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Search Tags: JJ Green
Despite U.S. warnings, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamist militias inside Libya. This comes three years after the killing of Libyan dictator Muamar Ghadafi and U.S. efforts to try to stabilize the country. "Outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya's democratic transition," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said to reporters.
The Pentagon has worked up plans that would allow American forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond the end of the year if the contested presidential election drags on and a security agreement isn't signed soon. The Associate Press is reporting that shortly before landing in Kabul for a visit, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, told reporters accompanying him on the trip that under optimal circumstances the U.S. would need about 120 days to pull all troops and equipment out of the country if there is no agreement allowing them to stay into 2015.
The Obama administration on Friday accused a Chinese fighter jet of conducting a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of China in international airspace. The Associated Press reports it's the fourth such incident since March. Rear Adm. John Kirby, Pentagon Press Secretary, said Washington protested to the Chinese military through diplomatic channels, calling the fighter pilot's actions "unsafe and unprofessional." Furthermore, U.S. officials said this is at least the second formal complaint American diplomats have filed with the Chinese over these military actions in recent months.
"The immediacy is in the number of Europeans and other nationalities who have come to the region to be a part of that ideology," said Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey. He made the comments while discussing the strength of ISIL in Syria and Iraq. The immediate problem for the U.S. he says is that some of those foreign fighters which came from the U.S. may have already gone home.
The head of the Guatemalan military's Joint Chiefs of Staff died in a helicopter crash Wednesday near the border with Mexico. The Associated Press reports that Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez said Gen. Rudy Ortiz was killed along with four other military officers when the helicopter went down in a mountainous area of the western province of Huehuetenango. Lopez also said Gen. Braulio Mayen, commander of the Army's 5th Brigade, was among the victims.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has asked for a review of the program under which surplus military equipment is made available to local police departments. The program has come under scrutiny after scenes of heavy military equipment being used to break up protests in Ferguson were broadcast around the world.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called the crew aboard the U.S. ship MV Cape Ray Monday to congratulate the ship's crew on finishing their unprecedented work of neutralizing the most dangerous chemicals in Syria's declared stockpile at sea. The secretary said that by ridding the world of these materials, they - as part of an ongoing international effort to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal - have helped make an important and enduring contribution to global security.
Britain's Royal Air Force has sent Tornado aircraft from RAF Marham to support humanitarian operations in Iraq. In a statement, the government says a small number of planes equipped with Litening III reconnaissance pods are being deployed. Litening III is an infrared targeting, navigation and reconnaissance pod. The system can capture advanced still images as well as video. The planes will be based in Cyprus and will be used notice to provide vital intelligence to assist the delivery of the U.K. aid.
The US has been pounding ISIL in Iraq with 500 lb. bombs and drone strikes. "What I expect ISIL to do is look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere," says Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, he told reporters at the Pentagon that ISIL is still a problem. "I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or are somehow breaking the momentum of ISIL," said Mayville.
Navy jets have been dropping 500 lb. bombs in Iraq on ISIL positions in northern Iraq. The 500 lb. bomb is one of the smallest and one of the most common air-dropped weapons in the world. Although the nominal weight is 500 lbs., its actual weight varies considerably depending on its configuration, from 510 lbs. to 570 lbs. It comes with a streamlined steel casing containing 192 lbs. of Tritonal high explosive. The bombs being used in Iraq are laser-guided for precision.