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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) for the first time used a vehicle mounted high energy laser to successfully engage more than 90 mortar rounds and several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in flight. This occurred during multiple test events of the Army High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) conducted between November 18 and December 10 at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility, White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is warning Congress that failure to act on a defense policy bill before year's end would create more uncertainty for the military. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other leaders urging prompt action and detailing special pay, bonuses and other authorities that would expire if the bill slips to January.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey is concerned about the next generation of military recruit being endangered by bad or illegal behavior online. He told reporters in his own words, "I worry a bit about ... the young men and women who are now in their teens, who probably underestimate the impact of their persona in social media". The problem is so pervasive, military officials have been considering the idea of giving people a second chance.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to go after al-Qaida, which was being sheltered by the Taliban. The longest and costliest war in U.S. history has proven deeply unpopular at home and among its allies, who also have said they will not commit any troops after 2014 unless the security deal is signed.
The U.S. has halted shipments out of Afghanistan, because protesters are a threat to truckers from who drive along part of the route in neighboring Pakistan. The Associated Press reports, "there have been anti-U.S. demonstrations in Pakistan in recent days calling for an end to the American drone program that targets militants. So U.S. officials said Tuesday that they had ordered truckers under U.S. contract to park at holding areas inside Afghanistan temporarily to avoid going there."
The U.S. Navy has sent two advanced P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft to Japan. U.S. military officials say their jobs will be to improve U.S. capability to hunt submarines and other vessels in waters near China as tension in the region mounts. Last month China established an air defense identification zone covering islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan and claimed by Beijing. In a few days four more of the aircraft will arrive.
The 22nd meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group took place recently to coordinate defense policy. Their principle goal of strengthening defense cooperation to support each country's security interests. During the meetings the two sides agreed that the U.S.-Pakistan defense partnership is vital to regional and international security and that it should continue to endure and grow in the years ahead. Another key goal --continued efforts to strengthen bilateral cooperation based on mutual interests and trust.
The company that employed the Washington Navy Yard shooter pulled his access to classified material for two days in August when mental health problems became evident, but restored it quickly and never told Navy officials about the withdrawal. The Associated Press reports, "an initial Navy review revealed that the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, The Experts, ordered computer contractor Aaron Alexis back to Washington, D.C., after a police incident in Rhode Island in August, according to senior U.S. officials."
The Department of Defense has come up with a strategy for the Arctic. Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel says U.S. Forces will continue to train and operate routinely in the region working on a secure and stable region where U.S. national interests are safeguarded, the U.S. homeland is protected, and nations work cooperatively to address challenges. It also wants to promote defense cooperation to respond to a wide range of challenges and contingencies-operating through cooperative means.
Defense Secretary Hagel met recently with Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada during the Halifax International Security Forum to discuss regional security issues. During the meeting, Hagel and Ya'alon reaffirmed the strength of the U.S. Israel defense relationship, and pledged to continue to consult closely on the multitude of challenges facing the two countries. Also discussed --Iran, Egypt, and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.