GeoEye view
August 26th, 2011
11:55 AM ET

View from the sky

Have you ever had the feeling someone’s watching you? Intelligence agencies routinely use satellite images as part of operation planning, but just what can they see from way out there?

CNN's Security Clearance was given unprecedented access to one of the U.S. government’s primary satellite contractors to find out just what they’re able to focus in on and how they do it.

Suzanne Kelly takes you for an exclusive sneak peek inside GeoEye’s sweep room. They won’t name their individual clients, but here’s a hint: you may have seen their handiwork in the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden raid in May.

August 26th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

U.S.-Israeli defence ties run deep

By David Schechter, Senior National Editor

Within the next month, the Palestinian Authority will ask the United Nations to recognize Palestine as a state. After eight months of upheavals across the Arab world, the world’s focus will return to the dispute at the heart of the Middle East’s troubles – and may leave the White House between the proverbial rock (Israel and its supporters in the U.S.) and hard place (Arab and Muslim nations and the “Arab street” the Obama administration has tried to court).

The United States has for decades preserved Israel’s qualitative military edge over its Arab neighbors – spending tens of billions of dollars in the process. The U.S. currently gives Israel shy of $3 billion a year in direct military aid, an amount scheduled to increase next year and the year after that, to an estimated $3.1 billion in 2013. This does not include funding for joint U.S.-Israel military projects.

It’s a policy that has had direct effects on the US defense industry. As a report for the Congressional Research Service noted last year: ”Israel can use some U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers.”

Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. military aid to Israel remains in the United States, financing Israeli purchases ranging from U.S.-made fighter jets and helicopters to bullets and missiles, spare parts for tanks and more. The aid agreement allows Israel to keep 26 percent of the money (making up an estimated 18 percent of Israel's defense budget) to help develop its domestic weapons industry. FULL POST

Filed under: Security Brief
August 26th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

Cyber-terrorism threat

CNN's Suzanne Kelly talks with Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA and a NSA, about the cyber-terrorism threat.

Related: Europe's most pressing terrorism threat