Senate Armed Services Committee

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US General: We Might Need Ground Troops Against ISIS

Martin Dempsey says special circumstances might come up

(Newser) - President Obama has been adamant that American military intervention against ISIS will not involve US ground troops. But as it turns out, the people who will be doing the actual intervening aren't so sure about that. In testimony today before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff... More »

Military Chiefs: Sexual Assault 'Like a Cancer'

But commanders must keep their authority, they say

(Newser) - Lawmakers are attempting to deal with the apparent epidemic of sexual assault in the military, and some of the proposals currently wending their way through Congress would see commanders stripped of some authority. But at a Senate hearing on the matter today, though military leaders agreed that sexual assault within... More »

McCain, Hagel Spar Over Iraq

Defense nominee says he's still not sure the surge was worth it

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel got into a testy verbal sparring match with John McCain at his Armed Services Committee hearing today, with McCain demanding that Hagel admit he was wrong when he warned against the "surge" in Iraq. Hagel tried to prevaricate: "I would defer to the judgment of history,... More »

Chuck Hagel Hearing: What He'll Face

Unprecedented opposition campaign could make for an interesting vote

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel heads to Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing today, and one thing we can say with confidence: It won't be a John Kerry-esque cakewalk . Hagel's facing skepticism and outright opposition from both sides of the aisle over past stances, particularly on Israel and nuclear proliferation. But... More »

Senate Launches Zero Dark Thirty Investigation

Both to look into classified disclosures and torture scenes

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee is launching an investigation into the CIA's ties to Zero Dark Thirty, both to see if intelligence officials gave filmmakers access to classified material, and to see if they're responsible for the film's controversial depiction of torture as essential to Osama bin Laden'... More »

McCain: Classified Info Was Leaked to Boost Obama

He seeks Senate probe of New York Times stories

(Newser) - John McCain has accused the White House of deliberately leaking information that could jeopardize national security in order to "paint a portrait of the president of the United States as a strong leader on national security issues." The senator, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, has... More »

US Aircraft Riddled With Fake China Parts

Senate report finds 1,800 cases, blames crappy supply chain

(Newser) - The US military's planes and helicopters are full of counterfeit electronic parts, most of which originated in China, according to a new Senate report. The year-long Armed Services Committee probe identified 1,800 cases of fake parts being found in aircraft, particularly in Navy helicopters, cargo planes, and Poseidon... More »

Lawmakers Describe 'Gruesome' Osama Photos

'He's dead. He's gone ,' Sen. Inhofe says

(Newser) - The first lawmakers invited to see photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse say the gruesome photos are definite proof that the terrorist is dead. "That was him," Sen. Jim Inhofe, told CNN . "He is gone. He's history." The Republican says he saw 15 photos... More »

Senators to View bin Laden Death Photos

Raid intel providing new leads hourly

(Newser) - The CIA has invited selected senators to view the photos of Osama bin Laden's death that the White House has decided not to release to the public. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Senate Armed Services committee have been told that they can make an appointment with the... More »

Sen. Levin: Pakistan Has Tough Questions to Answer

Senators wonder how much nation's intelligence services knew

(Newser) - Pakistan is going to have to answer some tough questions about whether members of its military and intelligence services knew where Osama bin Laden was, warns Sen. Carl Levin. The Democrat, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggested that the security arms of the Pakistani government may have known... More »

Mullen: Repeal DADT; It's the 'Right Thing'

John McCain criticizes Pentagon report

(Newser) - As the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell report got under way today, Adm. Mike Mullen advocated for repeal of the policy. "I've been serving with gays and lesbians my whole career," said the Joint Chiefs chairman. "We never missed a... More »

Afghan Warlords, Insurgents Hired to Guard US Bases

Senate panel says lack of oversight creating 'grave risks' for US troops

(Newser) - American contractors in Afghanistan have hired security forces with links to the Taliban, warlords, and even Iranian intelligence services to guard US bases in Afghanistan, according to a Senate Armed Services Committee report. The report found that "systemic failures" exist in the Pentagon's oversight of Afghan guards and that... More »

Petraeus OK After Swoon During Hearing

Appeared to pass out during Senate testimony on Afghanistan

(Newser) - Gen. David Petraeus says he is "doing OK" after he appeared to pass out this morning during a hearing on Capitol Hill. "I just got a little dehydrated," the commander of US forces in Iran and Afghanistan tells CNN . "I ate a couple of bananas and... More »

Senate Panel OK's Ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

It's first formal step toward scrapping ban

(Newser) - The end is near, or nearer, for Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The Senate Armed Service Committee today approved a measure to scrap the ban on gays in the military, reports the Washington Post . It's the first step in a legislative compromise: The full House will vote tonight or tomorrow, and... More »

Blackwater Used South Park Alias to Grab Afghan Guns

Senate panel slams contractor's 'lawless' conduct

(Newser) - A Blackwater subsidiary operating in Afghanistan hired violent drug addicts to train Afghan forces and seized hundreds of guns intended for the Afghan police, a Senate panel has found. The probe, which criticized the US Army for turning a blind eye to Blackwater abuses, found that in one incident a... More »

Pentagon: Repealing 'Don't Ask' Is About 'Integrity'

Gates, Mullen tell senators the year-long process has begun

(Newser) - Rolling back Don't Ask, Don't Tell boils down to a simple matter of "integrity," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told senators today. Adm. Mike Mullen and defense secretary Robert Gates took to Capitol Hill to provide details on how the Pentagon is beginning a year-long... More »

GOP's Inhofe: 'I Believe in Racial And Ethnic Profiling'

And 'all terrorists are Muslims or Middle Easterners'

(Newser) - Republican James Inhofe is all for racial profiling, political correctness be damned, he told a Senate committee hearing today on the Fort Hood shootings. Why? Because “all terrorists are Muslims or Middle Easterners.” Check the video above for the Oklahoman’s statement. More »

Gates: Afghan Failure Means 'Civil War'

Troop surge is necessary to transition to humanitarian role

(Newser) - Defense chief Robert Gates and other members of the Obama administration took to Capitol Hill today to sell President Obama's plan to send 30,000 additional troops. "Failure in Afghanistan would mean a Taliban takeover of much, if not most, of the country and likely a renewed civil war,... More »

Hasan Sought to Turn in Patients for 'War Crimes'

Senate committee delays briefing on Fort Hood rampage

(Newser) - Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan repeatedly tried to have his patients prosecuted for “war crimes,” raising the issue with Army authorities a final time on Nov. 2—just 3 days before the Fort Hood massacre. In a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, Hasan asked superiors if he could legally pass... More »

Obama Looks to Lieberman to Lead 'Don't Ask' Repeal

Conn. independent has opposed policy on gays in military since '93

(Newser) - After President Obama's pledge this weekend to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the White House turned immediately to key senators on the Armed Services Committee—in particular Joe Lieberman. A House bill to repeal the policy has 177 sponsors, but the White House is eager for Senate legislation with bipartisan... More »

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