Results tagged “United States”
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A three-year Pentagon study has found that US intelligence agencies are not sufficiently able to detect the development or proliferation of nuclear weapons by foreign powers. Defense Secretary Hagel ordered thorough reviews of the US nuclear force. The US is seeking to expand by 50% its 500-Marine Africa crisis response team based in Morón, Spain.
At the Geneva II talks on Syria, Secretary of State Kerry said "parallel efforts" will be made during the talks to find other ways to pressure the Assad regime. Kerry also revived the idea that Iran could be part of the negotiations. The Navy is seeking more shore-based, localized solutions to the problem of piracy in African waters. The Pentagon adopted a new policy giving service members wider latitude for the manifestation of "sincerely held beliefs" in dress, grooming, and other matters.
Top American and Russian officials discussed security cooperation during the Sochi Olympics. The Navy said air and naval assets, including two warships in the Black Sea, will be available during the Olympics in case they are needed for contingency operations resulting from a terrorist attack. US military officials are urging the Obama administration to consider keeping 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 and drawing that number down to near zero by the end of Obama's term; they say fewer troops will be insufficient for security purposes and thus the only other option would be a full pullout at the end of this year.
Despite concerns about terrorism at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, heightened by the release of a threatening video by Islamist militants, the US is sending a relatively small security contingent to the games. The US wants the UN to disinvite Iran to the Geneva II peace talks unless Iran endorses the Syrian transition plan adopted at the Geneva I talks.
A federal judge ruled that Basit Sheikh, a North Carolina man arrested in November for trying to join the Al Nusrah Front in Syria, should face trial in July; prosecutors have asked for additional time to provide intelligence data to defense attorneys without compromising classified information. A Pentagon official said the US is planning to train Iraqi counterterrorism troops in a third country. Vice President Biden is pushing for a minimal to zero US troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014, a number lower than the 9,000 to 12,000 preferred by some US military officials. A recent expert analysis of a rocket used in the Aug. 21 sarin gas attack in Damascus concluded that it could well have been used by rebels, not the Assad government as claimed by the US.