national security

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cassandra Thompson

During the time Chuck Hagel served as U.S. Secretary of Defense, Russia invaded Ukraine and the Syrian Civil War was at its height.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Hagel about current threats at home and abroad - getting his views on cyber-security, President Donald Trump’s new so-called travel ban, Trump’s call for greater defense spending, as well as the future of the Republican party.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

Iowa's senior senator is putting national security concerns near the top of his agenda.

Republican Chuck Grassley is introducing a bill to make the U.S. Department of Agriculture a permanent member of a committee that reviews foreign companies' efforts to buy U.S. businesses. 

Grassley says already a Chinese firm has a major foothold in the pork industry here and more food and agriculture mergers and acquisitions are pending.

Jon Pemble/IPR file photo

Iowa's senior U.S. senator says his proposed gun-control amendment failed to reach the 60-vote mark Monday because of disagreements over the Second Amendment right to bear arms. 

"Don't forget (the Second Amendment) is just as important as the fundamental rights of the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment," says Sen. Chuck Grassley. "You can't compromise people's constitutional rights." 

Iowa’s public safety commissioner is urging Iowans to contact law enforcement if they see something suspicious in light of the recent mass shooting in Orlando.

"When people are committing serious offense, they don't usually do it on the spur of the moment," says Commissioner Roxann Ryan. "They usually are making preparatory plans, they are conducting surveillance, they are collecting weaponry, they are practicing, doing trial runs, they are identifying victims or vulnerabilities."  

chuck grassley
John Pemple/IPR file photo

Sen. Chuck Grassley says he doesn’t see any reason to increase gun control measures, following this weekend’s mass shooting in Florida.

Deceased shooter Omar Mateen used guns to kill 49 people and wound 53 others at an Orlando nightclub.

Grassley says that’s no reason to increase firearm regulations. Rather he thinks the focus should center on what he calls “radical Islamists.”

Taysaev / Wikimedia Commons

The terrorist attacks on Paris sparked an outpouring of support for people affected. The attacks in Beirut that day before did not. Why?

Daryl Cameron, assistant professor of social psychology and director at the Iowa Morality Lab at the University of Iowa, says it’s because we don’t respond to the people living in those places in the same way.

“We can imagine what its like to be someone in Paris going through this. It’s harder to think about what it’s like to be someone in Beirut,” he explains.

City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation

Iowans looking to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks can take a walk around Gray’s Lake in Des Moines. In the fourth year of the collaboration, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, iHeartMedia and the United States Air Force have created a “Tribute Trail” of approximately 2,977 American flags.

"Each [flag] honors one victim lost at the 9/11 attacks," says Jen Fletcher of Des Moines’s Parks and Recreation. "It's a very stunning visual...It's a place that people can go and just have a moment to honor those people that were lost that day."

IP Viking - http://map.ipviking.com/

Several U.S. military social media accounts were hacked this week by those claiming allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

Gongashan / Flickr

Twelve people, including four cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, were shot dead Wednesday in an apparent militant Islamist attack.

John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

During his administration, George W. Bush said the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects was humane and legal.

Mike Mozart

ACLU attorney Ben Wizner says the history books will be kind to Edward Snowden; he will be remembered well.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

If a second federal sequester happens in January, the US military is anticipating another $52 billion in defense spending cuts. In Iowa, the National Guard is finding ways to save money by reducing the amount of work that is performed by contractors. We get more from Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren, in the third and final installment of our series on military contracts.         

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

As the Department of Defense scales back military spending abroad, domestic arms manufacturers are seeing drastic changes in their revenues. For the first installment of this three part series, Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren profiles one of Iowa’s smallest defense contractors—the creator of a critical component for M-1 tanks.

Klaus Wagensonner / sipazigaltumu / Flickr

The crisis in Syria has been in the headlines for weeks, but the roots of the two-year-long conflict can be traced back decades. Today host Ben Kieffer gets an in-depth understanding of how history of the region brought Syria to the point of civil war, how terrorism figures in and the conflict's potential outcomes.

Impacts of Terrorism

Apr 24, 2013
Flickr / Vjeran Pavic

Three out of four Americans see occasional terrorism as a part of life in the future. That percentage is up in the wake of last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.  "River to River" examines changing public attitudes toward terrorism and how the Boston bombing is affecting debate over immigration.

Wayan Vota / Flickr

Beginning Tuesday, January 15,  Iowa will issue driver’s licenses and state IDs that comply with a new federal program called REAL ID.  The program is being phased in as part of legislation passed by Congress in 2005.  It's aimed at streamlining security at federal facilities and for air travel.

Mark Lowe of the Iowa Department of Transportation visited our Des Moines studio to explain what changes are coming.