November 11th, 2011
05:12 PM ET

Fact checking Mitt Romney on U.S. assistance to China

In recent debates and speeches, Mitt Romney has been critical of the amount of financial assistance the United States provides to China under the umbrella of foreign aid. It would be eliminated he says if he were president. What does the U.S. get in return for its assistance to China? Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty takes a look at what's at stake.


Filed under: 2012 Election • China • Foreign Policy • Romney • Security Clearance on TV
Official chosen to run Dover military mortuary probe steps aside
Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General
November 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Official chosen to run Dover military mortuary probe steps aside

By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy

The man selected on Tuesday to run an independent investigation of problems within the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base has already bowed out.

When news broke that the Air Force was disciplining three people for improper handling of the remains of four service members, it was announced that former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona would run an independent review of procedures at Dover AFB Port Mortuary.

On Friday, just three days later, the Pentagon announced Carmona was stepping down from the investigation to run for public office. Carmona had announced on Thursday that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona that will soon be vacated by Republican Jon Kyl.
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Fort Hood victims want millions from Army
Courtesy: Bell County Sheriff's Office
November 11th, 2011
03:53 PM ET

Fort Hood victims want millions from Army

By CNN Sr. National Security Producer Charley Keyes

Victims and families of those killed in the Fort Hood massacre are asking compensation totaling $750 million from the government for failing to stop the attack.

Eighty-three administrative claims were filed last week, saying the Army, the FBI, and the Justice and Defense departments are guilty of gross and willful negligence for not recognizing that the man charged in the shootings, Maj. Nidal Hasan, was a threat.

"Although they had clear knowledge and warnings that Hasan posed a grave danger to the lives and safety of soldiers and civilians with whom he came into contact, they did nothing to eliminate the known risk posed by him," the "basis of claim" document alleges.
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Filed under: Military • Nidal Hasan • Terrorism
A US military mascot from Iraq
Homer grazing on the Pentagon lawn Photo By: CNN's Charley Keyes
November 11th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

A US military mascot from Iraq

By CNN Sr. National Security Producer Charley Keyes

It’s a long way from the battlefields of Iraq to the quiet and neatly manicured lawns of the Pentagon. But Homer the donkey, a mascot to U.S. military personnel, was taking it easy in the central courtyard of the Pentagon Thursday, calmly munching on the grass.

One of the people who remember him from Camp Tagaddum in Iraq is Marine Staff Sergeant Matthew Shelato. He explains that back in 2008 the donkey was abandoned and bleeding, after getting tangled in razor wire. The U.S. military patched him up. And it turned out that taking care of Homer was a good way for his new friends to take a break from the war. “We helped him and he helped us,” says Shelato.

Homer is now a mascot for the private organization Wounded Warriors Family Support that helps families of those wounded or killed in combat.

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Filed under: Iraq • Military • Pentagon
DEBATE PREP:  Money talks at the United Nations
United Nations General Assembly
November 11th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

DEBATE PREP: Money talks at the United Nations

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 The Heritage Foundations Brett Schaefer and James Phillips, Special to CNN

The U.S. is far and away the major financial backer of the United Nations. Yet the world body often embraces resolutions and policies at odds with American positions and interests. Should the U.S. exercise its “power of the purse” to influence the U.N.?

On occasion, the U.S. has done just that, withholding contributions to express its extreme displeasure with actions taken in Turtle Bay. But the Obama administration rejected this tactic early on. Instead, in his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama proudly announced a “new era of engagement” with the U.N. President Obama’s Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, likewise considers withholding to be a practice that is “fundamentally flawed in concept and practice, sets us back, is self-defeating, and doesn’t work.”

So how’s that working? The Palestinian Authority’s recent doings in Turtle Bay are instructive.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Bachman • Cain • Debate Preps • Foreign Policy • Gingrich • Huntsman • Israel • Obama • Palestine • Paul • Perry • Romney • Santorum • State Department • UN General Assembly • UN Security Council • UNESCO • United Nations