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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
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.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is urging tribal elders to approve a security agreement with the U.S. that could keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2024. But in a controversial move, he want his successor sign the document after elections next April. Some question whether it's an attempt to avoid taking personal responsibility for an agreement that many Afghans see as selling out to foreign interests. President Barack Obama wants quick passage of the agreement.
Congress is bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest civilian honor, on American Indians who used their native language to outwit enemies and protect American battlefield secrets during World Wars I and II. Dozens of members of Congress, the military and others gathered in the Capitol's Emancipation Hall on Wednesday to honor 33 tribes for the wartime contributions of so-called code talkers.
Stripping military commanders of the authority to prosecute serious crimes such as rape and sexual assault could make it worse for victims. That's the essence of a letter that 11 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent to colleagues Monday rejecting the solution offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. She has the public support of nearly half the Senate for removing commanders from deciding whether serious crimes go to trial and giving that authority to seasoned trial lawyers who have prosecutorial experience and hold the rank of colonel or higher.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told members of STRATCOM there is "no room for error" by those responsible for America's nuclear forces. This was the first time he commented on what he called "troubling lapses" in professionalism within the nuclear ranks. Last month, two senior nuclear commanders were fired amid misconduct investigations, and in August, service members working at a nuclear-missile base in Montana failed a safety and security inspection.
The Defense Department is canceling plans to buy additional cargo helicopters from a Russian arms export agency that has supplied Syrian President Bashar Assad's military forces with arms and ammunition. 15 Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters were to be purchased next year at a cost of $345 million and then delivered to Afghanistan's national security forces. DoD has paid Rosoboronexport more than $1 billion since 2011 for 63 Mi-17s that have been delivered to Afghanistan or are on order.
Arnold Giammarco, a U.S. Army veteran who turned his life around after struggling with drug addiction is fighting his deportation. He says he should not have been expelled last year for a minor criminal record after honorably serving his country and living here legally for more than 50 years. He was deported to his native Italy over drug possession and larceny convictions, his attorneys said. The former Connecticut resident is seeking to reverse his deportation, arguing in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday that immigration authorities never acted on his citizenship application in 1982.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is thinking about an invitation to visit Tehran for scheduled talks, a possible sign of progress in a long-stalled investigation into suspected nuclear arms research by Iran. After years of worsening confrontation with the West, Iran has become more conciliatory of late.