National Security Brief: July 22, 2011

— The Obama administration is considering sending more Predator drones and other surveillance planes to boost NATO’s air war in Libya, “and has reopened a debate over whether to give weapons to the rebels seeking to overthrow” Muammar Qaddafi.

— A U.N. envoy in Libya is presenting a plan to both the government and rebels to implement a ceasefire and install a power-sharing government with no role for Muammar Qaddafi.

— The Pentagon is set to announce that it will officially end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the ban on gays serving openly in the military. The certification will take place today.

— Somali Islamist rebels denied having lifted a ban on foreign humanitarian aid groups in areas they control as they accused the international community of exaggerating the effects of a drought in the southern part of the country for political purposes.


— Tens of Thousands of Syrians took the streets. defying a massive security crackdown, to demand the end to President Bashar Assad’s government. Syrian security forces reportedly opened fire on demonstrators.

— A plan to transfer a Lebanese Hezbollah commander captured in Iraq from U.S. to Iraqi custody has been put on hold until the U.S. concludes its investigation.

— Thousands of health workers distributed polio vaccines in Pakistan as the cloud of a fake vaccine drive by the C.I.A. to collect Osama Bin Laden’s D.N.A. hung over the program.

— Human rights groups warn that a proposed Saudi counter-terrorism law would give the Saudi Interior Ministry sweeping new powers, including the ability to detain and jail anyone suspected of criticizing the king.