Life Under Siege

Iron Dome, shelter procedures keeping Israelis safe as rockets rain down
An Iron Dome air defense system in Ashkalon attempts to intercept a rocket fired from Gaza Strip / AP

JERUSALEM—Before the sirens stopped wailing last night, the staircase, serving as a shelter, was lined by neighbors, including some women in housecoats hastily donned. It was the first siren to be heard in Jerusalem since the fighting with Hamas began to intensify the day before.

Power Precedes Politics

Column: What liberal internationalists don’t understand
An ISIL image shows the country’s largest oil refinery under ISIL control / AP

The situation on the ground: Iraq in flames. The black flag of al Qaeda over Sunni-majority cities, Shiite militias cleansing Baghdad neighborhoods of other sects and ethnicities, car and suicide bombs exploding daily, the government of Nouri al-Maliki looking insolent and ineffective, the Kurds hinting at independence. Civil war. Iranian meddling. American defeat.

Report: U.S. Diplomatic Compounds Still at Risk After Benghazi

Warns of ‘tragic consequences’ for those on the ground
Charred vehicle at the entrance of the U.S. Conulate, in Benghazi, Libya / AP

U.S. diplomatic compounds overseas continue to be endangered by lax security measures and, in many cases, are highly vulnerable to potential attack, a fact that the State Department has failed to address for nearly 10 years, according to a newly released government oversight report.

Russia Test Fires Six New Air-Launched Cruise Missiles

Putin orders military exercises amid new Ukraine tensions
Russian Air Force Tu-95 bombers fly in formation over Red Square / AP

Russian strategic air forces fired six new, precision-strike cruise missiles in test launches Friday amid new tensions between Moscow and the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

U.S. Missile Defense System Destroys Target in Key Test

A flight test of the exercising elements of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is launched by the 30th Space Wing and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency at the Vandenberg AFB, California June 22, 2014.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. missile defense system managed by Boeing Co on Sunday hit a simulated enemy missile over the Pacific in the first successful intercept test of the program since 2008, the U.S. Defense Department said.

The intercept will help validate the troubled Boeing-run Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system which provides the sole U.S. defense against long-range ballistic missiles, and the Raytheon Co kill vehicle that separates from the rocket and hits an incoming warhead.

Bergdahl Roommate: Bergdahl a Deserter Who Should Be Prosecuted

‘Desertion was premeditated’
Bowe Bergdahl

The roommate of released U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl testified Wednesday about the freed soldier’s questionable mental state and demanded that Bergdahl be prosecuted as a deserter for the “ultimate betrayal” of allegedly leaving his post in Afghanistan and endangering fellow U.S. troops.

Iran Warns U.S. Against Intervention in Iraq

As Obama touts partnership, Iran warns of repercussions
Iraqi civilians inspect the aftermath of a car bombing in the southeastern district of New Baghdad, Iraq, June 8

As U.S. leaders signal a willingness to partner with Iran in the fight against Iraqi terrorists, senior military officials in Tehran are warning of repercussions for the United States if it meddles in Iraq.

Military Blows $3 Million on Boats for Afghanistan, then Secretly Cancels Shipment

Boats now collecting dust in Virginia warehouse
Patrol Boat Purchased for the Afghan National Police / SIGAR Flickr

The U.S. military spent more than $3 million on patrol boats for Afghanistan in 2010 and then quietly canceled the shipment several months later with no explanation, leaving costly patrol boats unused in a Virginia warehouse for the past several years, according to new information released by a government watchdog group.

Russian Bombers Fly Within 50 Miles of California Coast

U.S. F-22, F-15 jets intercept four Bear H bombers near Alaska, Northern California
Russian TU-95 Bear H / AP

Four Russian strategic bombers conducted practice bombing runs near Alaska on Monday and two of the Tu-95 Bear H aircraft came within 50 miles of the California coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) confirmed Wednesday.