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House Armed Services to get classified briefing on ISIS and Ukraine

The House Armed Services Committee will receive a closed-door briefing on the latest security developments in Iraq and Ukraine on Sept. 9, according to a House aide. The session will focus on “worldwide security threats with a focus on Ukraine and ISIS,” the aide said. ADVERTISEMENT The classified brief is slated to take place the first full day lawmakers will ... Read More »

U.S. lawmakers call for arming Ukraine government

U.S. Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Sunday urged Washington to arm the Ukrainian government, saying it needed help to repel what they called Russia’s invasion of the country. Senator Robert Menendez, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN the United States, European Union and NATO should work together to arm Kiev, which has been fighting Russian-backed rebels in ... Read More »

Senator Menendez on CNN’s State of the Union: Russia in Ukraine “is clearly an invasion”

Today on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Senator Robert Menendez spoke to Candy about Russia’s presence in the Ukraine and the proper response to President Putin. Text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below. TEXT HIGHLIGHTS Senator Menendez on Russia’s presence in the Ukraine: “Thousands of Russian troops are here with tanks, missiles, heavy artillery, and ... Read More »

Endangered Dem bets on the Warthog

Vulnerable Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) is hoping that his efforts to keep the Air Force’s venerable A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft fleet in the air can lift him to victory in November. This year Defense Department officials proposed mothballing the fleet, affectionately called the “Warthog” by U.S. troops, in order to save $3.5 billion over five years. They argued that the aircraft’s ... Read More »

Israeli Public Demands Answer to Mortar Threat

Terrified and angry by their government’s inability to protect them from eight straight weeks of Gaza-launched attacks, Israeli residents too close to the border to benefit from the Iron Dome missile shield are demanding an active defense solution to short-range threats. Since the start of the Israeli operation, mortars and projectiles have killed 10 soldiers and six civilians. The latest ... Read More »

Israel Claims Nearly 1,000 Acres of West Bank Land Near Bethlehem

Israel laid claim on Sunday to nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land in a Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem — a step that could herald significant Israeli construction in the area — defying Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement expansion. Peace Now, an Israeli group that opposes the construction of settlements in the West Bank, said that the ... Read More »

U.S. sends arms to bolster Lebanon army after Islamist incursion

The United States has begun delivering nearly $20 million of arms including assault rifles, anti-tank missiles and mortars to bolster Lebanon’s army after Islamist insurgents seized a border town for several days this month, U.S. officials said on Friday. Lebanon, a country of about 4 million which borders Israel, has long been buffeted by the rivalries of regional and international ... Read More »

Russia ‘to alter military strategy towards Nato’

Russia is to alter its military strategy as a result of the Ukraine crisis and Nato’s presence in eastern Europe, a top Russian official says. Mikhail Popov, a Kremlin adviser, said that deteriorating relations with the US and Nato would be reflected in the updated strategy. Nato said on Monday it would boost its presence in eastern Europe to protect ... Read More »

Ukraine Shifts to Defense Against Russian Incursion

Ukraine is shifting the focus of its military operation from rooting out pro-Russia rebels in the east to warding off a broader incursion by Moscow, following major setbacks for Kiev’s forces in fighting in recent days. Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey said Monday that the army would stop trying to remove separatists from the east, moving instead to a defensive ... Read More »

Putin calls for talks on east Ukraine ‘statehood’; rebels fire on ship

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Sunday for immediate talks on the “statehood” of southern and eastern Ukraine, although his spokesman said this did not mean Moscow now endorsed rebel calls for independence for territory they have seized. The Kremlin leader’s remarks, two days after a public appearance in which he compared the Kiev government with Nazis and warned the ... Read More »

Israel Shoots Down Drone That Crossed From Syria

Israel’s military said it shot down a drone that crossed into its airspace from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on Sunday, the latest sign of intensified civil war battles along a tense border that have caught United Nations peacekeepers in the crossfire. Israel’s military said it fired a Patriot missile at the drone and that it believed it ... Read More »

NATO Leaders to Discuss High Readiness Task Force

NATO leaders meeting at the NATO summit in Wales on September 4 and 5 will be discussing the option of adding a “high readiness joint task force” or “spearhead force” to the existing NATO Response Force (NRF) capable of reacting to threats to NATO territory within two days, said a senior NATO official here Sept. 1. “At the moment, the ... Read More »

In Interviews, 3 Americans Held in North Korea Plead for U.S. Help

North Korea granted two United States news organizations interviews with three incarcerated Americans on Monday, with each prisoner apologizing for violating its laws and beseeching Washington to send a high-level emissary to negotiate their release. The three had been interviewed before in orchestrated televised appearances in which they expressed contrition and asked the United States for help. But Monday was ... Read More »