By Barbara Starr
When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visits the Middle East this week, he will start in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began. But he’ll move quickly into the security hot spots about which everyone is worried.
The sensitive part of the trip begins in Cairo, when Panetta will have his first meeting with newly elected President Mohamed Morsy and Egyptian military leaders, reminding everyone that the United States wants to see a full transition to civilian rule.
Then comes Israel and Jordan, where the dual crises of Syria and Iran have captured everyone’s attention.
By Dan Merica
This weekend marks the conclusion of this year’s Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, an event that brought together some of the key players in the world of defense and national security policy.
Here the five moments that the Security Clearance Blog’s team will be talking about on the flight back to Washington:
1. The United States is keeping close tabs on Syria’s weapons, al Qaeda’s influence
As war rages on in Syria, the United States intelligence community is closely monitoring the situation, National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen told CNN’s Intelligence Correspondent Suzanne Kelly.