By teaming up with allied nations on defense acquisition programs, the United States hopes to reduce the cost of weapons such as the Joint Strike Fighter, the next-generation fighter aircraft for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. But some question the benefits of cost-sharing with other countries. In the view of one defense analyst, such arrangements limit U.S. decision-making flexibility and offer little in return. “It’s a huge impediment to the American strategic debate” to conduct big defense procurement programs in conjunction with allies, according to Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow in foreign policy studies at The Brookings Institution, a […]

On May 26, 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), a collaborative program aimed at securing vast stocks of dangerous nuclear material scattered around the globe. The program, run by a semi-autonomous agency within the DOE known as the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), has two central elements: repatriating or otherwise securing nuclear fuel; and converting reactors to use new, more proliferation-resistant technology. The program has seen some success and has even received more funding than expected, but so far progress has been slower than initially hoped. Programs like GTRI (others include the […]

MEXICO CITY — The unfavorable results of last month’s Mexican election and allegations of fraud so angered Jesus Alberto Nito Tellez that he left his wholesale business in the central Mexican city of Celaya three weeks ago and drove to the heart of Mexico City, where he pitched a tent in a protest camp organized by disgruntled presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the presidential race. How long Nito Tellez stays depends on how soon he and his colleagues from a left-leaning coalition, dubbed “For the good of all” and headed by the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), […]

To better prepare its troops for tough counterinsurgency warfare, the U.S. military is investing in super-realistic exercises that combine traditional live-fire training with sophisticated cultural instruction and Hollywood-style special effects that blur the lines between training and combat. At the start of the so-called Global War on Terrorism, the military’s combat training infrastructure reflected an entrenched Cold War mentality. At the sprawling National Training Center (NTC) in California’s Mojave Desert, armored brigades maneuvered against an Opposing Force equipped with mock Soviet tanks. At the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in the Louisiana bayou, light infantry battalions trained on simulated battlefields […]

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WASHINGTON — In coming weeks, one of the most significant events of the year will occur when it becomes clear who will replace Kofi Annan as U.N. secretary general. Unfortunately, when it happens, although it will no doubt make the front pages of the world’s newspapers, and although it will probably have been preceded by a few days of speculation stories, the public will have a far sketchier view of what is happening than it should. Press coverage of this important story has been meager. The question of who will run an organization whose functions range from offering neutral ground […]

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European intelligence sources were surprised by the news of the alleged plot to blow up five U.S. airliners over the mid-Atlantic. This was not because a major strike by Islamist terrorists was in itself unexpected. But European intelligence organizations, sources said Saturday, had anticipated that the target would be an international institution, or the energy center of a major city, such as a large power station. Instead, the thwarted attack turned out to have echoes of 9/11. Though al Qaeda has not been firmly linked to the plot, the evident Pakistani connection brings it geographically close to Osama bin Laden’s […]

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The Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is already changing the way the U.S. Air Force does business, could undergo an evolutionary leap in endurance, or the time the aircraft can stay in the air, in the next few years. Global Hawk, produced by Northrop Grumman Corp., can fly autonomously for up to 35 hours at a time, at an altitude of 60,000 feet or higher, while scanning an area of some 40,000 square miles, according to the company. With a more advanced engine, however, Global Hawk could stay up far longer — weeks, even months at a time, […]

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In the Indian capital New Delhi there is widespread belief among the conservative right wing that, with the impending U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, India has sold its soul to the United States by giving up “sovereign” rights over its civilian nuclear reactors. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, American critics say the world’s most powerful nation has given unwarranted and dangerous concessions to India, a country that exploded a nuclear bomb in 1998 and has not even signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Agreeing to sell nuclear technology to a country surrounded by the likes of Pakistan and China will lead to an unprecedented […]

Step aside MySpace, Facebook, and Xanga. A new social networking site has joined the ranks. You won’t find cursing here. Dating through this site is not permitted. And female members can only post photographs of themselves wearing a headscarf. Welcome to MuslimSpace.com, a new and rapidly growing social networking site catering to the 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. MuslimSpace is the brainchild of Mohamed El-Fatatry, a U.A.E.-born Egyptian professional Web developer, designer and programmer living in Finland. A former MySpace user, El-Fatatry created MuslimSpace in March 2006 because he said he was tired of the un-Islamic content of popular social networking […]