Department of Defense

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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 »

US Troops to Train Syrian Rebels for ISIS Takedown

Train-and-equip plan for moderate Syrian opposition designed to derail insurgents

(Newser) - In continuing efforts to thwart Islamic militants in Syria, the US Defense Department confirmed last night that it's sending 400 troops to train moderate Syrian opposition, Army Times reports. Trainers will set up shop in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, with the six- to eight-week training sessions tentatively set... 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 »

Pentagon Gifts Cops French Horns, Personal TVs

Defense Department also gave Calif. police ... snow gear

(Newser) - Just what Los Angeles County police need: 500 snowshoes and 1,600 parkas. Need aside, that's what they were handed by the Defense Department in March, according to a breakdown of $4.3 billion in surplus military supplies sent to police departments across the country since 1997. Think that'... 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 »

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 »

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