Department of Defense

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Panetta: Obama 'Lost His Way,' 'Lacks Fire'

Ex-CIA, DoD head describes frustration in new memoir

(Newser) - The man who ran the CIA from 2009 to 2011 and the Pentagon from 2011 to 2013 has got some pretty scathing things to say about his old boss in his new memoir, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, and in interviews with USA Today and... 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 »

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 »

Government Trying to Fix Our Memories

Pentagon invests $40M in research into implants

(Newser) - It sounds like something out of a sci-fi flick: Direct brain recording, a shorthand for probing the brain to listen to its chatter. But the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is dedicating $40 million to this high-tech field to help the estimated 270,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war... More »

Secret Tapes of Gitmo Force-Feedings Do Exist

Well, at least tapes of one detainee being force-fed

(Newser) - In an unprecedented ruling, non-government officials have been given the go-ahead to view secret recordings that depict force-feedings at Guantanamo Bay—a ruling that by its nature establishes the fact that these tapes actually do exist, reports the Guardian . A federal judge yesterday ruled that lawyers for Abu Wa’el... More »

15 of US' Benghazi Sources Have Been Killed

Senate report also concludes that consulate attack was 'preventable'

(Newser) - The US government didn't do enough to prevent the attack on the Benghazi consulate, a long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report concludes. The bipartisan report chastises the CIA for operating out of a different building than the State Department—a facility the military didn't even know about, the Washington ... More »

Top Gun Inspiration Makes History at Pentagon

Christine Fox is acting No. 2, highest defense post ever held by a woman

(Newser) - For someone who has spent a chunk of her career in the wonky position of budget strategist for the Pentagon, Christine Fox now has two decidedly unwonky gems on her resume:
  • President Obama today appointed her as the acting No. 2 at the Pentagon, an "unprecedented move" that gives
... More »

Military's Budget Plan: Cut Pay, Benefits

Defense Dept. looking at options as budget set to shrink

(Newser) - It's long seemed unthinkable, but US military personnel could soon see cuts to their pay and benefits. Top commanders are considering such cuts as they deal with a decreasing budget, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chair said this weekend. While acknowledging that "we can't pay [soldiers] enough,... More »

CIA's 'Inhumane' Torturers? Doctors

New report finds disturbing ethical violations

(Newser) - The doctor's ethical directive, "first do no harm," would seem to not-so-subtly indicate that medical professionals not engage in torture ... but an independent taskforce finds that the CIA and the Pentagon asked doctors and psychologists working at US detention facilities (including Guantanamo Bay) to do just that.... More »

US Plan to Arm Syria Rebels Gets a Boost

But Pentagon cites continuing concerns

(Newser) - Last month, the White House said it planned to arm Syrian rebels —but members of Congress haven't been thrilled with the idea. Now, however, Capitol Hill seems to be coming around, Reuters reports. Despite "strong reservations ... We got a consensus that we could move forward with the... More »

Socialite Sues FBI, Pentagon in Petraeus Scandal

Jill Kelley says officials deliberately leaked false info

(Newser) - The Florida socialite whose complaints about threatening emails ended up exposing David Petraeus' affair with his biographer is suing the FBI and the Department of Defense for leaking her name—and "false and defamatory" information about her. Jill Kelley's lawsuit says she and her husband were dragged into... More »

Military's Latest Sex Scandal: Recruiters

Defense Dept. has promised to address

(Newser) - The latest sex crime scandal for the military involves recruiters, the Washington Post reports in a detailed look at some of the cases of sexual assault and rape found in its ranks recently. One example: An Air Force recruiter is charged with raping or committing other crimes over three years... More »

After Closest Vote Ever, Chuck Hagel Sworn In

He'll next address Pentagon workers

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel's 58-41 confirmation vote wasn't just close; it was the closest ever for a defense secretary, notes Reuters , with just four Republicans voting in favor of the Republican, who was sworn in this morning. The closed-door ceremony will be followed by an address to Pentagon workers at... More »

5 Cuts Pentagon Should Make Now

Start with the F-35 mistake: Paul Barrett

(Newser) - To hear the Pentagon tell it, the looming sequester cuts will hurt military readiness and put the nation at genuine risk. "Flapdoodle," writes Paul Barrett at Businessweek . "The military is manufacturing a crisis to protect its wasteful, bloated, poorly designed budget." He suggests five cuts the... More »

Hagel Nomination Clears Filibuster

Senate will vote to confirm in a matter of hours

(Newser) - The Senate has voted 71-27 to end debate on Chuck Hagel's nomination for secretary of Defense, paving the way for his all-but-guaranteed confirmation later this afternoon. Republicans had been filibustering Hagel's nomination, with the last vote to end debate on Feb. 14 falling just short of the 60-vote... More »

New Drone Medal's Rank 'Degrading', Say Veterans

Award for remote control operators outranks combat medals like Bronze Star

(Newser) - The Pentagon's new medal for drone operators has sparked a backlash from veterans whose medals were earned on the battlefield but are ranked lower than the Distinguished Warfare Medal, the Military Times reports. The new medal is higher in the military's "order of precedence" than the Bronze... More »

Drone Pilots Eligible for New Military Medal

New Pentagon honor doesn't require being on battlefield

(Newser) - They fight the war from computer consoles and video screens. The troops that launch the drone strikes and direct the cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy may never set foot in the combat zone, but now their battlefield contributions can be recognized. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced today... More »

Pentagon to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

Panetta announcement expected this week

(Newser) - In another big step forward for gay rights in the military, the Pentagon is planning to extend certain benefits to the same-sex partners of military personnel. The new benefits are expected to include housing benefits and access to facilities like spouses' clubs, but many more benefits will be out of... 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 »

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