The Washington Post shares breaking news of multiple shooting incidents in Ottawa, Canada. “Dozens of gunshots were heard inside Canada’s Parliament… shortly after a soldier was reported shot at the nearby National War Memorial.” CNN has details of the unfolding situation. One shooter is apparently dead.
Pentagon spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby announced yesterday that U.S. campaign against the Islamic State has cost $424 million so far. The Associated Press has more.
On Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. military conducted four airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State. The U.S. was joined by an international coalition in three additional attacks on targets in Iraq. Reuters details the strikes.
McClatchy informs us that a pallet of weapons dropped by the U.S. to aid Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border town of Kobani may have instead been captured by the Islamic State. A Youtube video released by the militant group depicts “fighters pulling hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and other arms from a crate.” Defense spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby admitted yesterday that the arms shown in the video “certainly are the kinds of munitions dropped.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that, because of the symbolic importance of Kobani, the U.S. has been working secretly with Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State. The level of American involvement in the fight over the border town signals that “the U.S. [has] crossed a Rubicon that could herald a more hands-on role in other towns and cities under siege by Islamic State.”
Defense News shares that in a speech yesterday, Iraq’s new defense minister, Khaled al-Obaidi promised to investigate the military’s mistakes, failings, and corruption that enabled the Islamic State to overtake swathes of territory in the northern part of the country.
The U.S. and Iraqi militaries are developing a strategy for Iraqi ground troops to retake towns and cities lost to the Islamic State. The Post brings us details of the plan so far.
Reuters examines the vulnerabilities of Iraq’s Anbar province. According to Faleh Issawi, a member of the Anbar provincial council, “Eighty percent of the province is under the control of IS and the remaining 20 percent is under control of some security forces and tribal fighters.”
The New York Times profiles David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, who is working to choke off funding for the Islamic State.
The AP reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has taken advantage of the international coalition against the Islamic State by focusing his resources and efforts on combating more moderate rebel groups.
In Germany, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intercepted three teenage girls from Colorado who were on their way to join the Islamic State. According to the Times, one of the girls had “become inspired” by Islamic State militants and then convinced the other two to come with her. A spokesperson for the FBI announced yesterday that the three are “safe and reunited with their parents.”
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has called for legislation, which would deny welfare benefits to Americans who have joined the Islamic State. The Hill shares her statements.
Yesterday, the Afghan defense ministry released statistics on casualties among its military and police forces over the past year. The Wall Street Journal informs us that 2014 has been the “deadliest for Afghan troops since the war began 13 years ago.”
As nuclear negotiations with Iran continue, some U.S. lawmakers have called for a bigger congressional role in the process. According to Foreign Policy, “at issue is the administration’s plan to temporarily suspend economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic without a vote in Congress.”
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian military affirmed yesterday that Ukraine has never used cluster bombs in its fight with pro-Russian rebels, despite reports to the contrary by Human Rights Watch. The Los Angeles Times shares details.
The U.S. and South Korea are revising plans that would give Seoul control of the two countries’ military forces “in the event of war on the Korean peninsula.” According to Stars and Stripes, the two nations are working to outline “goals for Seoul’s military capabilities before a transfer can be made.” U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo meet Thursday to discuss.
In November, the U.S. and Japanese militaries will conduct joint exercises, aimed at ensuring interoperability and strengthening “island defense capabilities.” Reuters has details.
According to BBC News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has chosen former Democratic presidential nominee Senator Gary Hart (D-CO) to serve as the U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.
Reuters reports that the National Security Agency (NSA)’s Chief Technical Officer Patrick Dowd will end his part-time work for IronNet, the private cybersecurity company started by former NSA Director General Keith Alexander, amidst a conflict of interest review by the agency.
In War on the Rocks, Ben FitzGerald, director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, examines the U.S. military’s technology strategy.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey posted a video to Youtube yesterday, addressing concerns regarding the deployment of U.S. troops to combat the Ebola outbreak in western Africa. Navy Times has more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a new program to screen and monitor passengers traveling to the United States from western Africa. USA Today has details.
Breaking Defense shares an interview with Air Force General Mike Hostage, the head of Air Combat Command.
The Post describes disputes between former Defense Secretary and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta and the CIA’s Publications Review Board regarding redactions from the former Director’s recently published memoir, Worthy Fights. Apparently, Panetta “allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA.”
Breaking Defense explains how biometric technology may spell the end of the covert spy.
Reuters also informs us that the Department of Justice “is restructuring its national security prosecution team to deal with cyber attacks and the threat of sensitive technology ending up in the wrong hands.” Spearheading the changes is Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who has recruited a number of experienced prosecutors to join his team.
In Real Clear Defense, Mackenzie Eaglen and Charles Morrison of the American Enterprise Institute explain how cyber espionage by Chinese nationals “is eroding U.S. military superiority.”
Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, shares an opinion in USA Today, criticizing the USA Freedom Act and explaining the merits of the Intel Committee’s FISA Improvements Act.
Yesterday, before a federal district court in New York, Haroon Aswat, a British citizen extradited to the U.S., pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges. Aswat is accused of attempting “to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon in 1999.” Reuters has details.
Today, a jury in Washington convicted four Blackwater Worldwide guards for killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 17 others during “a botched security operation” in Baghdad in September 2007. The Post describes the case.
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