National Security Brief: White House Considering Deeper Involvement In Syria

— The Obama administration is reportedly considering getting more involved in the civil war in Syria as rebels there creep closer to ousting embattled President Bashar al-Assad. Rebels have started talks in Cairo on Wednesday. The National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was formed in Qatar this month and has received official recognition by the U.K., France, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

— The Washington Post reports: A scathing new report released Wednesday details how high-level political interference and institutional failures thwarted efforts to probe the 2010 collapse of Afghanistan’s largest bank, recover hundreds of millions of dollars from fraudulent loans and prosecute the influential Afghans who profited from a massive scheme to use depositors’ money as a private piggy bank.

— Reuters reports: The Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer on Wednesday reassured industry executives and investors that there was still “a lot of money” to be made in the defense business, despite mounting budget pressures that will limit spending on new arms programs.

— The Army Times reports: The Senate voted Wednesday to authorize a 1,000 person increase in the size of the Marine Corps to provide additional protections for U.S. embassies and consulates, a direct response to the Sept. 11 attack on the a diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.