NEWS ABOUT: Chuck Hagel

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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 »

Defense Chief Apologizes to Medal of Honor Soldier

We lost your paperwork, says Chuck Hagel

(Newser) - Yesterday, Former Army Capt. William Swenson got the Medal of Honor for bravery from President Obama. Today, Swenson got a personal apology from the secretary of defense for taking so long to recognize his actions, reports the AP . Defense chief Chuck Hagel said Swenson's paperwork got lost in the... More »

Number of Furloughed Workers Just Got Cut in Half

Pentagon ordering about 400K back to work

(Newser) - About half of the 800,000 federal workers furloughed this week because of the government shutdown were civilians who worked for the Defense Department. And now the Pentagon is ordering most of them back to work on Monday, reports the AP . Defense chief Chuck Hagel says he can make the... More »

Ted Cruz Making Enemies on Both Sides of the Aisle

Frank Bruni thinks it will backfire; Dana Milbank blames GOP's own system

(Newser) - Ted Cruz is taking the "fast track" to Senate stardom, and that means capitalizing on conflict, writes Frank Bruni in the New York Times . He hasn't been around long, but he's already made "groundless and shameless" accusations against Chuck Hagel, offered Dianne Feinstein some constitutional pedantry,... More »

In Shooting's Wake, US Puts Security Under Microscope

Plus: Aaron Alexis was barred from buying assault rifle

(Newser) - As concerns grow over contractors' access to military bases, Washington is ordering at least three reviews of security practices. The White House is calling for a new look at "standards for contractors and employees across federal agencies," according to press secretary Jay Carney. Meanwhile, defense secretary Chuck Hagel... More »

Kerry: We Can't Be 'Spectators'

Hagel tells lawmakers of 'risks with inaction'

(Newser) - John Kerry and defense chief Chuck Hagel were on Capitol Hill today making the case for a military strike on Syria. "This debate is about the world's red line," said Kerry. It is "a red line that anyone with a conscience ought to draw." Some... More »

Syria Readies for US Strike

Which Congress won't vote on til next week

(Newser) - If you spent your Labor Day weekend in a news-free zone, here's the biggest detail you missed: President Obama on Saturday announced he would seek congressional approval before striking Syria, which means nothing will happen until Congress returns Monday. Except, of course, there's a flurry of activity already... More »

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