Pentagon

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$21M US Drone Crashes in Iraq, Guy Gets a Selfie

Spy drone conducting surveillance went down due to 'technical complications'

(Newser) - Pictures started circulating online this week of what looked like a US Army drone sitting in the middle of the Iraqi desert, and yesterday the Pentagon confirmed that's indeed what it is, the Verge reports. A US Central Command spokesman told BuzzFeed that an MQ-1 surveillance drone crashed on... More »

Pentagon: Let's End Transgender Ban in the Military

But military chiefs want time to sort out details

(Newser) - The Pentagon's current regulations banning transgender individuals from serving in the military are outdated, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today, ordering a six-month study aimed at formally ending one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service. Carter says he is creating a working group that will... More »

China's Snagging Our Defensive Edge: Pentagon

Which is why we need to step it up, Robert Work says

(Newser) - The Pentagon is digging deeper in its push for new air and space technologies as China threatens to unseat the US as king of the skies. Speaking with aerospace experts at the China Aerospace Studies Initiative, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work says the US' rival is "quickly closing the... More »

We're Spending $9M a Day to Fight ISIS

Pentagon releases first detailed breakdown of costs

(Newser) - The US has spent more than $2.7 billion on the war against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria since bombings began last August, and the average daily cost is now more than $9 million, the Pentagon said yesterday. Releasing a detailed breakdown of the costs for the first time,... More »

Pentagon Spouses May Want to Check Work Credit Cards

Audit turns up $1M in charges to casinos, escorts

(Newser) - An audit of government credit cards issued to Pentagon employees turned up a strange thing: lots of charges for gambling, prostitutes, and strip clubs, reports Politico . Specifically, the audit found more than $1 million in such charges from July 2013 to July 2014, with the bulk of that total, $952,... More »

Pentagon: Truly, We Promise Not to Invade Texas

Spokesman debunks still-growing rumors about Jade Helm 15

(Newser) - If you haven't heard of the paranoia fest known as Jade Helm 15 yet, yesterday's announcement from the Pentagon might seem a little weird: It swears it doesn't plan to take over Texas and impose martial law. A spokesman felt compelled to officially tamp down those rumors,... More »

Gillibrand: Military Not 'Being Honest' About Sex Assaults

NY senator says brass is not providing data, overlooking civilian assaults

(Newser) - The number of sex-related crimes occurring in US military communities is far greater than the Defense Department has publicly reported, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said today in a scathing critique that asserts the Pentagon has refused to provide her information about sexual assaults at several major bases. The spouses... More »

Pentagon: ISIS Is Losing Serious Ground

In Iraq, anyway; Syria's a different story

(Newser) - Iraqi forces have retaken about a quarter of the territory ISIS seized last year, according to an encouraging Pentagon analysis—some 5,000 to 6,500 square miles in the country's north and center, reports USA Today . "[ISIS] is no longer the dominant force in roughly 25% to... More »

Missing in Yemen: $500M in US Weapons

After rebel takeover, Pentagon unsure of military aid's fate

(Newser) - With Yemen deep in turmoil and the US Embassy closed , American officials admit that they have no way of knowing what has happened to approximately $500 million in US weapons and equipment that the Pentagon has supplied to the country since 2007. "We have to assume it's completely... More »

US Allows Sale of Armed Drones to Other Nations

State Department promises to vet sales carefully to prevent abuses

(Newser) - If you were still skeptical about the future of drones, this should take care of that: Arms manufacturers can now get in on the action. The White House said today that it will allow the export of armed drones to other nations, reports the Washington Post . The newspaper calls the... More »

Iraq Army Fends Off ISIS Fighters in Iraqi Uniforms

US forces were far from attack on airbase

(Newser) - Some 20 to 25 ISIS fighters clad in Iraq Army uniforms descended on an Iraqi base yesterday, but Iraqi forces were able to defeat them, ABC News reports. An ISIS group wearing suicide vests were first to attack the base; CBS News reports that eight suicide bombers made their way... More »

Obama's 4th Defense Chief Is Confirmed

Senate votes yes on Ashton Carter, 93-5

(Newser) - The Senate easily confirmed Ashton Carter as defense secretary today, and while he's got plenty of international problems to wrestle with, the Wall Street Journal suggests that his biggest challenge might be overcoming White House micromanagement. Predecessors Robert Gates and Leon Panetta complained of it, and Chuck Hagel was... More »

US Drone Program Caught in 'Perfect Storm'

Air Force has 7 pilots per 8 positions needed: report

(Newser) - The US Air Force has enough drones for its needs—but it doesn't have enough pilots to use them effectively, the Daily Beast reports. While the US faces a formidable enemy in ISIS, the fleet is at the "breaking point," with Pentagon requests exceeding Air Force capacity,... More »

Pentagon: Airstrike Targets Somali Terror Leader

Attacked aimed at al-Shabab leader in Somalia, officials say

(Newser) - A US airstrike in Somalia targeted a senior leader of the al-Shabab extremist group, the Pentagon said today. It did not identify the leader or say whether the strike was successful. In a brief written statement, the Pentagon said the airstrike took place today in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia.... More »

Caterer Fined $389M in Years-Long Pentagon Scam

Supreme Group pleads guilty to $48M fraud

(Newser) - A firm that until last year provided food and water to 130,000 US soldiers in Afghanistan has pleaded guilty to fraud. Supreme Group, according to court papers, "devised and implemented a scheme to overcharge the United States" in an $8.8 billion contract, the Justice Department says in... More »

Obama Nominates Ashton Carter for Defense Secretary

Pentagon vet will 'hit the ground running,' president says

(Newser) - We're one step closer to finding Chuck Hagel' s replacement: President Obama announced today he's nominating Pentagon ace Ashton Carter to take over as secretary of defense, the AP reports. Although some fear that Carter's insider status may hamper his ability to come up with creative solutions... More »

Obama Picks Pentagon Nominee: Report

Ashton Carter has worked quietly behind the scenes until now

(Newser) - President Obama has apparently chosen a new candidate for Pentagon chief—a relative unknown on the national stage who worked as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's "alter ego" for about two years. That candidate is Ashton Carter, whose public profile was boosted by his role in planning the... More »

Next Pentagon Chief Could Be a Woman

Michèle Flournoy has been the department's highest-ranking woman

(Newser) - Following Chuck Hagel's exit as defense secretary, the obvious question is who might replace him. One leading possibility: former undersecretary of defense for policy Michèle Flournoy—the defense department's highest-ranking woman ever, ABC News reports. She stepped down in 2012 and now heads a nonpartisan national security... More »

On Pentagon's Wish List: Building a 'Mothership'

So far, it's just at the drawing stage

(Newser) - In the latest effort to make reality out of what is currently science fiction, US officials are looking into the possibility of building a mothership: a large aircraft from which smaller ones take off. "This is the float-the-idea stage of the concept. It's not the build-me-a-prototype stage,"... More »

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Military Threat

Chuck Hagel releases report at meeting in Peru

(Newser) - The Pentagon released a report today saying US military strategy must adapt to climate change because it's threatening national security, the New York Times reports. Disease, rising waters, food shortages, violent storms, droughts, and worldwide poverty could undermine US security by creating instability and mass migration, according to the... More »

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