Tom Bowman

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A debate has broken out at the Pentagon and in Congress over a proposal to dismantle an 8-year-old program that gives fast-track citizenship to immigrant soldiers who were recruited because they have critical skills in languages and medicine.

More than 4,000 immigrant soldiers recruited through the program — mostly from China and South Korea — are serving in uniform, including on overseas tours. Another 4,000 recruits have enlisted and are awaiting training.

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The White House says Syria may be preparing another chemical weapons attack on its citizens. Yesterday the White House warned President Bashar al-Assad that if he goes through with it, quote, "he and his military will pay a heavy price."

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We're going to turn now to NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman, who has reported in Afghanistan for years. He's in our studio this morning. Hi, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Rachel.

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