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Mueller Family: Bergdahl Swap Raised IS Demands. By Sky News US Team Islamic State militants who held American aid worker Kayla Mueller increased demands for her release after the US agreed to swap an Army soldier for five Taliban prisoners, her brother has said. The controversial prisoner exchange involving Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and the Afghan Taliban occurred less than a year after Ms Mueller was captured by IS in Aleppo, Syria. "That made the whole situation worse because that's when the demands got greater," Eric Mueller told NBC's Today show in an interview that aired on Monday. Sgt Bergdahl is accused of abandoning his post prior to capture in 2009 "They got larger. Ms Mueller's father, Carl Mueller, added it "was pretty hard to take" that the US government was willing to swap Sgt Bergdahl but not pay ransom or allow ransom to be paid for his daughter. Video: US Hostage Confirmed Dead "I actually asked the President that question when we were in the White House," he said without elaborating.

Video: Taliban Bergdahl Release Video. Micah Zenko and Sarah Kreps: Council Special Report on Limiting Armed Drone Proliferation - Council on Foreign Relations. Order Print Copy Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press Release Date June 2014 52 pages ISBN 978-0-87609-588-1 Council Special Report No. 69 Share Overview The Obama administration should pursue a strategy that places clear limits on its own sale and use of armed drones lest these weapons proliferate and their use becomes widespread. Although only five countries have developed armed drones—the United States, Britain, Israel, China, and Iran—several other countries have announced their own programs. Zenko and Kreps lay out several reasons why armed drones are unique in their ability to destabilize relations and intensify conflict.

In addition, the proliferation of unmanned aircraft carries an increased risk of lethality because "drones are, in many ways, the perfect vehicle for delivering biological and chemical agents. " A set of norms to govern the use of drones would require increased transparency on U.S. drone strike practices and targeting decisions. State Dept computers hacked, email shut down. WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system as technicians repair possible damage from a suspected hacker attack. A senior department official said Sunday that "activity of concern" was detected in the system around the same time as a previously reported incident that targeted the White House computer network. That incident was made public in late October, but there was no indication then that the State Department had been affected.

Since then, a number of agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service and the National Weather Service, have reported attacks. The official said none of the State Department's classified systems were affected. However, the official said the department shut down its worldwide email late on Friday as part of a scheduled outage of some of its internet-linked systems to make security improvements to its main unclassified computer network.

Army: Thanks but no tanks - Associated Press. Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army’s hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle. Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams. Story Continued Below But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, “No thanks.” It’s the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt. Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there’s a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.

“If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” Gen. Why are the tank dollars still flowing? If there’s a home of the Abrams, it’s politically important Ohio. Texas appealing to other states for radioactive trash, looks to expand program. When it comes to nuclear waste, many states have a not-in-my-backyard attitude. But Texas is rolling out the welcome mat. A measure that would allow three-dozen states to dump even hotter radioactive waste at a West Texas nuclear facility is picking up steam as it makes its way through the state legislature -- despite growing opposition from environmental groups who argue the economic incentives shouldn’t trump public safety concerns. Introduced by Republican Sen. Kel Seliger, the “low-level radioactive waste bill” encourages other states to send waste with higher concentrations of radioactivity to the 1,300-acre waste burial ground in Andrews County. The bill would keep the maximum volume allowed at the site the same but change the type of material allowed, Seliger told Tuesday.

"The majority of the items are safe," Seliger said. The bill highlights how, in Texas, nuclear waste storage has become big business. A similar bill is making its way through the Texas House. Sea Power and American Interests in the Western Pacific | RAND - Pale Moon. China sees American sea power in East Asian waters as threatening to itself, its regional aspirations, and possibly its global access. So it is mounting a challenge with anti-ship missiles, submarines, and a growing fleet of its own. However, the United States will not relinquish its sea power, which it sees as needed to maintain its influence and stability, despite China's growing might, in this vital region. History shows that rivalries between established and rising sea powers tend to end badly, to wit: Britain versus Germany before World War I and the United States versus Japan before World War II.

