Defense Dept

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National Guard Has New Rules for Use in DC

Approval responsibility shifts to defense secretary

(Newser) - The Pentagon said Thursday it has streamlined the approval process for urgent use of National Guard forces in the District of Columbia, after months of study following the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. The changes give the defense secretary sole authority to approve requests that would involve DC...

Trump's Ex-DOD Chief Sues Pentagon Over Memoir

Mark Esper says Defense Department is blocking parts of his manuscript it thought were 'too candid'

(Newser) - Mark Esper's memoir, A Sacred Oath, is due out in May from William Morrow, but readers may not see everything he originally included in its pages, thanks to the Pentagon. The former defense secretary in the Trump administration is now suing the agency he once led, claiming that sections...

Suicides Increase, Puzzling Military

Possible contributors include pandemic and war-zone stress

(Newser) - The number of US military suicides jumped by 15% last year, fueled by significant increases in the Army and Marine Corps that senior leaders called troubling. They urged more effort to reverse the trend, the AP reports. According to data released Thursday, there were 580 suicides last year compared with...

Researchers See Signs of New Nuclear Missile Silos in China

This is what we've been warning about, Defense Department says

(Newser) - For the second time this summer, satellite images seem to show a field of silos under construction that could launch nuclear missiles. Researchers from the Federation of American Scientists spotted the construction in the western province of Xinjiang, the BBC reports. They saw sites for 14 silos, just under two...

FEMA Asked DOD for Help on Vaccines. The DOD Delivered

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has OK'd the deployment of 1K troops to vaccination sites

(Newser) - The Pentagon will deploy troops to assist getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, the White House said Friday. Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, per the AP . It means about 1,000 active-duty military...

From All 10 Ex-Defense Secretaries, an 'Exceptional' Op-Ed

They note Biden has won, warn the military has no place getting involved in any election disputes

(Newser) - "The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived." So reads an unusual op-ed that appeared Sunday in the Washington Post , co-signed by all 10 living ex-defense secretaries. The...

Biden's Pentagon Pick Already Controversial

Lloyd Austin is only recently retired from the military

(Newser) - President-elect Biden will nominate retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin to be secretary of defense, according to four people familiar with the decision who spoke to the AP . If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would be the first Black leader of the Pentagon. Biden selected Austin over the longtime...

Flournoy May Not Be a Shoo-In for Defense After All

Sources tell Politico that Biden is still mulling his options for defense secretary

(Newser) - President-elect Joe Biden is hard at work making picks for his administration, with reports already circulating on his choices for secretary of state, Homeland Security chief, and director of national intelligence, among others. But one key role tied to national security is still up in the air: secretary of defense,...

Frontrunner for Biden Defense Chief Would Make History

Michele Flournoy, who served at Pentagon under Obama, would be first woman in role

(Newser) - As President-elect Biden starts to make picks for his administration, one name being floated for a Cabinet position would be a historic one. The Hill reports that a frontrunner to head the Defense Department is Michele Flournoy, who served as the department's undersecretary of defense for policy under President...

Under Fire, Trump Gives Reprieve to Military Paper

'Stars and Stripes' had been told to shut down this month

(Newser) - President Trump said Friday that he won't allow the Pentagon to cut funding for Stars and Stripes, effectively halting the plan to shut the military paper down this month. "The United States of America will NOT be cutting funding to @starsandstripes magazine under my watch," Trump tweeted...

Stars and Stripes Newspaper Is Ordered to Shut Down

Members of Congress are trying to keep independent military paper going

(Newser) - Stars and Stripes, the independent military newspaper that's informed the troops while sometimes being a thorn in the side of the brass since the Civil War, has been told to close up shop. The Trump administration proposed slashing its $15.5 million funding in February, Axios reports, but the...

Congress May Make Exception to Honor an Iraqi War Hero

Alwyn Cashe died after pulling others from burning vehicle in Iraq

(Newser) - Fifteen years after his act of heroism in Iraq, time has officially run out to posthumously award Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe the Medal of Honor. But the Defense Department hopes to make that happen anyway, assuming Congress grants a waiver of the five-year time limit, the Washington Post reports....

Pentagon Bans Confederate Flag, but Not in a Typical Way

New policy lists what flags can be shown at military installations, not which ones can't

(Newser) - After weeks of wrangling, the Pentagon on Friday will ban displays of the Confederate flag on military installations, in a carefully worded policy that doesn't mention the word "ban" or that specific flag. The policy, laid out in a memo obtained by the AP , was described by officials...

Pentagon Takes Steps Toward Racial Equity in the Services

Esper wants military to recapture leadership on diversity

(Newser) - Recognizing the harm of systemic racism to individuals and the military, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has announced an effort to ensure equity for US service members. Esper made the announcement Thursday in a video, the Washington Post reports, saying the military is "not immune to the forces of bias...

Pentagon Will Rethink Giant Contract After Amazon Suit

Bezos says Trump gave huge deal to Microsoft because of personal vendetta

(Newser) - Amazon has gotten another indication that something might come of its lawsuit against the Defense Department over its handling of a cloud contract worth billions. The Pentagon told a court in a filing Thursday that it "wishes to reconsider its award decision." The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract...

Amazon to File for Restraining Order in Microsoft-DOD Deal

Former says latter was only awarded $10B contract after 'behind-the-scenes attacks' from Trump

(Newser) - Amazon has long been suspicious that it lost out to Microsoft on a lucrative $10 billion cloud computing deal with the US military only because of President Trump's intervention, and now Jeff Bezos' behemoth has taken its latest step to stymie the latter from proceeding with that project. CNN...

Judge Rules Against Trump Administration in Border Wall Case

Federal judge says $3.6B in Pentagon funds can't be diverted to wall construction

(Newser) - The secretary of defense in September authorized the diverting of $3.6 billion in Pentagon funds to build the border wall, but on Tuesday, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Trump administration from doing that, CNN reports. El Paso County, Texas, and Border Network for Human Rights had sued...

Pentagon Trying to Plan for Trump's Next Sudden Move

If president suddenly decides to pull troops out of Afghanistan, DOD officials want to be ready

(Newser) - There's no current instruction from the White House to yank troops out of Afghanistan. But amid recent developments in Syria , the Pentagon is taking no chances and has been setting up a contingency plan in anticipation of any surprise directives from President Trump on Afghanistan. Current and former Defense...

Pentagon: We're Sending Jets, Other Air Defense to Saudis

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announces move after Iran claims 2 missiles struck its tanker

(Newser) - The US will send fighter jets and additional air defenses to Saudi Arabia to defend the kingdom against Iran amid heightened tensions between the two Middle Eastern adversaries, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday. Esper announced the deployment of several dozen fighter jets, along with other aircraft and additional air...

US Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia, UAE

No military strike against Iran yet, though

(Newser) - The Pentagon on Friday announced it will deploy additional US troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as President Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry. Defense...

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