With U.S.-Pakistan relations in the deep freeze, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and American officials called Thursday for a thaw.
"Blame games, rigidity, arrogance, insensitivity to each other's national interests is certainly very counter-productive," Musharraf said in Washington. "It definitely saddens me to see the deteriorating Pakistan-United States relations," he said in a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center.
Twelve weeks have passed since American commandos killed Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan, an event that dramatically widened the rift between the two countries.
Musharraf denied he knew during his time as president or later that bin Laden was hiding out in Pakistan. "Whether one believes it or not, let me say with confidence, I did not know," he declared.
The raging Washington debate over increasing the debt limit already is foreshadowing perhaps the next budget tussle between the administration and Capitol Hill - a looming fight over cutting military spending.
The Pentagon is the middle of studying how it can meet President Barack Obama's orders to cut $400 billion in spending over the next 12 years - a plan that has raised eyebrows with pro-military Democrat and Republican members of Congress, many of them representing districts with defense contractors or military bases.
Pentagon officials say Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, just days into the job of heading the Pentagon, has been quietly talking to members about the long-term outlook for defense spending cuts. The officials declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly.
Citing "significant progress," the Department of Homeland Security Thursday released a report looking at how far the U.S. has come in the past seven years to fulfilling specific 9/11 Commission recommendations.
"Over the past decade, we have made great strides to secure our nation against a large attack or disaster, to protect critical infrastructure and cyber networks, and to engage a broader range of Americans in the shared responsibility for security, " said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement released by the department.
As congressional budget cutters sharpen their axes and size up the Pentagon, the Army released a report Thursday admitting major problems with the way it dreams up, orders and pays for major weapons systems.
The Army said it deserves credit for what it has achieved in a variety of programs, such as precision weapons, unmanned systems and mine-resistant vehicles. But its "white paper" on modernization said that too often in the past, technology, schedules and cost estimates have missed the targets.
Compiled by Tim Lister
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As demonstrations in Syria against President Bashar al Assad continue, protests against the regime also are taking place in the United States, organized by Syrian-American and Syrian activists.
Some demonstrators claim that personnel from the Syrian embassy in Washington have been photographing them and using the photos to intimidate them, as well as harass their families in Syria.
The State Department also is taking those allegations seriously and confirms that it has seen reports that Syrian embassy officials are carrying out photo and video surveillance of protesters in the United States. The department says it is investigating reports that the Syrian government sought retribution against the demonstrators' families in Syria.