET

Iranian nuclear program the focus of upcoming report

The International Atomic Energy Agency is scheduled to release a report this week that is expected to say Iran has mastered the steps necessary to design and construct a nuclear weapon. Jill Dougherty looks into what the report is expected to say, and spoke with an expert on Iran's nuclear program about the upcoming report.


Filed under: IAEA • Iran • Nuclear • Security Clearance on TV • weapons
DEBATE PREP: Should Pakistan be engaged or contained?
November 7th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

DEBATE PREP: Should Pakistan be engaged or contained?

Editor’s note: This analysis is part of Security Clearance blog’s “Debate Preps” series. On November 22, CNN, along with AEI and The Heritage Foundation, will host a Republican candidate debate focused on national security topics. In the run-up to the debate, Security Clearance asked both the sponsoring conservative think tanks to look at the key foreign policy issues and tell us what they want to hear candidates address.

By AEI's Sadanand Dhume, Special to CNN

The raid in May on Osama bin Laden's compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad has brought intense focus on Washington's policy toward Islamabad.  Since then, the weight of informed opinion - in influential op-eds, think tank reports, and magazine articles - has coalesced around a consensus: the current policy has failed.

Ostensibly, since 2004 Pakistan has been a major non-NATO ally of the United States, a status it shares with such stalwart friends as Israel, Japan and Australia.

In 2009, the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act, also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, boosted aid to Pakistan by $1.5 billion a year through 2013.  These blandishments were meant to encourage Islamabad to co-operate with Washington in fighting terrorism.

Though Pakistani authorities have at times helped round up wanted al Qaeda leaders from their soil, their overall record has been disappointing.  Of particular concern to the US:  continued Pakistani support for the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and other militants who regularly use safe havens in Pakistan to attack US troops in Afghanistan. FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri • Analysis • Bachman • Cain • CIA • debate • Debate Preps • Diplomacy • Foreign Policy • Gingrich • Haqqani • Huntsman • ISI • Living With Terror • Military • Nuclear • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Paul • Perry • Romney • Santorum • Taliban • Terrorism • Think tank
Iran's growing "military dictatorship"
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei listens to a speech by Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
November 7th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

Iran's growing "military dictatorship"

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty and CNN National Security Producer Jamie Crawford

It's a phrase Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to slip into with almost every comment about Iran these days: "I think Iran, unfortunately, is morphing into a military dictatorship."

That's how she put it in an interview on October 26, with BBC Persia. The expression appears to have first popped up during Clinton's February 2010, trip to the Middle East, where she said at a town hall appearance in Doha, Qatar, that U.N. sanctions are aimed at "enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, which we believe is, in effect, supplanting the government of Iran."

"We see that the government of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the parliament, is being supplanted, and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship."
FULL POST

DEBATE PREP: Is this the only path to victory in Afghanistan?
November 7th, 2011
06:05 AM ET

DEBATE PREP: Is this the only path to victory in Afghanistan?

Editor’s note: This analysis is part of Security Clearance blog’s “Debate Preps” series. On November 22, CNN, along with AEI and The Heritage Foundation, will host a Republican candidate debate focused on national security topics. In the run-up to the debate, Security Clearance asked both the sponsoring conservative think tanks to look at the key foreign policy issues and tell us what they want to hear candidates address.

By AEI's Frederick Kagan, Special to CNN

What do we need to achieve in Afghanistan in order to protect the security of the United States and its allies?

That core question should shape any discussion of our strategy in Afghanistan or the resources we devote to executing it.  But that question is too often obscured.

Many say that pursuing any kind of “success” in Afghanistan, the supposed “graveyard of empires,” is sheer folly.  Others say that is has become irrelevant, and that the death of Osama bin Laden has deprived the war in Afghanistan of continued meaning.

These facile assertions produce more palatable answers, but do not answer the core question.  Presidents and candidates for president owe
Americans a clear and cogent answer, at least, as well as an explanation for how their proposed strategy that they lay out will accomplish the requirements for American security. FULL POST

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Filed under: 10 years of war • 2012 Election • Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Analysis • Bachman • Cain • debate • Debate Preps • Foreign Policy • Gingrich • Huntsman • Intelligence • ISAF • Kabul • Karzai • Living With Terror • Military • Obama • Pakistan • Paul • Perry • Politics • Romney • Santorum • Taliban • Terrorism
Finally, a word about national security (a debate, actually)...
November 7th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Finally, a word about national security (a debate, actually)...

Without question, the public's attention in the race for the White House has centered on the economy and domestic issues.  It’s a sign of how things have changed since the start of these post-September 11th times.  In 2004 and 2008, a good portion of the discussion focused on keeping American safe and foreign policy. But things began to shift as the 2008 election was wrapping up and the economy was hurting.

Now there is no question the campaign talk has moved from 9/11 to 9-9-9 (and other economic plans). A fact not lost on the Republican candidates who spend little time talking about national security issues.  Debate after debate, interview after interview, domestic issues have dominated the campaign so far.  Until now.

On November 22, CNN, along with AEI and The Heritage Foundation, will host a Republican candidate debate focused on national security topics.

In the run-up to the debate, Security Clearance asked both the sponsoring conservative think tanks to look at the key foreign policy issues and tell us what they want to hear candidates address. From Afghanistan toIraq,ChinatoSyria, cybersecurity to defense spending, the folks at Heritage Foundation and AEI will make sure you are fully prepped for the big debate.

The first in the series will publish today on Security Clearance.  For more coverage of the campaign, don't forget to read CNN's Political Ticker and our political section on CNN.com.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • 9/11 • Afghanistan • Africa • Al-Shabaab • Analysis • Anwar al-Awlaki • Arab Spring • Asia • Bachman • bioterrorism • Budget • Cain • China • CIA • Congress • Cybersecurity • debate • Debate Preps • Defense Spending • Diplomacy • drones • Egypt • EU • Foreign Policy • Gingrich • Gitmo • Haqqani • Homeland Security • Huntsman • Iran • Iraq • ISI • Israel • Libya • Living With Terror • Middle East • Military • NATO • Nuclear • Obama • Opinion • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Palestine • Paul • Pentagon • Perry • Politics • Republican • Romney • Russia • Santorum • Saudi Arabia • Secretary of State • South Korea • Spying • State Department • Syria • Taliban • Terrorism • Think tank • United Nations • weapons