In this case, technology that enables the targeting of surface ships, especially aircraft carriers, favors the challenger, China. The United States can exploit technology more boldly than it has previously to make its sea power less vulnerable by relying more on submarines, drones, and smaller, elusive, widely distributed strike platforms. Hiroshima at 67: The Line We Crossed | Restricted Data - Pale Moon. Today is the 67th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Sixty-seven isn’t a particularly exciting anniversary, being neither divisible by five or ten, but I get the feeling that it’s been talked about more this year than it was in the last few years. Maybe it’s all of the concderns regarding Iran and the Middle East? Maybe because it’s the first anniversary post-Fukushima? I’m not sure, but something’s in the air. 67 also happens to be the number of Japanese cities we firebombed before dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I wrote up a short, quick essay on the anniversary of Hiroshima for a group that didn’t pick it to be used (which is fine), but I thought I’d share it here. We have been debating the morality, strategy, and history of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for sixty-seven years. Whether it deserved that credit, or whether the war could have been ended without it, has been the subject of debate for nearly that long. But was a line really crossed? Notes. Pentagon has spent billions on doomed programs; cash looms large with budget cuts. The Pentagon has squandered billions of dollars over the past two decades on weapon systems it never produced and on rosy cost estimates that ballooned to sizes that ate up funds for other projects, according to government reports and defense analysts.

The miscalculations have come back to haunt the armed forces at a time when tighter budgets are forcing it to curtail basic war-fighting preparations such as training, ship and aircraft repairs, and overseas deployments. Pro-defense conservatives, however, say that despite the procurement mistakes, the country needs a robust military to confront an array of threats — and that costs money. Still, how the Pentagon misspent billions over two decades has relevancy for the future. Money devoted to doomed programs such as the Army’s Future Combat System or poured into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could have come in handy today.

“The Joint Strike Fighter,” Mr. Christie said. The procurement ‘game’ Fail! The $400 Billion Military Jet That Can't Fly in Cloudy Weather. March 17, 2013 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. According to one of its supporters, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not "what our troops need," is "too costly" and "poorly managed," and its "present difficulties are too numerous to detail. " The F-35 is a case study of government failure at all levels - civilian and military, federal, state, local, even airport authority. Not one critical government agency is meeting its obligation to protect the people it presumably represents. Up for re-election in 2014 and long a supporter of basing the F-35 in Vermont, Leahy put those thoughts in a letter to a constituent made public March 13.

The F-35 is a nuclear-capable weapon of mass destruction that was supposed to be the "fighter of the future" when it was undertaken in 2001. 100th F-35 Being Built, None Yet Operational The F-35 isn't even close to fully operational - it can fly only on sunny days. Pirated software was used to design parts for Patriot missiles and Blackhawk helicopters. Pirated software was used to make components for military radar systems, Blackhawk helicopters, Patriot missiles, and the President's transport helicopter Marine One. Defense contractor Wronald Best has been sentenced to 366 days in prison for purchasing 70 pirated industrial design applications from Chinese and Russian sources. The Department of Defense and Secret Service have been made aware of the breach of security. "We have no reason to believe his use of the cracked software affected the products in any negative way," an Assistant US Attorney told The Associated Press.

While Best was chief scientist for a defense contractor in Kentucky, he purchased $2.3 million worth of software for just over $600,000. Li faces up to 25 years in prison. United States Wants to Attract Hackers to Public Sector. FBI probe of defense tech allegedly leaked from NASA stonewalled, sources say | Fox News - Pale Moon. Shown here is an aerial shot of the Ames Research The cover page of a report, obtained by and purportedly presented to the FBI, alleging that confidential Defense Department missile secrets were leaked to foreign A four-year FBI investigation into the transfer of classified weapons technology to China and other countries from NASA’s Ames Research Center is being stonewalled by government officials, sources tell

Documents obtained by, which summarize these and other allegations and were given to congressional sources last week by a whistle-blower, described how a “secret grand jury” was to be convened in February 2011 to hear testimony from informants in the case, including a senior NASA engineer. “The information is staggering,” the whistle-blower told A Justice Department spokesman on Thursday told it “does not comment on grand jury proceedings,” as a matter of longstanding policy. Sen. Unlocking Your Mobile Phone Is No Longer Legal | Threat Level | - Pale Moon. Mobile phones purchased beginning Saturday can no longer be legally unlocked by U.S. consumers to enable them to work on different networks. The reason, as we reported three months ago, was that the U.S.

