Chuck Hagel

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US to Screen Long-Ignored Iraq Vets for Chemical Exposure

Pentagon orders medical exams, monitoring for troops exposed in Iraq

(Newser) - Beginning in early 2015, the Pentagon will offer medical exams and health monitoring for US troops and veterans exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, the New York Times reports. The new measure comes as part of a review from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after a Times investigation earlier this month... More »

US Military to Train Ebola 'Strike Team'

Chuck Hagels orders creation of team for domestic Ebola cases

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the US, the Pentagon announced today. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team drawn from... More »

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Military Threat

Chuck Hagel releases report at meeting in Peru

(Newser) - The Pentagon released a report today saying US military strategy must adapt to climate change because it's threatening national security, the New York Times reports. Disease, rising waters, food shortages, violent storms, droughts, and worldwide poverty could undermine US security by creating instability and mass migration, according to the... More »

US Airstrikes Hit ISIS Near Critical Iraq Dam

Militants were trying to capture Haditha Dam

(Newser) - The US military today launched airstrikes around Haditha Dam in western Iraq, targeting Islamic State insurgents there for the first time in a move to prevent the group from capturing the vital dam. The strikes represented a broadening of the US campaign against the Islamic State militants, moving the military... More »

Biden: We'll Chase ISIS to 'Gates of Hell'

While Hagel reiterates that US will 'degrade and destroy' the group

(Newser) - Joe Biden today said America will follow the terrorists who posted videos showing the beheading of two journalists "to the gates of hell." Speaking at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Biden said the Islamic State militant group responsible for beheading James Foley and Steven Sotloff won't intimidate the... More »

Marines Helicopter Crashes With 25 on Board

But all are rescued in Gulf of Aden

(Newser) - Close call in the Arabian Sea: A group of 17 Marines and eight Navy sailors avoided serious injury today when their helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Aden, the Navy says. The CH-53E Super Stallion—a Marine Corps helicopter—was trying to land on the USS Mesa Verde's deck... More »

Pentagon: To Get ISIS, We'd Have to Strike Syria

Chuck Hagel calls Islamic State 'beyond anything we've seen'

(Newser) - In a Pentagon briefing today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said US airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but he expects Islamic State militants will regroup and stage a new offensive. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said it's possible to contain the Islamic... More »

Military Lets Its Hair (Policy) Down, OKs Dreadlocks

Military branches to update grooming rules; old ones dubbed racist

(Newser) - The Pentagon is rolling back its grip on how military personnel wear their hair, and will now allow twisted braids, dreadlocks, and cornrows after complaints that banning them was racist, the Virginian-Pilot reports. "Each service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting... More »

Hagel Grilled on Bergdahl: 5 Standout Lines

He appears before House Armed Services Committee

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today became the first Obama administration official to testify publicly about the controversial decision to swap Bowe Bergdahl for five Gitmo prisoners, and the New York Times reports that he "wrote almost every word of his opening statement himself," canning his speechwriters' suggestions and... More »

White House: We Thought Bergdahl Would Be Killed

Says it bypassed Congress because of threats by Taliban

(Newser) - The Obama administration has told senators it didn't notify Congress about the pending swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials because the Taliban had threatened to kill him if the deal was made public before it happened. That's according to three congressional officials who spoke to... More »

GOP Rips Bergdahl Deal: 'We Have Now Set a Price'

Susan Rice again sent to face fallout for White House

(Newser) - Republicans are weighing in on the US-Taliban trade that yesterday set POW Bowe Bergdahl free, and they are decidedly not in favor. A sample of reactions on today's talk shows, as per Politico :
  • Mike Rogers : "The No. 1 way that al-Qaeda raises money is by ransom—kidnapping and
... More »

Hagel: Bergdahl's Life Was at Risk, So We Moved

Defense chief meets with special forces team that helped rescue

(Newser) - Bowe Bergdahl's "safety and health were both in jeopardy, and in particular his health was deteriorating," says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is on the ground in Afghanistan this morning dealing with the aftermath of yesterday's rescue of the Army sergeant held captive for five years... More »

US Confirms Russian Troops Pulling Back, But...

...thousands remain at Ukraine border

(Newser) - US defense officials said while aboard a US military aircraft yesterday that Russia has pulled most of its forces away from the Ukraine border, a withdrawal that the US has been demanding for weeks. They said about seven battalions remained, amounting to a couple thousand troops. US officials had estimated... More »

After 20-Somethings Die, Army Fires Hospital Chief

Womack Medical Center had been cited for surgical infection control before

(Newser) - The US Army fired the commander of the Womack Army Medical Center yesterday, following the deaths of two patients in their 20s over the past 10 days. Both deaths were attributed to lapses in surgical infection control—something inspectors had dinged Womack for in March, the New York Times reports.... More »

Next Stop for Chelsea Manning: Civilian Prison?

Pentagon weighs transgender inmate's request

(Newser) - Chelsea Manning won't be allowed out of the military until she finishes her 35-year sentence for passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, but she could be on her way to a civilian prison soon. The Pentagon is trying to transfer the soldier formerly known as Bradley to a federal prison... More »

Now Under Review: Military Hairstyles

Twists, dreads were largely banned in rules some complain targeted black women

(Newser) - The military increasingly has abandoned its one-size-fits-all haircut as the face of the American soldier has diversified, but new rules on hair sparked a furor amid concerns that they unfairly restricted black women. Now Chuck Hagel has ordered a review "to ensure standards are fair and respectful of our... More »

US Sends Warships to Japan as Tensions Rise

Chuck Hagel gives warning to China on 10-day Asia trip

(Newser) - Visiting Japan today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US is sending two more ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter a possible North Korean attack, the AP reports. But he saved his sharpest remarks for China, linking Russia's takeover of Crimea with China's aggressive behavior in a... More »

Army Ousts 588 From Key Jobs in Sex Assault Review

They're accused of everything from sexual assault to drunk driving

(Newser) - The Army has kicked 588 soldiers out of "positions of trust"—jobs that include sexual assault counselors , recruiters , and drill sergeants—following a review prompted by a spike in sexual assaults. The soldiers were accused of a range of misconduct that included not just assaults, but things like... More »

Pentagon's Plan: Cut Army to Pre-WWII Level

Hagel budget moves military off 'war footing'

(Newser) - The US Army may soon shrink to a level not seen since before it geared up to fight Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan simultaneously. In a spending proposal to be unveiled today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlines plans to cut the Army to around 450,000 soldiers, its lowest level... 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 »

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