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Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama's leadership in 'Duty'




In his new memoir, Robert M. Gates, the former Defense Secretary, offers a critique of the president




Iraq a bloody lesson for Zero Option in Afghanistan




The US is accelerating sales and delivery of military equipment, including Hellfire missiles and drones, to Iraq to help in the fight against al Qaeda. A US gunmaker turned down a deal to sell precision rifles to Pakistan, out of concern they could be used against US troops. Iran rejected Secretary of State Kerry's suggestion that it could be involved on the sidelines of Geneva II talks on Syria. The Commerce Department issued an order aimed at preventing the export of two Boeing aircraft engines to Iran. Colleen LaRose, a.k.a. Jihad Jane, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, less four years' time already served, for her role in an al Qaeda plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist.




Secretary of State Kerry said the US is not contemplating sending troops to Iraq to fight al Qaeda, and added that although the US could help Iraq, the fight was Iraq's. Kerry also suggested that Iran might play a role in the Geneva II peace talks on Syria.




Jihad Jane faces 'decades' in prison




The State Department ordered a further drawdown of US Embassy personnel in Juba, South Sudan due to deteriorating security. Three US Senators warned Kabul against releasing Bagram detainees and urged Afghanistan's president to sign the bilateral security agreement. A recent study raises questions about the Obama administration's claim that only the Assad regime could have fired the sarin rockets involved in the Aug. 21 attacks in Damascus.




Hezbollah Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel




NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption




The Test for Diplomacy With Iran




Jihad Jane: Despite cooperation, US seeks 'decades' in prison




Year 2013 proves Russia, US able to work together: Kremlin




Afghans' Planned Prisoner Releases Anger US




Three Uighur men, Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper, were transferred from Guantanamo to Slovakia; they are the last of the Uighur detainees. Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, of Garden Grove, Calif., pled guilty on Dec. 27 to attempting to provide weapons training to al Qaeda forces while he was in Syria.




Obama's Failed Outreach to Syria's Islamic Front




Afghanistan gains will be lost quickly after drawdown, US intelligence estimate warns




New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who retires in a few days, warned that the city "remains squarely in the crosshairs of terrorists." Another NYPD official warned that New Yorkers who have traveled to Syria to fight may return radicalized. A 300-member Army rocket battalion is deploying to the Middle East for nine months. A federal judge in Manhattan said the NSA's telephone metadata collection "represents the government's counter-punch" to al Qaeda's ability to remotely operate an international terrorist network, and ruled that the NSA program does not violate privacy rights. The latest National Intelligence Estimate predicts that most gains against the Taliban in Afghanistan will quickly erode once US forces leave the country.




US aid to Syrian refugees generally stops at the border




The US delivered 75 Hellfire missiles to Iraq last week, and is providing unarmed reconnaissance drones and other equipment, as well as targeting assistance by the CIA, to help the Maliki government cope with security challenges posed by al Qaeda. Kidnapped US contractor Warren Weinstein, who has been held by al Qaeda in Pakistan since August 2011, appeared in an al Qaeda video asking the Obama administration to negotiate for his release. Sam Rafic Ghanem, a Lebanese owner of a shipping company, was arrested for trying to send weapons and optic devices to Lebanon.




Kidnapped American asks U.S. to negotiate with al-Qaeda for his release