Department of Defense

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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 »

Government Twitter Accounts Are Continuing to Go Rogue

Even the Department of Defense is getting in on it

(Newser) - Taking a cue from Badlands National Park, which tweeted out a series of now-deleted facts about climate change Tuesday, a number of other parks and government agencies are tweeting in subtle resistance to President Trump, the AP reports. Redwood National Park tweeted that redwood groves are the best way to... More »

Army's New Push: Ammo That Grows Plants

It wants biodegradable bullets for training grounds

(Newser) - At US military training facilities, spent shell casings are scattered across proving grounds, many buried several inches below ground. What if they were biodegradable and contained seeds that would sprout into beneficial plants over time? It may sound a bit utopian, but the US Department of Defense has just released... 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 »

US Sending 560 More Troops to Iraq

And getting ready to take Mosul back from ISIS

(Newser) - The US will send 560 more troops to Iraq to help recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday on an unannounced visit to the country. Most of the new troops will be devoted to the buildup of the newly retaken Qayara air base, about 40... 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 »

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 Chief Also Used His Personal Email

Ash Carter kept it up even after Clinton controversy

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Ashton Carter used a personal email account for government business—or, as it's now known, "pulled a Hillary Clinton"—for months after taking the Pentagon's top job earlier this year, a New York Times investigation reveals. Carter, who became defense chief in February, continued... More »

Pentagon Blew $150M on Afghan Villas, Fine Dining

Cost would have been closer to ... nothing, had staff stayed at military base

(Newser) - First the Pentagon poured $43 million into an Afghan gas station that should've cost $500,000. Now it's under fire for putting up a "handful" of staff and visitors in private Afghan villas, as well as shelling out for private bodyguards and fine dining—running up a... More »

Pentagon Paid Sports Teams to Stage Patriotic Events

Report blasts spending as 'inappropriate and frivolous'

(Newser) - Does your heart swell with pride when an American flag is unfurled at a major sporting event? If so, know that you paid for the sensation. The Pentagon has shelled out about $10 million to sports franchises over the past five years for advertising and promotion, including $6.8 million... More »

Feds Built $43M Gas Station in Afghanistan: Watchdog

And it's not clear if it's still operational

(Newser) - A watchdog report has some thrilling news for taxpayers: $43 million of your hard-earned money went toward building a single gas station in Afghanistan with an initial budget of $3 million. If that's not bad enough, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says the Department of Defense has... More »

Obama Orders Supercomputer 30 Times Faster Than All Others

President signs executive order calling for astonishingly fast exascale machine

(Newser) - If something called the National Strategic Computing Initiative sounds like a big deal, that's because it is. The White House yesterday announced an executive order from President Obama describing the NSCI plan, a joint effort of the Department of Energy, Defense Department, and the National Science Foundation, Motherboard reports.... 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 »

Military Lab Accidentally Ships Live Anthrax

Samples went from Utah to labs around country, plus one in South Korea

(Newser) - Workers at a commercial lab in Maryland got an unwelcome surprise upon receiving a sample of supposedly dead anthrax from the military. The spores were very much alive, reports CNN . It turns out that an Army lab in Dugway, Utah, shipped out samples to labs in nine states over the... More »

Report: Psych Group Helped Bush Justify Torture

APA propped up Bush administration's interrogation program, critics say

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA prisoner torture caused a massive stir in December, and now that pot is boiling over once more. A report by a group of what the New York Times calls "dissident health professionals and human rights activists" claims that the American Psychological... More »

Ex-Blackwater Firm Makes Millions in Futile Fight on Afghan Drugs

Guardian: Academi pulled in $569M to kill Afghan narcotics industry, which is thriving

(Newser) - The company formerly known as Blackwater has pulled in a pretty penny from US taxpayers in its Pentagon-supported drive to flush out the Afghan narcotics industry: Nearly $570 million from fiscal 2002 to September 2013 was funneled to the firm now known as Academi—about 32% of the $1.8... More »

These Troops Go Behind Enemy Lines to Check the Weather

Air Force's combat weathermen can make or break a critical mission

(Newser) - Before US special operations forces raided the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding out in 2011, there was likely at least one other type of specialist with boots on the ground: a weatherman. The Air Force's SOWTs—special operations weather technicians—are some of the military's... More »

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