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Headquarters for U.S. Investigations Services Inc., or USIS, in Falls Church, Virginia.

The inspector general calls the rate "abnormal." Read more»

The Kajaki Dam project, shown here, has become a symbol of unsuccessful U.S. development efforts in Afghanistan, having consumed hundreds of millions of dollars without operation. 'I think building the pyramids in Giza were (sic) faster,' says John F. Sopko, the chief auditor of U.S. spending in that country. Washington has been subsidizing a supply of diesel fuel to replace the electricity the dam was supposed to provide.

A report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that both military and civilian officials failed to tackle corrosive corruption in Afghanistan. Read more»

Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa

On a dozen occasions over the past decade, National Security Agency employees misused their incredible eavesdropping powers for the most trivial of personal reasons: They snooped on girlfriends, husbands, wives or others of personal interest, actions that later provoked discipline or retirements but no criminal penalties. Read more»

In this image taken from amateur video posted online, appearing to show a presumed UN staff member measuring and photographing a canister in the suburb of Moadamiyeh in Damascus, Syria, Aug. 26, 2013, the suburb of Damascus where the Syrian regime allegedly used deadly chemical weapons. The authenticity of the video cannot be verified.

Detective work in Syria that was completed this week has allowed UN investigators to document some of the world’s worst suspicions. They found that a deadly rocket slammed into the second floor of an apartment building in the Damascus suburb known as Moadamiyah in the early morning hours on Aug. 21. There, the warhead sheared off, spreading a gas that quickly killed those who lived inside. Read more»

U.S. President Barack Obama during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photograph in the Oval Office on December 6th, 2012.

President Obama disclosed in Berlin on June 19 that he has ordered the Pentagon to revise its plan for targeting America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons in wartime, a decision that opens the door to negotiated reductions in all three categories of these devastating weapons: strategic or long-range; tactical — meaning those deployed in Europe; and the large U.S. inventory of bombs and warheads held in reserve. Read more»

An example of housing for senior officers in Stuttgart, Germany shows the construction of a sunroom addition.

Pentagon officials have been warning that budget cuts will provoke a “hollowing out” of warfighting capabilities in coming years, with tens of billions of dollars on the table under so-called “sequestration” cuts. Somehow, however, there is still enough money to pay for the construction of some new sun rooms for military housing used by senior officers in Stuttgart, Germany, a country the U.S. military has begun to flee. Read more»

B61 Thermonuclear Bomb. The B61 nuclear bomb is designed for carriage by aircraft at supersonic flight speeds and is the primary thermonuclear weapon in the U.S. stockpile since the end of the Cold War.

The Obama administration will propose a deep cut in funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs at the Energy Department largely so it can boost the department’s spending to modernize its stockpile of nuclear weapons, according to officials familiar with the proposed 2014 federal budget to be unveiled Wednesday. Read more»

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

If anyone thought Chuck Hagel wants to be a caretaker defense secretary, he worked hard to disabuse them of the idea in an April 3 speech to a roomful of generals and other senior officers at Washington’s National Defense University, an elite school chartered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Read more»

DOD competition rate for all contract obligations from fiscal years 2008 through 2012.

The cold reality, as spelled out in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, is that the Pentagon’s use of competitively-bid contracts has been declining steadily for the past five years and last year stood at just 57 percent of its total contract spending. In fiscal year 2008, it was 62.6 percent. Read more»

A new U.S. intelligence report forecasts an end to U.S. predominance. Read more» 1

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division recover bundles of fuel that were air delivered to Forward Operating Base Waza K'wah in the Paktika province of Afghanistan in January, 2011.

The U.S. government is unable to “account for $201 million” worth of fuel purchases for the Afghan Army, according to a special report by a government watchdog on Dec. 20. Read more»

Billions have been spent on FEMA's urban security program but no one knows if it produced any appreciable new security. Read more»

A UGM-96 Trident missile clears the water during the 20th demonstration and shakedown launch from the nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine USS Mariano G. Vallejo

The Pentagon’s budget is almost assuredly going down in coming years, but it looks like a specific type of weaponry, the nation’s stockpile of nuclear warheads, is also headed down, with Barack Obama’s reelection. Read more»

The Pentagon

President Obama and Congress now have just over seven weeks to reach an agreement on the federal budget that would avert a round of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts in defense and social programs that members of both parties have depicted as draconian. Read more»

Presidential candidates compete in debates to show how muscular they are on foreign policy, even when clear solutions are often not available. Closely-fought presidential campaigns can confound expectations by constricting—rather than broadening—public debate about significant issues. Read more»

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