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NATO chief, at summit, says Russia attacking Ukraine

NATO’s top official accused Moscow outright on Thursday of attacking Ukraine as allied leaders gathered for a summit to buttress support for Kiev and bolster defenses against a Russia they now see as hostile for the first time since the Cold War. U.S. President Barack Obama and his 27 allies meeting at a golf resort in Wales will also discuss ... Read More »

Kremlin warns Ukraine against joining NATO

The Kremlin on Thursday underscored Russia’s opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine, warning that such a move could derail efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as leaders of the alliance gathered for a key summit in Wales. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also told the United States not to try to impose its own will on Kiev. Lavrov’s ... Read More »

UK Calls on European NATO States To Boost Spending

Britain is urging its NATO allies to earmark a fifth of their national defense budgets for new equipment and research and development, according to UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. NATO’s credibility rests on its member states investing sufficient cash to show that the alliance is serious about countering the growing threats it faces, Fallon told a Royal United Services Institute ... Read More »

Thirty Days with Space and Cyber Airmen

By [email protected] (Senior Master Sgt. Dean J. Miller) Air Force Space Command invites Airmen, their families and the public to follow online as the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron tells the story of Airmen and mission partners conducting critical space and cyber missions during the month of September. The team will have unprecedented access to critical national defense missions and the ... Read More »

Clean CR, Sequestration Hopes: Fall Hill Predictions

WASHINGTON: Summer is done. Elections loom. Senators and representatives spent August wining and dining donors and kissing babies in pursuit of a job. In the next few days most of Capitol Hill’s workforce will return from the summer recess and most efforts will be focused on winning reelection and ensuring the primacy of whichever tribe one favors. I spent a few ... Read More »

Dem bill would authorize US strikes in Syria

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said Tuesday he is filing legislation that would give President Obama clear authority to order airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The move came after ISIS released a new video showing the purported beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, on Tuesday. “This will ensure there’s no question that the president ... Read More »

Rep. Tammy Duckworth pregnant; girl due in December

Wounded Iraq war vet Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., a double amputee, is pregnant. A girl. Due in early December. “My husband Bryan and I are thrilled to announce that we are expecting our first child later this year,” Duckworth told me in an e-mail. “We are overwhelmed by the support of our family, friend and neighbors. I look forward to ... Read More »

Democrats Break Ranks to Urge Military Assistance to Ukraine, Talks With Putin

As Air Force One lifts off Tuesday for President Barack Obama’s trip to Estonia and then the NATO summit in Wales, he carries with him growing pressure for more direct involvement in Ukraine. Over the weekend, leading Democrats joined calls for the U.S. to expand its role in responding to aggression from Russia. Recommendations ranged from granting a longstanding request from ... Read More »

House Homeland chief calls for ‘high state of alert’ ahead of Sept. 11

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Tuesday that the United States should be on a “high state of alert” as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches. On CNN’s “The Situation Room,” McCaul was asked whether the U.S. should take special precautions for this year’s Sept. 11, due to threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ... Read More »

U.S. condemns Israeli expropriation of West Bank land

The United States levied unusually harsh criticism at Israel on Tuesday, denouncing plans to seize a large tract of West Bank land for Israeli homes. The State Department called on Israel to reverse its announced plan to appropriate nearly 1,000 acres in the occupied West Bank. “We are deeply concerned about the declaration of a large area as ‘state land’ ... Read More »

Israel Says Hamas Is Hurt Significantly

A senior Israeli military intelligence official acknowledged on Tuesday that only several hundred Hamas operatives out of a total that he put at 16,000 were killed during this summer’s 50-day war in Gaza, leaving the group’s fighting force largely intact. The official, briefing reporters at military headquarters here on the condition of anonymity, in line with army protocol, added that ... Read More »

After Gaza war, poll finds support for Hamas rises

The popularity of the Hamas militant group among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday. The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and headed by leading Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, indicates that 61 percent of Palestinians would ... Read More »

Turkey Caught Between Allies, Jihadists

As US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel prepares to visit Turkey and the US government tries to build a “coalition of the willing” to take on Islamic militants in Syria, the Turkish government ponders how to cooperate without further antagonizing the jihadists. Hagel’s stop in Turkey will come near the end of a six-day international trip which begins Wednesday. “We ... Read More »

Yemen president dismisses government to end stand-off

Yemen’s president has dismissed his government and promised to review fuel subsidy cuts in a bid to end a stand-off with Zaidi Shia rebels. Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi would name a new prime minister to form a national unity administration, state media reported. However, the initiative was rejected by the rebels, who are known as Houthis. Thousands of their supporters have ... Read More »

Confusion as Ukraine and Russia announce progress towards peace

Ukraine said on Wednesday its president had agreed with Russia‘s Vladimir Putin on steps towards a “ceasefire regime” in Kiev’s conflict with pro-Russian rebels, but the Kremlin denied any actual truce deal, sowing confusion on the eve of a NATO summit. “The parties reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace,” said a statement by ... Read More »