National Security Brief: August 30, 2011

Because of the special forces helicopter crash in Afghanistan that killed 30, August was the deadliest month for the U.S. in the nearly decade-long Central Asian war, with 66 American deaths.

House Republicans led by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are planning to introduce legislation today that would pressure the U.N. to adopt a voluntary budget model in which countries selevtively fund U.N. agencies rather than according to a set formula. If implemented, it would end funding to Palestinian refugees and limit the use of U.S. funds to purposes outlined by Congress.

At least seven died in Syria when security forces fired upon worshippers celebrating the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, putting an exclamation point on a month where Syrian hopes were raised but dashed by an escalated crackdown.

A new Pew Poll shows that more than half of Muslim Americans say government anti-terrorism policies single them out and many report increased cases of harassment by airport security and law enforcement officers.

Former vice president Dick Cheney made “no apologies” for decisions made during his service in the George W. Bush administration. Promoting his new memoir, Cheney re-endorsed water-boarding, aggressive wiretaps, renditions and secret prisons.

Iran has dropped Russia’s Gazprom Neft from the project to develop an oil field near Iran’s border with Iraq, citing lengthy delays in the project’s implementation. A consortium of Iranian companies will replaced Gazprom.