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Defense

The Takeaway

Assessing Terror Threats 10 Years After 9/11

Monday, September 12, 2011

Federal authorities are still on alert after news of a "specific, credible" terrorist threat for New York City and the District of Columbia broke on Thursday night, as the tenth anniversary of September 11 approached. The memorial service at Ground Zero still went on as promised Sunday, with thousands of people coming to the site to pay tribute to those who died and those who survived in the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, on Saturday the Taliban took credit for a suicide bomb attack on NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan, injuring at least 80 people.

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The Takeaway

'Super Committee' Considers Military Budget Cuts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tasked with fixing the nation’s economic problems, the bipartisan "super committee" of twelve Congressional members may be leading some politically sacred cows to slaughter. In the halls of Congress, there is now discussion of making cuts in defense, intelligence and military spending, including pensions for retirees with 20 years of military service. Is Congress really ready to change the course of our military spending, or, is this just another bargaining tactic?

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The Takeaway

Global Hacking Threats Raise Concern Over U.S. Readiness

Thursday, August 04, 2011

McAfee, a leading cyber security company, issued a report on Wednesday that indirectly points to China as the source of a broad ranging cyber attack on more than 72 organizations throughout the world — including the United Nations, the Olympic movement and the U.S. government. As cyber attacks become a growing threat to the country, the National Security Agency has made a push to employ the best and brightest to combat these attacks. Often, the most qualified people to play defense are often the ones that were once on the offensive — former hackers.

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The Takeaway

US Defers $800 Million of Military Aid to Pakistan

Monday, July 11, 2011

The United States is suspending as much as $800 million of military aid to Pakistan, in a bid to change the behavior of one of America’s most crucial — and controversial — partners. The move is an effort to admonish the country for expelling U.S. military trainers, and show disapproval for terrorist activities, such as the slaying in May of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, whose death has recently been linked to Pakistan's powerful spy agency. 

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The Takeaway

Gates to Hand Defense Post Over to Panetta

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomorrow, the Obama administration will shuffle its top civilian military position when Leon Panetta, 73, replaces Robert Gates as the secretary of defense. For a nation stretched thin by three ongoing military engagements, the new Secretary of Defense is going to have little time for on-the-job training. Instead, he can hope to learn from the example left behind by his out-going colleague.

 

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The Takeaway

President Obama Shuffles National Security Team

Thursday, April 28, 2011

President Obama is expected to announce this week new appointments for top posts in his national security team. Leon Panetta, the current director of central intelligence, will be named as defense secretary. General David Petraeus, who is currently the top commander in Afghanistan, is expected to be named as director of the CIA. These announcements come as Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans on stepping down from his post this summer. We talk with Mark Landler, reporter for our partner The New York Times, to help preview Obama's new national security team.

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The Takeaway

What We Know About Donald Rumsfeld

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know…"

That’s former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, talking about what we know and don’t know, with regard to weapons of mass destruction. But when it comes to the secretary himself, what do we know?

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The Takeaway

Mystery Missile? UFO? Watch the Video and Tell Us

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday evening residents near Lost Angeles, California saw something strange shoot into the sky, leaving a squiggly, smoky tail in its path. Some wondered if it was a missile launch, but after local military didn't take responsibility for the mystery incident, questions remain. Experts have mused that it might have been merely a jet, seen departing from a strange angle, while others wondered if it was a ballistic launched from a submarine. What do you think? Take a look at the CBS News video and tell us your theory. 

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The Takeaway

Russia Inflates Military With Fake Weaponary

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Russian military has launched a new defense program to inflate the size of its military: pretend weapons. The military has stationed inflatable weapons, including tanks to entire radar stations. Our partners at the BBC share the story.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

In the Senate: Don't Ask, Don't Tell & the DREAM Act

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yesterday, the Senate voted against taking up a military bill that includes the DREAM Act and a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Ben Smith, senior political writer at Politico, discusses the vote and politics at play. Plus, your take on this morning's surprising Paladino-Cuomo poll - it's closer than almost anyone expected.

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The Takeaway

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Hangs in the Balance

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today the Senate holds a procedural vote on whether a sweeping defense appropriations bill — which allocates money for conflicts overseas as well as program cuts at home — makes it to the floor. As any Lady Gaga fan likely knows, this morning, the legislation's most visible component is a proposed repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Gaga has been calling for a repeal of the policy on her Twitter account and elsewhere, and traveled to Maine yesterday to speak at a rally organized by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Why Maine? Maine's Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins (as well as Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown) could play an important role in allowing the bill to move forward.

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The Takeaway

Pentagon Acknowledges 2008 Cyberattack

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In an article in Foreign Affairs, Deputy Secretary William J. Lynn III has acknowledged for the first time that there had a been major electronic attack on Defense Department computers in 2008. As the U.S. government organizations use new digital frontiers to both store and gather intelligence, a new frontier in stealing that intelligence opens up as well. How does the U.S. government protect it's information in the cyber age?

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The Takeaway

As Marjah Battle Winds Down, Forces Set Sights on Kandahar

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the Afghan capital on Monday. Gen. McChrystal said the U.S. has all but routed the Taliban from their former stronghold of Marjah and that the military will now turn its attention to Kandahar — a key city that dwarfs Marjah in size.

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The Takeaway

Iran Ups Nuclear Ante

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Iran's nuclear chief says the country will begin enriching uranium to twenty percent strength — up from 3.5 percent, and build ten new nuclear facilities over the next year. While the construction of that many facilities in one year is probably not achievable, and while it takes ninety percent enrichment to make a nuclear bomb, the reaction from the United States and France was swift and harsh: The two nations called for even more sanctions on Iran. We ask how great the threat of a nuclear Iran really is.

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The Takeaway

Gen. David Petraeus on War and Defense Strategy Overseas

Friday, January 29, 2010

President Obama's State of the Union Address didn't have much to say on foreign policy or the war effort, but John Hockenberry got to ask Gen. David Petraeus about it when he sat down the head of U.S. Central Command this week. In part two of our wide ranging interview, Gen. Patreaus lays out the strategies and challenges in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

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The Takeaway

Gen. David Petraeus on Reintegrating Taliban in Afghanistan, US Operations in Yemen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

At a conference in London today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to address ways of reintegrating some Taliban members back into the Afghan political process. It's something we put to Gen.  David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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WQXR News

House and Senate, Booked for December

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Congress has a full schedule before taking a holiday break.

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The Takeaway

Military Commanders Rethink Terrorist Air Response

Friday, November 20, 2009

It seemed like an essential move after the September 11 attacks: having dozens of fighter jets on alert at all times in case it happened again. But eight years later, military commanders are now questioning such an expensive policy. New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt tells us about the biggest reassessment of the terrorist air threat since the attacks.

Read Eric Schmitt's exclusive story in today's New York Times

 

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The Takeaway

Afghanistan: How Is the War Going?

Friday, July 31, 2009

To assess the state of the war in Afghanistan, The Takeaway talks with Stephen Biddle, a counterinsurgency expert and senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was tasked by General Stanley McChrystal to visit Afghanistan (along with about a dozen other independent analysts) to assess the current state of the war. He spent a month there, and returned last week.

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The Takeaway

China's Priorities: The U.S.-Beijing Talks

Monday, July 27, 2009

Two days of high-level talks between the U.S. and China start today in Washington, D.C. President Obama is expected to make opening remarks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead the strategic side of the talks, while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner takes on the economic side. But what are Beijing's priorities at these talks? Joining The Takeaway to discuss China's agenda is BBC Correspondent Chris Hogg in Shanghai, China.

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