July 11th, 2011
07:06 PM ET

Pentagon report slams oversight of warzone vehicle

A new report criticizes how the U.S. military kept tabs on the maintenance of mine-reistant vehicles, considered life-saving transportation in the warzones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Defense Department Inspector General said the military failed to adequately administer two maintenance contracts worth $193-million and $285-milion.

“The officials inappropriately allowed the contractor to perform inherently governmental functions, such as disciplining DoD employees, and to have organizational conflicts of interest, such as helping prepare requirements for the follow-on contract that the contractor bid on and won,” the report, made public Monday, said.

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Filed under: Military
July 11th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

Study: Western militants trained in Pakistan still #1 threat

By Paul Cruickshank, CNN Terrorism Analyst

Last weekend on his way to Afghanistan, Leon Panetta, the new U.S. defense secretary, stated that the U.S. was “within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda.” The greatest terrorist threat to the United States now came from Yemen rather than Pakistan, Panetta added, in what was the most optimistic statement yet from a senior Obama administration official on the state of the fight against al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist organization in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.

Yet according to a new study, which I authored, published last week by the New America Foundation, progress against al Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region has not yet been reflected in the one metric that most counts. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan • Terrorism
July 11th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Protesters target U.S. and French embassies in Syria

A "mob" attacked the U.S. Embassy in Syria on Monday, an official who was inside the embassy told CNN.

Several demonstrators climbed over a fence at the compound in Damascus, a senior U.S. State Department official said.

The building was not breached and protesters were later dispersed by the Syrian government, the official said.

Demonstrators also tried to break into the French Embassy, said Romain Nadal, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry. Nadal said the protest had ended, but gave no further details.

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Filed under: Assad • Diplomacy • Syria