The Cable

CNAS signs up Schmitt and Shanker

The Center for a New American Security, the newest and most aggressive defense think tank on the block, announced today it will host two top New York Times reporters, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, beginning in November.

The new "writers in residence" will use their time to work on a joint book project entitled, Counterstrike, which CNAS describes as "an examination of the evolution of American counterterrorism strategy since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

Shanker will take a three-month leave from the Times starting in November, and Schmitt will follow with a three-month stint in February.

"Thom and I believe there's a rich story to tell about the significant evolution of American counterterrorism strategy and policy since the Sept. 11 attacks that reflects both a more detailed understanding of terrorist networks and a healthier appreciation of their deadly resiliency," Schmitt said in an e-mail.

CNAS, which has been a feeder for national security and foreign-policy positions in the Obama administration, has been expanding its ranks steadily. Recent acquisitions include Richard Fontaine, former national security advisor to John McCain, the National Defense University's Patrick Cronin, and former writer in residence and fellow FP blogger Tom Ricks.

Other past CNAS writers include the Times' David Sanger, former Times and Politico correspondent David Cloud, and Ricks' replacement at the Washington Post, former Wall Street Journal defense writer Greg Jaffe.

In other CNAS news this week, former president Michèle Flournoy and current CEO Nate Fick made GQ's list of the 50 most powerful people in DC, coming in at number 20 and 42, respectively.

The Cable

What’s news this morning?

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coming back from Russia with no real agreements to tout, except a vague call for missile defense cooperation with Putin's government. Meanwhile, Putin took the opportunity to throw cold water on the idea of more Iran sanctions.

Britain and France are calling on Israel to investigate the war crimes allegations in the Goldstone Report, which they say they are doing, but which won't stop the Palestinian leadership from pushing its renewed call for tougher punishments.