A U.S. defense official said there are no immediate plans for American military officials to work with the newly created military council in Syria.
"This was just announced a few days ago, so it's probably premature to make decisions on what our role will be," the official said.
The Syrian military's advance into the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs has changed the dynamics of the resistance to the Assad regime - and put further pressure on Western policy-makers to find ways to help the opposition and protect Syrian civilians. But as Washington debates what's next for Syria, Gulf states are already beginning to provide the opposition with arms and the funding to purchase them, sources in the region tell CNN.
To the Obama administration, the regime's assault on Homs is an ominous sign. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman told a Senate hearing Thursday: "It's important that the tipping point for the regime be reached quickly because the longer the regime assaults the Syrian people, the greater the chances of all out war and a failed state."
From CNN Washington bureau intern Hyun Soo Suh
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has a lot of problems looming over him these days.
A war in Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear aspirations, the "meat ax" of possible additional $500 billion in cuts to his budget, to name a few. Panetta does not seem like a man who would sleep easily at night. But it's not even that daunting list that keeps him up at night, he said this week.
"The one thing that I worry about the most right now is knowing that [a cyberattack] is possible, and feeling that we have not taken the necessary steps to protect this country from that possibility," Panetta said at the University of Louisiana Thursday March 1st. FULL POST
By Adam Levine
With some calling for a rush to the exits in Afghanistan after two weeks of heightened violence, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is looking to add troops into the mix. The bill, should it gain traction, could force the U.S. to change its current drawdown plans.
California's Rep. Buck McKeon introduced a new bill that calls for U.S. military to guard U.S. entities, replacing the thousands of private security guards and Afghan nationals that are currently being used. FULL POST
By Suzanne Kelly
Republican senators are proposing cybersecurity legislation calling for a series of government incentives to make sure that companies comply with security issues.
The bill is meant to counter separate proposed legislation that seeks to designate the Department of Homeland Security as the lead agency for securing the nation's cybersphere infrastructure. FULL POST
By Joe Sterling
President Barack Obama says he isn't bluffing when he says Iran shouldn't have a nuclear weapon, but he cautions against a premature Israeli strike against the Islamic republic.
"At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally, (Syria,) is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?" he said this week in an interview with the Atlantic.
Obama, who will be meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, said a permanent solution is necessary.
Read more about his comments here.
By Dan Merica
Hackers targeting sensitive NASA computers have gained access to employee credentials and taken control of systems at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, among other things, a federal report says.
The space agency's inspector general, Paul K. Martin, cited one case involving hackers with IP addresses in China. In that case, intruders gained "full system access" to change or delete sensitive files and user accounts for "mission-critical" systems at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he said in a report issued this week. FULL POST