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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel went to Afghanistan late last week for his first visit as Pentagon chief. He said there are many challenges ahead as NATO continues to hand over the country's security to the Afghans. "We are still at war," Hagel said, warning the U.S. and its allies to remain focused on the mission while noting that the U.S. never intended to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely.
Internal review finds no systemic issues with regard to the misdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress among soldiers, but it makes dozens of recommendations for improving the disability evaluation system.
France's defense minister made a surprise visit to Mali on Thursday to see French troops fighting extremists there. The Associated Press is reporting "military officials said at least 100 al-Qaida-linked fighters died in a two-week campaign to oust them from a rocky desert valley that had been their key base. French forces are in their most bloody and close-range fighting since they deployed eight weeks ago to Mali to help the West African country's embattled government rid its vast north of militants imposing harsh Islamic rule."
New central commander foresees end to grim rise in Army suicides
10 years later, final watchdog report concludes US spent too much, for too little, in Iraq
In his final report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen's conclusion was all too clear: Since the invasion a decade ago this month, the U.S. has spent too much money in Iraq for too few results.
The lower chamber's bill would significantly soften the blow against DoD and potentially eliminate current plans such as civilian furloughs because of the automatic budget cuts. The remainder of the government would remain under both sequestration and a full-year continuing resolution.
House Republicans unveiled a stopgap government funding measure Monday. The measure would extend the federal pay freeze and leave in place automatic sequestration cuts but would award the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments their detailed 2013 budgets while other agencies would be frozen at 2012 levels -- and then bear the across-the-board cuts. The current continuing resolution expires March 27.
Sixteen Democratic senators are calling on the Veterans Affairs Department to keep granting waivers so that same-sex spouses can be buried in national cemeteries.
With sequestration now in effect, the Defense Department says it will have to begin to make decisions that cross the threshold between "reversible" cuts to military capability and those that will have long-lasting impacts.
Syria's rebels have rejected the food and medical supplies the United States wants to give them. Gen. Salim Idris, told The Associated Press, those supplies, "won't bring them any closer to defeating President Bashar Assad's forces in the country's civil war. We don't want food and drink, and we don't want bandages. When we're wounded, we want to die. The only thing we want is weapons," he said.
In nation's military communities, workers anxious as deep cuts set to take effect
Bradley Manning, the Army private arrested in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history, offered to plead guilty. The "Associated Press" says he made the plea to charges that could send him to prison for 20 years. He said he exposed the secrets to reveal the American military's "bloodlust" in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the first time Manning directly admitted leaking the material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and detailed the frustrations that led him to do it.
Small firms already have taken a disproportionate hit from DoD's pullback in 2013 spending, Pentagon officials say. Military acquisition leaders worry the sudden cuts will bankrupt small businesses that provide one-of-a-kind capabilities.
An Army private charged in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history is set to tell a military judge how he did it and why.
Veterans groups and lawmakers are saying the military's new medal for cyber warriors should get a demotion so it doesn't outrank such revered honors as the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. The Distinguished Warfare Medal was announced two weeks ago. It's a sign of the changing nature of war, and the increasingly important role played by attacks conducted remotely.
There's going to be a new Secretary of Defense today. And the outgoing SECDEF Leon Panetta said in a farewell message, "It's been the privilege of my life to serve with and lead the men and women of this Department." And in his final act he expressed deep gratitude to those who are fighting and working every day in national defense. The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Chuck Hagel on Tuesday as President Barack Obama's new secretary of defense.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has ordered all U.S. special forces out of Wardak province. "We're working with the government of Afghanistan to define precisely what their concerns were," said spokesman George Little. "Obviously we take all of their concerns very seriously." The concern came up after civilians living in Wardak complained of killings, beatings and other abuse at the hands of Afghan troops working with US forces.
The Pentagon on Friday grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade in one plane. The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., of an F-35A, the Air Force version of the sleek new plane. The Navy and the Marine Corps are buying other versions of the F-35, which is intended to replace older fighters like the Air Force F-16 and the Navy F/A-18.
The automatic budget cuts set to occur under sequestration will go into effect as a matter of law on Friday. But their full impact won't be felt until late this spring, long after lawmakers encounter the next budget showdown.