Copyright Office is no longer granting unlocking an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA makes it illegal to “circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access” to copyrighted material, in this case software embedded in phones that controls carrier access. But in all practicality, nothing will really change for consumers. Before unlocking was first exempted in 2006 and again in 2010, the carriers never sued individuals for unlocking their own phones, and they don’t plan to. And even when unlocking was exempted and allowed, the carriers and phone makers were successfully suing illicit businesses that bought throw-away phones by the thousands, unlocked them, and shipped them overseas. The same applies to jailbreaking. Source: Pentagon chief Leon Panetta removing military's ban on women in combat | abc13. WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday.

The changes, set to be announced Thursday by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, will not happen overnight. The services must now develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions, a senior military official said. Some jobs may open as soon as this year, while assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.

The services also will have until January 2016 to make a case to that some positions should remain closed to women. The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. "It reflects the reality of 21st century military operations," Levin said. Tags: ADP Says U.S. Companies Added 201,000 Workers in August.

Companies added more workers than forecast in August, easing concern the U.S. job market may be stalling, a private report based on payrolls showed. The 201,000 increase in employment, the biggest gain in five months, followed July’s revised 173,000 rise, Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Employer Services said today. The median forecast of 41 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 140,000. A sustained pickup in hiring would help generate the wage gains needed to spur consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. A Labor Department report tomorrow may show private payrolls rose by 138,000 in August, and unemployment held at 8.3 percent, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

The ADP figure is “good news for the economy if it turns out to be correct,” Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors Inc. in Holland, Pennsylvania, said in an e-mail to clients. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 90,000 to 170,000. ADP Compared Fed’s Bernanke. The 12 Most Advanced Nuclear Submarines In The US Fleet. U.S. Foreign Aid By Country. The United States is notorious for having its fingers in many pies. One of the ways Uncle Sam tries to coerce other states to get in line with his preferred policies is by doling out foreign aid -- lots of it. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) states that its function is to provide "economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States.

" While the effectiveness of foreign aid remains up for debate, the United States recently has continued to pump around $50 billion in aid to other countries each year. In terms of the absolute value of aid given, the United States is the world's top donor by far. See where U.S. dollars flow below. Data from July 2012 Congressional Research Service report. Loading Slideshow 10. Top Recipients Of U.S. 1 of 11 Hide Thumbnails. Interview: U.S. Fate Is in U.S. Hands. U.S. Plans New Asia Missile Defenses. Waste Perception. Global Security Newswire - Obama Says Al-Qaeda Attack on U.S. is Probable. TotalMilSpending.jpg (Image JPEG, 640x1259 pixels)

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Le Pentagone gaspille. Downgraded. Drunken Ben Bernanke Tells Everyone At Neighborhood Bar How Screwed U.S. Economy Really Is. Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media | Technology. Where are the carriers? | Wings Over Iraq. Global Security Newswire - Next-Generation Patriot Missile Intercepts Target. 36a_first_quarter_fy2010. US Nuclear budget. Interview: President Bush in final White House interview - Nachr.

U.S - Syria. Missile Interceptor Warhead Tested.

U.S. - Saudi

Who needs Wikileaks when you have the US Air Force? Some desperately-needed New Year's resolutions for 2011. Obama must keep working on disarmament. 73% Fear Terrorists More Than Nuclear Attack. Shadow Wars Get Big Bucks in Last-Minute Defense Bill | Danger Room. Facebook and e-diplomacy. Nunn-Lugar Program Deactivates 48 Strategic Nukes. Wants Japan to Allow Sale of Missile Interceptors. Tests Mock Nuclear Bomb. President Obama. G.W. Bush : "Je n'étais pas préparé pour la guerre" RÉVÉLATIONS : Ce que Bill Clinton n'a jamais dit, actualité Mond.