The Obama administration is accelerating the process by which it screens Guantanamo detainees for possible release, part of its concerted strategy to empty the prison and, if it can, close it down. One such panel convened on Thursday, and NPR joined observers at the Pentagon.
Israel is the top recipient, by a wide margin, of U.S. foreign military aid. As the current 10-year aid package nears its end, U.S. and Israeli officials are negotiating a new and likely even bigger aid deal. Senators from both parties are prodding the White House to get a "robust" deal done; many have arms industries that will benefit. Critics call it a give away to a prosperous nation that drains spending on the home front.
Critics in the Senate charge that, of all the foreign forces operating in Syria today, the Russians are on the most solid legal ground. Damascus has invited Russia to make its deployment, whereas neither Congress nor Syria has ever explicitly authorized any American military involvement there.
Russia is not participating in this year's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., this week. It's the final such event of the Obama administration. Critics are underwhelmed with what the president's nuclear security push has accomplished, and it isn't clear whether the event might continue on into the administration of the next president.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew granted NPR an exclusive interview to lay out his vision for the role of sanctions in U.S. foreign policy and national security. He touted what he called the success of sanctions on Iran but also conceded they are not a panacea and should not be overused.
President Obama's plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay got its first formal hearing in Congress. Republicans said after the Brussels attacks, allies wanting to close the prison are likely reconsidering. And if the Guantanamo prison is a recruiting tool for terrorists, they asked, would not an American lockup have the same effect? Officials also confirmed that released detainees have killed Americans.
As national security has come to dominate the 2016 presidential race, the GOP contenders in particular are being pushed to define where they stand on a contentious matter: how suspected terrorists should be interrogated. Specifically, they've been asked about the currently banned use of waterboarding — a simulated drowning technique ...
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