Pentagon

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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 »

Did a Dull-Sounding Navy Office Go Rogue?

Court documents dig into $1.6M purchase of unmarked silencers

(Newser) - There's a little-known, civilian-run Navy office in the Pentagon that's meant to provide "programmatic oversight" of intelligence operations—but as the Washington Post puts it, "some of its activities have fallen into a gray area, crossing into more active involvement with secret missions." According to... More »

US Blew Millions Shipping Military Trucks: Report

GAO report suggests it would have been cheaper to just blow them up

(Newser) - It would've been more financially prudent to blow up now-useless US military vehicles used in Afghanistan instead of what the Pentagon actually did: ship them back home. A GAO report released yesterday and cited in USA Today says that from October 2012 to October 2013, the Army and Marines... More »

US Considers Military Action in Syria

White House signals that a range of options being considered

(Newser) - The first signal came earlier this week, in the wake of the James Foley execution , when Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey said Islamic State militants could not be defeated without taking the fight to them in Syria . Now the White House is considering doing exactly that, according to reports in... More »

US Hit 90 Targets in Mosul Dam Fight: Pentagon

President calls recapture of dam a 'major step forward'

(Newser) - President Obama hailed the recapture of Mosul dam today as a "major step forward" as a barrage of US airstrikes helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces score the biggest victory of its counteroffensive against the Islamic State militants. Obama also urged the badly fractured and largely dysfunctional Iraqi government to... More »

US Launches Airstrikes on Iraq Militants

American jets hit Islamic State artillery near Irbil

(Newser) - The US launched airstrikes against Iraq's Islamic State militants this morning. "US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery," tweeted Rear Adm. John Kirby. "Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending (Irbil), near US personnel." He confirms that F/A-18 jets dropped a pair of laser-guided... More »

Pentagon Aims to Train Small Syria Opposition Force

Program could start next year, slowly expand

(Newser) - The Pentagon has a plan to train some moderate opposition fighters in Syria, but it may struggle to win congressional approval. Administration officials want to start small, training just 2,300 people; the program would be "scalable" from there, a top defense official tells the Wall Street Journal . It... More »

Pentagon: Bergdahl Back on Active Duty

Set to meet with officer investigating his disappearance

(Newser) - After weeks of counseling , Bowe Bergdahl has returned to active duty, the Defense Department announced today, according to the AP . His exact duties haven't been disclosed yet, but according to the New York Times he'll live in barracks at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, where his therapy... More »

US Grounds Entire F-35 Fleet

Runway fire is new setback for $400B program

(Newser) - A new setback for the Pentagon's costliest weapons program: The military's entire fleet of 97 F-35 fighter jets has been grounded while the military probes a runway fire on one of the jets last month, reports CNN . "Additional inspections of F-35 engines have been ordered, and return... More »

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