August 13th, 2012
05:50 PM ET

What Egypt's military power shift could mean for the United States

By Josh Levs

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy's surprising move to amass substantially more power has triggered demonstrations on both sides and accusations that he is effectively anointing himself with "imperial" authority.

Morsy shook up the country's powerful military leadership Sunday when he removed its leader, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, and chief of staff Lt. Gen. Sami Anan. Both were then named as advisers to Morsy, the country's first freely elected president. The commanders of Egypt's navy, air force and air defense force were sent into retirement as well, promoting others within the military to take those posts, said Morsy spokesman Yasser Ali.

The Egyptian military represents a critical relationship for the U.S. and, as Barbara Starr reports, the upheaval is of concern at the Pentagon.


Filed under: Egypt • Middle East • Security Brief
August 13th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Ryan's foreign policy views shaped by his budget battles

By Jamie Crawford

As the chief architect of the Republican budget plan, presidential nominee Mitt Romney's choice for vice president, Paul Ryan, is well-known in budget policy circles around Washington, but his 14 years on Capitol Hill have left a much smaller paper trail when it comes to foreign policy statements and achievements.

That said, Ryan's focus during his seven terms in Congress on balancing the federal budget and extolling the virtues of fiscal restraint seems to have also formed the center of his thinking on foreign policy issues, which seems to hue to the classic Republican view of the world.

"If there's one thing I could say with complete confidence about American foreign policy, it is this: Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course; and if we fail to put our budget on a sustainable path, then we are choosing decline as a world power," he said last year when he gave a speech on American foreign policy at the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Budget • Foreign Policy • Pentagon • Romney • Ryan
Executives advocate a military approach to cybersecurity
August 13th, 2012
01:11 PM ET

Executives advocate a military approach to cybersecurity

By Suzanne Kelly
CNN Intelligence Correspondent

A new study being released by a private Internet security company highlights cyberworld weaknesses when it comes to gathering intelligence on hackers and suggests that businesses take a more military-minded approach to defense.

The cybersecurity company CounterTack polled 100 information security executives at companies with revenues greater than $100 million. Nearly half of the respondents said their organization had been the victim of a targeted cyberattack within the past year.

Some 80% of those polled believe that taking a more military-minded approach to the cyberwar could benefit business, according to CounterTack CEO Neal Creighton, whose firm released the poll Monday. For Creighton, that means incorporating more military-style intelligence gathering into companies' cyberworld defenses. FULL POST

Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Cybersecurity • FBI • Homeland Security • Intelligence • Spying • White House
Struggling to define the Syrian opposition
Riyad Hijab speaking in Quneitra, Syria in November 2008
August 13th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Struggling to define the Syrian opposition

By Elise Labott

In the weeks before he defected from Syria, then-Prime Minister Riad Hijab put feelers out to contacts in the United States and other governments.

In addition to ensuring his family got out of the country, Hijab wanted guarantees that he would not be persecuted for his role in the government of President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials say.

"He wanted assurances from the opposition that a post-Assad Syria will take into account all Syrians, including minorities, and there will not be revenge attacks on those who at one time supported the regime," one administration official said. The official described Washington's role as that of a "middleman."

The United States was able to produce a chorus of voices from the Syrian opposition promising that Syrians planning for a post-Assad transition are committed to ensuring human rights for all Syrians, including minorities. But that's far from a guarantee for Hijab or for any defector.