Defense Dept

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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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

Supreme Court: Border Wall Can Be Built With DOD Funds

$2.5B in Defense Department money can now be tapped by Trump administration for sections of wall

(Newser) - The Supreme Court cleared the way Friday for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico. The court's five conservative justices gave the administration the green light to begin work on four contracts it has awarded using... More »

Trump Officially Names Defense Nominee

Says he'll nominate acting secretary Patrick Shanahan

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday said he will nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, a highly unusual arrangement for arguably the most sensitive Cabinet position, the AP reports. "Acting Secretary... More »

Mattis Stepping Down as Defense Secretary

Resignation letter implies criticism of Trump's Syria decision

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is stepping down from his post, President Trump announced Thursday, after the retired Marine general clashed with the president over a troop drawdown in Syria and Trump's go-it-alone stance in world affairs. Mattis, perhaps the most respected foreign policy official in Trump's administration, will... More »

The $7M Legwear to Turn US Troops Into 'Super Soldiers'

ONYX exoskeleton being developed by Lockheed Martin to reduce weight, help troops move better

(Newser) - The Army is pushing for a new generation of "super soldiers," and critical in that effort is a cutting-edge technology first used to help people with serious medical conditions (e.g., multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis) stay on the move. Reuters reports the Pentagon is pumping nearly $7 million into... More »

Audit: 'Nearly All' of DOD's New Weapons Systems Are Vulnerable

GAO analysis finds rampant cybersecurity issues at the Pentagon

(Newser) - A new report out of the Government Accountability Office says the Department of Defense is "just beginning to grapple" with vulnerabilities in most of its new weapons systems. The upshot of the 50-page GAO analysis , per NPR : that, based on five years' worth of tests, "nearly all" of... 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 »

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 »

Pentagon: Let's End Transgender Ban in the Military

But military chiefs want time to sort out details

(Newser) - The Pentagon's current regulations banning transgender individuals from serving in the military are outdated, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today, ordering a six-month study aimed at formally ending one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service. Carter says he is creating a working group that will... 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 »

Gillibrand: Military Not 'Being Honest' About Sex Assaults

NY senator says brass is not providing data, overlooking civilian assaults

(Newser) - The number of sex-related crimes occurring in US military communities is far greater than the Defense Department has publicly reported, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said today in a scathing critique that asserts the Pentagon has refused to provide her information about sexual assaults at several major bases. The spouses... More »

15 of US' Benghazi Sources Have Been Killed

Senate report also concludes that consulate attack was 'preventable'

(Newser) - The US government didn't do enough to prevent the attack on the Benghazi consulate, a long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report concludes. The bipartisan report chastises the CIA for operating out of a different building than the State Department—a facility the military didn't even know about, the Washington ... More »

US to Fly Troops Into Central African Republic

American planes will transport Euro, African peacekeepers

(Newser) - Now the US is getting involved: Washington has agreed to fly European and African peacekeepers into the Central African Republic to help quell the bloody strife between various Muslim and Christian groups and other rebel militias, CNN reports. US military aircraft will fly troops—including a few French ones—from... More »

Military's Budget Plan: Cut Pay, Benefits

Defense Dept. looking at options as budget set to shrink

(Newser) - It's long seemed unthinkable, but US military personnel could soon see cuts to their pay and benefits. Top commanders are considering such cuts as they deal with a decreasing budget, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chair said this weekend. While acknowledging that "we can't pay [soldiers] enough,... More »

CIA's 'Inhumane' Torturers? Doctors

New report finds disturbing ethical violations

(Newser) - The doctor's ethical directive, "first do no harm," would seem to not-so-subtly indicate that medical professionals not engage in torture ... but an independent taskforce finds that the CIA and the Pentagon asked doctors and psychologists working at US detention facilities (including Guantanamo Bay) to do just that.... More »

Meltdowns Plague NSA's Giant New Data Center

Fast-tracking blamed for spy center's faulty wiring

(Newser) - For all its data gathering, there's something the National Security Agency seems unable to figure out: Why its gigantic new data center in Utah isn't working. The building meant to be at the center of the agency's spying operation has been plagued by electrical meltdowns that have... More »

Looks Like Syria Will Miss First Arms-Deal Deadline

Plus: Pentagon says US could train some rebels

(Newser) - Syria probably won't get a full inventory of its chemical weapons to international authorities by Saturday, as proposed—but the US, it seems, isn't panicking. "Our goal is to see forward momentum," rather than the whole inventory, by Saturday, says a State Department rep. "We'... More »

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