Flying Blind

Russia Blocks U.S. from Treaty-Approved Spy Flights
An US F16 fighter jet takes off from a Romanian air base

The Russian government this week canceled a planned U.S. surveillance flight over Russian territory in a bid to limit spying on massed troops facing off against Ukraine and Eastern Europe, according to U.S. officials.

Russia Tests Multi-Warhead ICBM

Flight test comes amid heightened tensions over Ukraine
SS-27 Mod 2 launch photo

Russia’s military carried out a flight test of a new multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile on Monday amid growing tensions with the United States over the crisis in Ukraine.

Administration Urged to Lift Restrictions on Non-Lethal Military Aid to Ukraine

Body armor, night vision gear, radios, and fuel urgently sought by Ukrainian military
Ukrainian helicopters grounded to save fuel

The Obama administration is withholding urgently needed non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine under restrictions that view body armor, night vision goggles, radios, and fuel as destabilizing “force multipliers,” according to a bipartisan assessment of Ukraine’s military needs.

China Reveals New Carrier Jet Prior to Hagel Visit

Defense secretary visits carrier
Source: Chinese website

China’s military has allowed the public release of the first photographs of a warplane variant deployed on the Liaoning — the aircraft carrier that saw its first visit by U.S. officials this week.

Putin Corruption Network Revealed

Ruling mafia-style ‘Lake Cooperative Physicists Group’ stole billions
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Kremlin's Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov / AP

Corruption by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration in Moscow has produced tens of billions of dollars worth of illicit funds for the Russian leader and his top aides, according to U.S. officials.

CIA Official Dies in Apparent Suicide

Death did not take place at CIA headquarters

A senior CIA official has died in an apparent suicide this week from injuries sustained after jumping off a building in northern Virginia, according to sources close to the CIA.

CIA spokesman Christopher White confirmed the death and said the incident did not take place at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.

Admiral Warns that Risk of Nuclear Conflict Is Growing

Stratcom: Large-scale Russian strategic nuclear buildup has been underway for over a decade
The Russian navy's Varyag missile cruiser / AP

Russia is engaged in a large-scale buildup of strategic nuclear forces that has been underway for a decade, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) told Congress on Wednesday.

Feds Curtail Major Counterterror Exercise in Washington

Scaled down drill followed new al Qaeda threat to conduct car bombings in D.C., Virginia
Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' magazine

The White House sharply curbed a major counterterrorism drill scheduled for Tuesday in Washington that was designed to test the federal government response to threats of car bombs attacks and a chemical weapons strike on the Metro subway system.

The exercise, code named Eagle Horizon 2014, was cut back instead to small-scale communications checks within federal agencies.

White House Cyber Chief Says Snowden Damage Will Be Felt for Decades

Obama opposes foreign government control of Internet, Michael Daniel says
Edward Snowden

Damage to U.S. national security caused by NSA contractor Edward Snowden will take decades to repair, the White House official in charge of cyber security said Friday.

“Make no mistake: We are going to be dealing with the fallout from that for all of your careers, and the impact that that has had on our national security will reverberate for decades,” Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president for cyber security, told Naval Academy midshipmen.