May 18th, 2012
07:13 PM ET

U.S. move on Castro angers many

Her name says its all – Castro. Mariela Castro Espin, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro has been granted a visa to travel to the United States next week to attend an academic conference. That decision by the U.S. government has ignited a firestorm of controversy on Capitol Hill and the streets of Miami. Jill Dougherty reports.

Bin Laden raid nets one intel employee big bonus
May 18th, 2012
05:25 PM ET

Bin Laden raid nets one intel employee big bonus

By Arielle Hawkins

The identities of the Navy SEALs who raided Osama bin Laden's compound remain a mystery, but one man who helped get them there is getting his due financially.

An employee with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, has won a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for analysis of satellite imagery of the terrorist's compound in Pakistan.

The staffer "oversaw and validated trade craft and methodologies applied in the final pursuit of and successful raid on the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad," according to an announcement about the financial reward from the Senior Executives Association, a non-profit group which runs the award ceremony. FULL POST

Report: Chinese stealth fighter to be operational by 2018
May 18th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Report: Chinese stealth fighter to be operational by 2018

By Jennifer Rizzo

The U.S. believes that China's radar-evading fighter jet will be operational in six years, a Pentagon official said Friday.

China is expected to have sufficient numbers of its J-20 fighter and enough pilots trained to conduct missions with the stealthy jet by 2018 but not any earlier, according to David Helvey, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia and Asia Pacific affairs.

Chinese officials have said they expect the J-20 to be operational between 2017 and 2019.

Helvey spoke about the Defense Department's annual report to Congress regarding China's military developments.

Analysts believe that the J-20 will have the radar-evading capability of fifth-generation fighters produced by the United States, like the F-22 and F-35.

The report cited the J-20 as an example of China's emphasis on military modernization programs.

In March, China announced an estimated 11% jump in its military budget, to roughly $106 billion. The actual figure, which is probably much larger, is difficult to estimate due to the non-transparent nature of China's budget.
FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: China • Military
May 18th, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Pakistan allows first supplies into Afghanistan in six months

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago

By Shaan Khan and Reza Sayah reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan

Four trucks containing supplies for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul drove from Pakistan into Afghanistan on Friday, the first time Pakistan has allowed such a border crossing since closing the routes six months ago, a U.S. official said.

The source noted that officially, there had never been a suspension of the movement of diplomatic supplies through Pakistan, only military supplies, and this did not mean the NATO supply routes had been reopened. But this was the first time diplomatic materials were allowed through in six months. FULL POST

Post by: ,
Filed under: Afghanistan • Chicago NATO summit 2012 • Diplomacy • ISAF • Military • NATO • Pakistan
May 18th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Anti-terror tech tour

James Bond had "Q" to develop all those cool gadgets for his dangerous missions, but in reality, it's the private sector that supplies much of the technology used in today's fight against terrorists. And it's not all classified. Suzanne Kelly takes us to the Counterterror Expo in Washington D.C. to get a look at just what anti-terror money can buy.


Filed under: Security Brief • Terrorism
May 18th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

Tense times on Jordan's border with Syria

Editor's Note:  Barbara Starr is in Jordan covering the Eager Lion 2012 exercise.  Read her reporting here.  Watch her reports on Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (4pET-6pET)

By Barbara Starr, reporting from the border crossing between the towns of Ar-Ramtha Jordan, and Daara Syria

In the no-man's-land between Jordan and Syria, tensions can be high. Tens of thousands of Syrians have escaped across this remote desert region.

They are being shot at by their own security forces as they try to escape, Jordanian officials tell CNN's Security Clearance. In fact, in a local hospital on the Jordanian side, they tell us they have treated many Syrian refugees suffering from gunshot wounds.

Recommended: The Syrian elephant in the room during military exercise in Jordan

But there is cross-border commerce as well. The Syrian border is an economic lifeline for Jordan. FULL POST

Helping the world's hungry feed themselves
U2 frontman Bono will be in Washington Friday to rally world leaders on food security.
May 18th, 2012
09:12 AM ET

Helping the world's hungry feed themselves

By Elise Labott

The campaign to feed the world's poor will get some much needed star power Friday when Bono, co-founder of the global advocacy organization ONE, arrives to rally leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to take action.

While the crisis in the eurozone will no doubt top the agenda when the G8 leaders gather Friday for a two-day summit, the talks will also tackle the issue of food security and ways to feed a growing world population.

At their annual summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009, leaders pledged to provide $20 billion to fight hunger in the developing world over three years. Since then, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have embraced food security as a signature foreign policy issue, working to support farmers in Africa and other developing countries to improve agriculture.

Now, those 2009 commitments are set to expire. In an age of shrinking aid budgets with fewer resources available, donor governments can't solve the problem of world hunger alone.
FULL POST

NATO's post-Afghanistan future unclear
May 18th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

NATO's post-Afghanistan future unclear

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago

By Elise Labott

As 60 world leaders descend upon Chicago for the NATO summit, the future of NATO's mission in Afghanistan will be center stage - but NATO's members also will be confronted with a bigger issue of whether the organization can remain relevant.

The challenges going forward are much different and far more complicated than the ones that faced the founders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 60 years ago. Then, the premise was simple: an attack in Europe or North America against any member is an attack against all. The Soviet Union was the common enemy that created a shared sense of purpose among NATO allies.
FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan • Chicago NATO summit 2012 • Europe • ISAF • Libya • Military • NATO