ASPEN, Colo. — The top U.S. counterterrorism official said that the brutal Syrian civil war poses an increasing threat to the American homeland after a recent spike in the number of foreign fighters engaging in the conflict, gaining battlefield experience they could potentially use against the United States and Europe.
This story has been updated. New information on Russian troop levels at the Ukrainian border was added.
Russia is seeking to escalate the conflict in Ukraine and could move larger, more sophisticated multiple-launch rocket systems into the country to support the separatist rebels as early as Friday, July 25, the Pentagon warns.
France is under increasing international pressure to cancel or, at the very least, scale back its $1.6 billion sale of two Mistral warships to Russia. The sale has been under the microscope for some time, given Moscow's supplying of weapons to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its annexation of Crimea in March. But following charges that Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, pressure on France to pull out of the sale is at an all-time high.
Some 1,600 facilities that the United States built for Afghan soldiers, including barracks, medical clinics, and fire stations, were put together so hastily that they're now at increased risk of fire, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. The response from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversaw this $1.6 billion program: Don't worry, the Afghan soldiers who will be inside these buildings are young and fit enough to escape if they need to.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike are worried that the Pentagon is taking a fund that's historically been used to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and using it to cover just about any unforeseen crisis that may happen next year.