National Security

8:48am

Wed March 21, 2012
National Security

Accused Sergeant Heads Down A Long Legal Road

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 9:50 am

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, will have the case heard in the military justice system, which has significant differences from the civilian courts. Here, Bales is shown in a training exercise in Fort Irwin, Calif., last August.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AP

The military justice system has been crafted to work efficiently, but Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales can expect a lengthy legal process as he faces accusations that he killed 16 men, women and children in Afghanistan

Bales is locked up in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as he and his lawyer prepare for a case that involves a horrendous mass murder. In addition, it's a stress point that could trigger retaliation against American troops and even affect the course of a U.S. war that's more than a decade old.

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10:01pm

Thu March 15, 2012
National Security

Defense Contractors See Hope In Homeland Security

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 8:24 am

A vendor talks to attendees at the Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz., next to a display of sophisticated cameras and sensors painted to blend into the desert.
Ted Robbins NPR

The Defense Department is bracing for billions of dollars in budget cuts — and that has defense contractors looking for new markets. Homeland Security is one of the most promising, particularly border security, which hasn't suffered any big cuts. So companies are lining up in hopes of landing a contract.

At a border security trade show in Phoenix, Ariz., there's enough surveillance equipment on the floor of the convention center to spot a federal appropriation from 5 miles away.

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2:49pm

Fri March 9, 2012
National Security

Experts: A Strike On Iran Poses Many Challenges

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 7:12 am

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addresses a meeting in Tehran on Thursday. Khamenei is a staunch defender of Iran's nuclear program.
AFP/Getty Images

The question hanging over Washington for months has been this: Will Israel strike the Iranian nuclear program?

The Obama administration seems to have bought some time this week after rounds of meetings and speeches with Israeli officials in Washington.

Still, the president assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. will do all in its power to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

So the military option is still on the table.

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3:31pm

Mon March 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Attorney General Holder Defends Targeted Killings Of Americans

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 3:48 pm

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives a speech at Northwestern Law School on Monday in Chicago.
John Gress Getty Images

In a speech today, Attorney General Eric Holder explained the Obama administration's rationale for using lethal force against Americans who join al-Qaida.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports that in a speech at Northwestern University Law School, Holder said the issue is one of the most serious he faces. Carrie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Eric Holder says U.S. citizens who take up arms against their own country deserve due process under the Constitution.

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10:01pm

Wed February 29, 2012
National Security

In Mock Village, A New Afghan Mission Takes Shape

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

Lt. Col. Mark Schmitt, who will be among a group of U.S. military trainers heading to Afghanistan soon, calls out orders during a mock attack on the model Afghan village at the U.S. military base in Fort Polk, La.
David Gilkey NPR

At the Fort Polk military base in the pine forests of central Louisiana, the Army has created a miniature version of Afghanistan — with mock villages and American soldiers working alongside Afghan role-players.

This is the training ground for a new American approach in Afghanistan as the U.S. begins to look ahead to the goal of bringing home the U.S. forces by the end of 2014. The idea is that Afghan forces have to be good enough to defend their country against the Taliban, and to make that happen, the U.S. Army is creating small U.S. training teams at Fort Polk.

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