Pentagon

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US Hasn't Shown Military Bands Are Worth the Bill

GAO demands performance measures, Pentagon to oblige

(Newser) - A $437 million annual budget is allotted for US military bands. While that's less than 0.1% of the Department of Defense's total budget, it's also about as much as Latvia's entire defense budget, reports Fox News . The funds pay for instruments—the Air Force requested... More »

White House May Outsource Afghan War to Contractors

Blackwater's Erik Prince floats his plan

(Newser) - President Trump is said to be frustrated with progress in the 16-year-old Afghanistan war, and a familiar name in US military circles is offering an unprecedented solution. Blackwater founder Erik Prince has floated a plan to the White House that it turn over most of its military duties in the... More »

The Big Question After Transgender Military Ban

What about those already serving?

(Newser) - President Trump's decision to ban transgender people from serving "in any capacity" in the military raises a question, notes Slate . What about the thousands of transgender troops already in the ranks? A study by the RAND Corporation estimated that up to about 11,000 trans troops may be... More »

Pentagon Delays Move on Transgender Recruits

Defense chief Mattis postpones acceptance of them for another 6 months

(Newser) - The military isn't quite ready to recruit transgender troops. A new policy allowing the Pentagon to do so was supposed to begin on July 1, but defense chief Jim Mattis said Friday night that it would be delayed six months, reports USA Today . A Pentagon statement said Mattis had... More »

Syria, Iran, Russia Push Back Against US Warning

Syria says it isn't planning to use chemical weapons, which it says it doesn't have

(Newser) - Late Monday, the White House took the unusual step of issuing a preemptive warning against Syria, which it claims is preparing to launch a chemical weapons attack. The Wall Street Journal reports the Trump administration is basing that assertion on evidence from the same air base that the US hit... More »

US to Send 4K More Troops to Afghanistan

Move comes after defense chief Mattis gets more authority to set levels

(Newser) - The Pentagon will send almost 4,000 additional American forces to Afghanistan, the largest deployment of US manpower under President Trump's young presidency, reports the AP . The decision by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis could be announced as early as next week, said a White House official. It follows Trump'... More »

Pentagon Confirms Suspected Fate of ISIS Afghan Head

Abdul Haseeb Logari was killed in raid last month

(Newser) - A military raid last month killed the head of the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Sunday night. The death of Abdul Haseeb Logari had been suspected after the April 27 raid on a compound in Nangarhar, a province in eastern Afghanistan, but officials said then that they weren'... More »

For All the World to See: Video Shows Massive Bomb Strike

DoD tweeted out 30-second video of bomb's drop in Afghanistan

(Newser) - The "mother of all bombs" was unleashed Thursday on an ISIS target, and by Friday morning, the Defense Department had a short video up on Twitter showing the strike. The 30-second clip was embedded in a tweet that described the strike as hitting "#ISIS cave and tunnel systems... More »

Mattis Breaks From Trump on Key Iraq Issue

Defense secretary assures Iraq we want to help beat ISIS, not take its oil

(Newser) - President Trump has noted more than once he thinks we should've taken Iraq's oil when we had the chance (and suggests that option may still be on the table), but his secretary of defense is pushing a different message—what the New York Times characterizes as comments that... More »

DOD Jumps Into Mystery of Vanished WWII Sailors

More than 130 deemed 'missing' after ship explosion could be in Long Island cemetery

(Newser) - Could we be one step closer to finding more than 130 US sailors who went missing after a World War II catastrophe? More than 70 years after the USS Turner exploded and sank near New York Harbor—leaving about half of the 300 or so men aboard alive, the other... More »

Trump Tower May Lease Space to Pentagon

Which, if that happens, raises new questions about president's conflicts of interest

(Newser) - Questions about presidential conflicts of interest resurfaced Wednesday after a Pentagon announcement that it's looking into leasing space in Trump Tower, the New York Times reports. DOD spokesman Lt. Col. JB Brindle said in a statement that, to "meet official mission requirements," it may be necessary to... More »

Military Uses Decade-Old Video to Justify Yemen Raid

It falsely claimed the video was recovered last Sunday

(Newser) - US Central Command said video posted to the Pentagon website this week was recovered during last Sunday's raid in Yemen and shows the kind of important al-Qaeda intelligence recovered during President Trump's first counter-terrorism operation, the Hill reports. There's only one problem: The video was actually recovered... More »

Pentagon Finds $125B in Internal Waste, Kills Report

DOD official was warned when requesting study: 'You are about to turn on the light in a very dark room'

(Newser) - The good news: A Pentagon-requested study on administrative waste turned up plenty of fodder for officials to work with in streamlining operations. The bad news: The study found so much internal waste—$125 billion worth—that Pentagon officials seemingly tried to squash it, based on interviews and secret memos seen... More »

Pentagon Ready to Lift Ban on Transgender Troops

It could happen within days, source says

(Newser) - The end of the Pentagon's ban on transgender troops serving openly could be just days away. It has been almost a year since Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered a review to determine whether lifting the ban would affect military readiness, and sources tell USA Today that the Pentagon will... More »

Pentagon Official in Trouble for Stealing License Plates

He left threatening note on nanny's car

(Newser) - A top Pentagon official known as a "stickler for the rules" almost ended up in prison for harassing a nanny who parked in his upscale Washington, DC, neighborhood, the Washington Post reports. Cops say Bryan Whitman stole the nanny's license plates three times in April after leaving a... More »

America's Nuke Program Runs on Floppy Disks

And not even the tiny ones

(Newser) - To anyone born after 1995, the floppy disk is better known as that thing that resembles the "save" icon. To the Pentagon, it's the gizmo that controls America's nukes. A report from the Government Accountability Office finds US government agencies spend $60 billion a year operating and... More »

Where Rebels Backed by CIA, Pentagon Fight Each Other

Yet another challenge in the disastrous Syrian war

(Newser) - Syrian militants backed by different arms of the US government have fought just outside Aleppo—a recent headache highlighting the difficulty of intruding on a disastrous war, the LA Times reports. Backed by the Pentagon, the Syrian Democratic Forces in February pushed the CIA-armed Knights of Righteousness out of the... More »

US: We Blew Up 150 Militants in Somalia

Pentagon says it destroyed al-Shabab's Raso Camp

(Newser) - A US airstrike using multiple drones and manned aircraft struck a training camp in Somalia Saturday, killing more than 150 al-Shabab fighters who were preparing to launch a large-scale attack, likely against African or US personnel, the Pentagon said Monday. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, says the US... More »

The Pentagon Wants You to Hack Its Websites

You'll have to pass a background check first

(Newser) - Get ready for "the first cyber bug bounty program in the history of the federal government." Beginning in April, American hackers who pass a background check will be able to access predetermined Web pages and networks of the Department of Defense in the hope that they'll find... More »

Pentagon Finally Releases Detainee Abuse Photos

The ACLU says the worst ones are being kept under wraps

(Newser) - After fighting an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for more than a decade, the Pentagon has finally released photos of Bush-era detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. But only 198 photos were released on Friday, mainly showing bruises and scrapes, and the military is still blocking... More »

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