National Security Brief: Veterans Homeless Rate Declines

The Department of Veterans affairs said yesterday that the number of homeless veterans counted on a single night this year declined 7.2 percent from the previous year. That followed a 12.1 percent reduction from 2010 to 2011. The Washington Post reports that “Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said the 17.2 percent decline since January 2009 keeps the Obama administration on track to meet its promise to end veterans’ homelessness by 2015.”

In other news:

  • A group of House lawmakers, 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans, sent a letter Monday to President Obama and House and Senate Leaders urging them to consider military spending cuts as part of a deal to offset scheduled spending cuts and tax increases that are to take effect in January.
  • The UK Independent reports: A plan to provide military training to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition including Britain.
  • The AP reports: he European Union warned Israel of unspecified consequences Monday if it goes through with plans to build thousands of new settler homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
  • J Street called on supporters of a two-state solution “to condemn the latest statement by Khaled Meshal, the political leader of Hamas, who once again last weekend called for the destruction of Israel.”
  • The Wall Street Journal reports: American soldiers should brace for a “social-cultural shock” when meeting Afghan soldiers and avoid potentially fatal confrontations by steering clear of subjects including women’s rights, religion and Taliban misdeeds, according to a controversial draft of a military handbook being prepared for troops heading to the region.
  • Meanwhile, the Pentagon says that only one of the Afghan National Army’s 23 brigades is able to operate independently without air or other military support from the U.S. and NATO.
  • The New York Times reports: A new intelligence assessment of global trends projects that China will outstrip the United States as the leading economic power before 2030, but that America will remain an indispensable world leader, bolstered in part by an era of energy independence.