National Security Brief: Obama To Sign Order Helping Veterans

— President Obama will sign an executive order today aimed at providing assistance to veterans struggling with mental health and substance-abuse problems. The El Paso Times reports that “the order directs federal officials to increase the number of VA mental-health professionals, improve suicide prevention efforts, create joint ventures between the VA and local mental-health care providers and push research that will improve diagnosis and treatment of problems including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.”

— Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that no one would be prosecuted for the deaths of a prisoner in Afghanistan in 2002 and another in Iraq in 2003, eliminating the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the C.I.A.

— Human Rights workers and diplomats say that the threat to Syrian civilians from attacks by Bashar al-Assad’s forces is growing as Syria‚Äôs military is increasingly relying on indiscriminate air power to crush the insurgency.

— Pentagon officials yesterday warned a former Navy SEAL that it was considering taking legal action against him for publishing a first-hand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, implying that he had divulged classified information.

— The Los Angeles Times reports: “Not long ago, Bamiyan province was considered one of the most peaceful corners of Afghanistan, a remote and scenic enclave that was largely free of the daily violence that roils so much of the country. Now it may become a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of winding down the war here.”