Pentagon

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US, South Korea Make Big Change to Military Drills

The two governments are scaling them down

(Newser) - South Korea and the US are eliminating their massive springtime military drills and replacing them with smaller exercises in what they call an effort to support diplomacy aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, the AP reports. The decision announced by both countries Sunday came after President Trump complained... More »

Threats Are 'Very Real,' but Not From Mexico, General Says

Senators question diverting Pentagon money to build a wall

(Newser) - Under pointed questioning from senators, the top US general for homeland defense said Tuesday that he sees no military threat coming from the southern border with Mexico, but his focus is on "very real" threats from China and Russia in the north. Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander,... More »

Pentagon Has Bad News About Its Bases

Seems climate change is affecting mission-critical installations

(Newser) - A new Pentagon report says wildfires, drought, and flooding fueled by climate change are threatening two-thirds of key US military bases, the Military Times reports. Posted online Friday, the report looks at 79 mission-critical installations across the Army, Air Force, and Navy, but not the Marine Corps. The report says... More »

Days After Mattis Leaves, Another Resignation at the Pentagon

'Time to return to private sector:' Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney is out as chief of staff

(Newser) - Just days after Jim Mattis' last day as Defense secretary, another member of the Pentagon's top brass has abruptly stepped down, reports CNN . Defense Department chief of staff Kevin Sweeney, a retired rear admiral who has served in his current role since January 2017, is stepping down. "I'... More »

The $7M Legwear to Turn US Troops Into 'Super Soldiers'

ONYX exoskeleton being developed by Lockheed Martin to reduce weight, help troops move better

(Newser) - The Army is pushing for a new generation of "super soldiers," and critical in that effort is a cutting-edge technology first used to help people with serious medical conditions (e.g., multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis) stay on the move. Reuters reports the Pentagon is pumping nearly $7 million into... More »

Pentagon Has Novel Spin on Results of First Audit

Yes, we failed, but we knew we would, says Pentagon official

(Newser) - The Pentagon has just provided every kid who brings home a lousy test score with a possible new defense: "We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it." So says Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in putting the best possible spin on the results of a... More »

Trump Wanted It. The Pentagon Said No. Here's Why

Defense officials wouldn't let troops enforce domestic law, officials say

(Newser) - The Trump administration asked, and the Pentagon said no—to using troops on the southern border for law-enforcement purposes, CNN reports. Two defense officials say the Department of Homeland Security wanted US troops to provide "crowd and traffic control" and protect Customs and Border Protection officers from the so-called... More »

Pentagon to Hackers: Go Ahead, Access Russia's Cyber Systems

It's reportedly part of DOD plan in preparation for cyberattack if Russia interferes with midterms

(Newser) - What may soon become a more "regular currency of war": cyberattacks, per the Center for Public Integrity , and it notes that the US Department of Defense may start cashing in as early as next week. Current and former senior US officials reveal to the investigative journalism nonprofit that the... More »

Pentagon Plans to Send Hundreds of Troops to Border

Defense chief Mattis expected to sign order as migrants approach

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday again declared the situation at the US-Mexico border a "national emergency" and promised to get the military involved. Now it appears the Pentagon is preparing to do just that. Defense chief James Mattis is expected to sign an order authorizing at least 800 troops to... More »

Audit: 'Nearly All' of DOD's New Weapons Systems Are Vulnerable

GAO analysis finds rampant cybersecurity issues at the Pentagon

(Newser) - A new report out of the Government Accountability Office says the Department of Defense is "just beginning to grapple" with vulnerabilities in most of its new weapons systems. The upshot of the 50-page GAO analysis , per NPR : that, based on five years' worth of tests, "nearly all" of... More »

Pentagon's Ricin Scare Wasn't Caused by Actual Ricin

But envelopes did contain castor seeds

(Newser) - Tuesday's ricin scare turns out not to have actually been ricin. Officials announced Wednesday that the suspicious substance found in two envelopes sent to the Pentagon was actually castor seeds, from which ricin is made, but was not ricin itself. The envelopes, which were addressed to the chief of... More »

Mail Sent to Pentagon Tests Positive for Ricin

Meanwhile, 'white powdery substance' gets Ted Cruz campaign HQ placed on lockdown

(Newser) - Ricin has been detected in two pieces of mail that arrived at a Pentagon mail distribution center, defense officials announced Tuesday. The building is near, but not in, the Pentagon; the mail was addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations. After the... More »

US Service Members May Soon Get Phones in Their Mouths

Pentagon signs contract for 'Molar Mic,' a communications device clipped to users' teeth

(Newser) - Our sci-fi future is here, and in this version, US service members can make and receive calls through their teeth. That's the gist of Molar Mic, a communications device detailed in a new $10 million Pentagon contract with a California company, Defense One reports. Smithsonian Magazine and CNET lay... More »

Trump Pays Tribute to Victims, Heroes of 9/11

Ceremonies in New York City, Washington, Pennsylvania

(Newser) - President Trump marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Tuesday with a speech at the memorial where one of the planes went down in Shanksville, Pa. "America's future is not written by our enemies," said Trump, per CBS News . "America's future is written... More »

China Has US Targets in Crosshairs: Pentagon

A new report says the People's Liberation Army is training for long-distance strikes

(Newser) - China is flexing its military muscles, according to a Pentagon report that gets right to the troubling point: "Over the last three years, the PLA [People's Liberation Army] has rapidly expanded its overwater bomber operating areas, gaining experience in critical maritime regions and likely training for strikes against... More »

Pentagon's Top Rep Probed Over Alleged Misuse of Staff

Dana White allegedly had staffers fetch her drycleaning, buy her pantyhose

(Newser) - The story of an allegedly inappropriate boss is garnering national headlines due to who she is: the Pentagon's top spokeswoman. CNN reports the Defense Department Office of Inspector General has been investigating Dana White, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, for a number of weeks... More »

This Would Be Biggest Change to US Defenses in 70 Years

Mike Pence wants Space Force up and running in 2020

(Newser) - "Space force all the way!" So tweeted President Trump on Thursday after his VP outlined the White House vision to have a new US Space Force in operation in a scant two years. This would be no small feat: Mike Pence detailed a plan in which the Space... More »

Fitbits Pose 'Increased Risk' for Deployed Troops: DOD

Department of Defense says GPS data from fitness trackers too sensitive, bans them

(Newser) - The Pentagon has restricted the use of fitness trackers by deployed personnel after an app revealed the movement of troops in sensitive areas. Per CNN , Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan issued a memo barring use of the technology six months after a fitness tracking company called Strava released a global... More »

Report: Deadly Niger Ambush Caused by Numerous Failures

Investigators interviewed 143 witnesses, examined evidence

(Newser) - The Defense Department found no single cause, but rather “individual, organizational and institutional” errors, including insufficient training and preparation, caused the death of four US soldiers and at least five Nigerien soldiers in a bloody Special Forces mission in Niger, according to an eight-page summary report. The Oct. 4... More »

3K Google Workers Sign Letter to CEO Over Pentagon Work

Ask company to cancel Project Maven

(Newser) - Some Google employees have sent CEO Sundar Pichai a letter . Well, more than some: It has at least 3,100 signatures—not quite 5% of the workforce—and implores Pichai to withdraw the company from Project Maven. That's a Pentagon program focused on using artificial intelligence to analyze drone... More »

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