Dempsey: Syria intervention is "act of war" that could cost billions
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey
July 22nd, 2013
08:26 PM ET

Dempsey: Syria intervention is "act of war" that could cost billions

By Jamie Crawford

United States military involvement in Syria would likely cost billions of dollars and carry a range of risks for the forces involved, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said in a letter released Monday.

"I know that the decision to use force is not one that any of us takes lightly," Dempsey wrote in the letter to Sen. Carl Levin,D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "It is no less than an act of war."

Dempsey's letter was in response to a request by Levin and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, to provide his assessments of possible scenarios for future involvement in the Syrian civil war.

But it also came with a warning for a military now in a second decade at war. FULL POST

Official: Snowden did not get 'crown jewels'
July 22nd, 2013
04:37 PM ET

Official: Snowden did not get 'crown jewels'

By Barbara Starr

U.S. intelligence now believes Edward Snowden did not gain access to the "crown jewels" of National Security Agency programs that secretly intercept and monitor conversations around the world, CNN has learned.

The Obama administration is reviewing what the admitted leaker of classified information actually got his hands on and what damage he may have caused.

The ongoing damage assessment indicates he did not gain access to what is called ECI or "extremely compartmentalized information," according to a U.S. official familiar with the review.

Snowden fled to Moscow after his leaks in June and has been stranded at the Moscow airport awaiting a response to his request for temporary asylum. He faces espionage charges in the United States.
FULL POST

Pentagon moves to reduce housing expenses for generals
General John Allen, Commander of the US Southern Command, lives in a house in Coral Gables, Florida. It is one of 14 houses that will be reevaluated with the goal of reducing costs, possibly through alternative housing
July 22nd, 2013
04:21 PM ET

Pentagon moves to reduce housing expenses for generals

By Bryan Koenig

One inescapable fact of military life is rank has its privileges. At sea, it means that the ship’s captain has a single room while the lowest-ranking sailors may live a dozen to a room or more.

On land, the privilege of rank can translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money spent each year on rent as illustrated in a June Pentagon report highlighting 32 leased homes for senior officers.

One is in Coral Gables, Florida, that the military spends $106,200 each year to rent. It is occupied by the four-star general leading Southern Command, which oversees South America.

Some other lodgings are huge, historical villas.
FULL POST


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