Department of Defense

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After Child Deaths in Yemen, Democrats Write 3 Letters

House and Senate Democrats want info on US involvement in Yemen airstrikes

(Newser) - Three letters over the last three days. That's how many messages House and Senate Democrats have penned this week demanding the US be forthcoming with information on its involvement in Yemen after an airstrike there last week killed at least 40 kids . Critics say there could be thousands of... More »

Pentagon's Top Rep Probed Over Alleged Misuse of Staff

Dana White allegedly had staffers fetch her drycleaning, buy her pantyhose

(Newser) - The story of an allegedly inappropriate boss is garnering national headlines due to who she is: the Pentagon's top spokeswoman. CNN reports the Defense Department Office of Inspector General has been investigating Dana White, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, for a number of weeks... More »

Fitbits Pose 'Increased Risk' for Deployed Troops: DOD

Department of Defense says GPS data from fitness trackers too sensitive, bans them

(Newser) - The Pentagon has restricted the use of fitness trackers by deployed personnel after an app revealed the movement of troops in sensitive areas. Per CNN , Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan issued a memo barring use of the technology six months after a fitness tracking company called Strava released a global... More »

US Army Discharging Immigrants Without Explanation

Army, Pentagon cite a pending lawsuit

(Newser) - Some immigrant US Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged. The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say... More »

US Pacific Command Has a New Name

Name change is 'symbolic nod' to ally

(Newser) - The US military's largest unified combatant command has a new name that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says honors the "increasing connectivity of the Indian and Pacific Oceans." Mattis announced Wednesday that US Pacific Command will now be known as US Indo-Pacific Command, CNN reports. "It is... More »

This Could Be US Military's Next Wild Weapon

Lasers that can mimic human voices and be projected miles away

(Newser) - The Pentagon is working on a funky new weapon that is, in the words of the estimable Popular Mechanics , "profoundly weird." In short, military scientists aim to use lasers to create what sound like human voices that could be projected afar. These "voices" could then be used... More »

Ex-Chief of Pentagon's UFO Program: We May Not Be Alone

Luis Elizondo, now in private sector, says US is ignoring a potential security threat

(Newser) - How's this for a bold statement on alien life: "My personal belief is that there is very compelling evidence that we may not be alone." It comes not from a conspiracist in a tinfoil hat but from the former Pentagon official who ran the Defense Department's... More »

Pentagon Never Admitted Having Secret UFO Program. Until Now

'What was considered science fiction is now science fact'

(Newser) - The truth, as they say, is out there. In 2007, former senator Harry Reid—along with former senators Ted Stevens and Daniel Inouye—used "so-called black money" to secretly fund a program inside the Defense Department to study and investigate reports of UFOs, particularly from US military personnel. Despite... More »

2,400 Auditors Are About to Descend on the Pentagon

Department of Defense is being audited for 1st time ever

(Newser) - The Department of Defense had a budget of $590 billion last year and will have one of nearly $700 billion next year. It has an estimated $2.4 trillion in assets. And yet the department has never been audited. That finally changes this month when the Pentagon undergoes its first-ever... More »

Pentagon Retweets Call for Trump to Resign

Spokesperson says message was 'erroneously retweeted'

(Newser) - See, this is why all those Twitter profiles are sure to note that retweets do not equal endorsements. CBS News reports the Pentagon's official Twitter account on Thursday retweeted a tweet calling for President Trump's resignation. "GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue," tweeted "... More »

US Hasn't Shown Military Bands Are Worth the Bill

GAO demands performance measures, Pentagon to oblige

(Newser) - A $437 million annual budget is allotted for US military bands. While that's less than 0.1% of the Department of Defense's total budget, it's also about as much as Latvia's entire defense budget, reports Fox News . The funds pay for instruments—the Air Force requested... More »

Pentagon Memo Alleges Body of John Glenn Was Mistreated

Dover Air Force Base branch chief allegedly offered peeks of body

(Newser) - Between John Glenn's Dec. 8 death and his April 6 burial at Arlington National Cemetery, his body was housed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to "ensure an increased level of privacy and security for a renowned public servant," says a Pentagon rep. That's not... More »

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 »

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