August 19, 2014
A growing army of Islamist fighters, thousands of whom carry European passports, is busy learning the terror trade in areas of Iraq now controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. European-born fighters have been instrumental in the organization’s stunning military successes so far, but their greatest contribution to the jihadist cause may come when they return home.
 ISIS Training Western Terrorists to Attack Europe, US
A screen shot taken from a video released in January by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) shows ISIS militants training in northern Iraq. (AFP/Getty Images)
Bipartisan Defense Report Warns of ‘Widening Gap’ Between US Strategy, Force
August 7, 2014
A recently completed study of future U.S. defense spending plans underscores the consequences of deep cuts in force posture and capabilities, concluding that, if carried out, they pose a direct threat to national security.

The study by the National Defense Panel is the product of a joint call from Congress and the Defense Department for an independent critique of the Pentagon’s own planning document, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which proposes, in recognition of looming cuts in defense spending, to scale back U.S. military capabilities over the next decade.

Sanctions Threaten Arctic Ambitions of Russia, Oil Majors
August 7, 2014
The latest round of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Russia, which include restrictions on the Kremlin’s pet oil company Rosneft, are likely to imperil its partnership with ExxonMobil to start oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean. The standoff also threatens to hurt Britain’s BP and France’s Total as well as oil services and technology companies such as Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger.
Cyber Attacks on US Loom as Key NSA Program Stymied
August 7, 2014
Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) new bill to severely restrict the National Security Agency’s collection and use of U.S. phone records looks likely to create an impasse in Congress that will force the cancellation of this program next year. That will be good news for terrorist groups and U.S. adversaries such as Russia and China that are conducting aggressive cyber-warfare efforts against the United States “comparable to the devastating September 11 attacks.”
Boko Haram Expands Threat, Targets Nigeria’s Economy
August 6, 2014
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram is extending its reign of terror beyond the nation’s impoverished Muslim majority in the northeast into the wealthier, mainly Christian south, with the West African nation’s faltering oil industry as a prime target. It is also deploying female suicide bombers.
Argentina:  A Master of Default
August 6, 2014
Argentina is a world-record holder: not as a winner on the soccer field, but as a deadbeat in global financial markets. At midnight on July 30, the economically wobbly South American nation slipped into default for the second time in13 years.

India’s Modi Boosts Ties With Neighbors to Offset China
August 6, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is investing significant resources into improving Delhi’s relations with its neighbors to counter rising Chinese influence in South Asia. Modi’s recent travels to Bhutan and Nepal — the first by an Indian prime minister in 17 years — will likely lay the groundwork for him to play a more assertive role in regional security. He will also find other international allies interested in raising India’s regional presence to curb China’s aggression.
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