National Security Brief: U.S. Arms Sales Abroad Soar To Record High

— U.S. weapons sales abroad tripled in 2011 to a record high. The nearly $67 billion in American arms sales worldwide represents three quarters of the global market. Russia was a distance second with nearly $5 billion in sales.

— Nearly 700 Syrians were killed in the Damascus suburb of Daraya last week, including 300 reported executed. The death toll is the result of “what is unfolding as one of the deadliest and most focused short-term assaults by the Syrian military” against rebel forces.

— The Turkish government halted the flow of Syrian refugees at two major border crossings Sunday “amid an escalating humanitarian crisis that is swamping Syria’s neighbors and intensifying pressure for international intervention.”

— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will reportedly use his prime-time speaking slot at the Republican National Convention this week to push the GOP toward reducing military spending.


— An Afghan soldier killed two American troops on Monday after a dispute broke out during a joint U.S-Afghan patrol. Meanwhile, Taliban insurgents have been accused of beheading 15 Afghan men and women for participating in a mixed-sex party with music and dancing.