By Barbara Starr
The Pentagon plans to keep an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean longer than planned as a military presence to reassure NATO allies following Russia’s intervention in Crimea, CNN has learned.
The Obama administration is expected to announce the development involving the USS George H. W. Bush on Thursday.
By Laura Koran
President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the beleaguered National Security Agency told lawmakers on Tuesday that Edward Snowden has placed lives at risk by leaking classified information, but stopped short of calling him a traitor.
Vice Adm. Michael Rogers told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Snowden caused significant damage by releasing information about the NSA’s surveillance programs, but when asked by Sen. Joe Machin, a West Virginia Democrat, whether he viewed Snowden as a traitor, Rogers said, “I don't know that I would use the word ‘traitor.’ But I certainly do not consider him to be a hero.”
By Elise Labott
Tensions between the United States and Russia over the crisis in Crimea have exploded into an open row as Russia rejects U.S. diplomatic efforts to solve the impasse.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry postponed a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss American proposals, which Moscow has effectively rejected, on solving the crisis.
The meeting, which Russia said was supposed to happen Monday, would have marked the highest-level contact between the two countries since Russian troops took up positions in Crimea, and would have come ahead of Sunday's potentially explosive vote on whether Crimea should split from Ukraine and join Russia.FULL STORY
Currently, the source for precision time is GPS satellites which contain an atomic clock used to synchronize clocks on the ground. But the Pentagon worries the satellites could somehow be jammed. So they want an even more accurate alternative.
Barbara Starr reports.
By Jamie Crawford
High levels of sectarianism, carnage and the overall grinding nature of Syria's civil war continue to make that country a top destination for extremists, a top U.S. official said.
"Syria has become the pre-eminent location for al Qaeda-aligned groups to recruit, to train and to equip what is now a growing number of extremists, some of who seek to conduct external attacks," Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told a congressional hearing on Thursday.
"From a terrorism perspective, the most disturbing element is that al Qaeda has declared Syria its most critical front," he said.
Olsen testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee alongside Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet about the crisis in Syria and the ongoing standoff with Russia over the situation in Ukraine.
The United States will provide Ukraine $1 billion in loan guarantees to help insulate the Ukrainian economy from the effects of reduced energy subsidies from Russia, senior Obama administration officials said.
The loan guarantees will help Ukraine move forward with an assistance package from the International Monetary Fund, which is calling for the country to raise energy prices.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who landed Tuesday in Kiev to show American support for the fledgling Ukrainian government, will announce this diplomatic move and others in Ukraine. FULL POST
Senior Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, cautioned Monday that any U.S. move toward sanctions against Russia over Ukraine should be carried out in accordance with European allies.
Separately, Republican Ron Johnson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he's urging fellow lawmakers to speak with "one voice" as they discuss action over the developing situation in Crimea.FULL STORY