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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
The House Armed Services Committee is going to try again to change the way the Pentagon buys weapons and services. The committee's chairman, California Representative Buck McKeon, said some successful efforts were already under way to institute meaningful reforms, but the U.S. military acquisition system faces significant challenges including cost overruns and schedule delays. He predicts the problems will get worse because of mounting pressure on U.S. budgets.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and New Zealand Minister of Defense Jonathan Coleman met in Washington Monday to discuss expanding defense cooperation between two countries. During the gathering, both Hagel and Minister Coleman highlighted the decade long cooperation between the two during the war in Afghanistan. And they confirmed that cooperation on peacekeeping will be expanded into capacity building activities in the Asia-Pacific region.
India and China are close to an agreement to end their strife over their contested border while they try to figure out a way to break decades-old stalemate on overlapping claims to long stretches of the Himalayas. A border defense cooperation pact could be finished before India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China this week. That is said to be a small step forward in a complicated relationship marked by booming economic ties and growing distrust.
The Justice Department has filed new charges against four former Blackwater security contractors. This revives an internationally charged case over a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad. The men were hired to guard U.S. diplomats. They're accused of opening fire in busy Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007. Seventeen Iraqi civilians died.
What happened with the Abu Anas al Libi interrogation? There are reports that interrogators essentially gave up, because he stopped eating and drinking regularly, which caused his Hepatitis C problem to worsen. U.S. officials say he was taken to a hospital before being taken to a hospital in New York, before his appearance in court in New York. Al Libi, suspected of being a long time al Qaida operative, plead not guilty to terrorism charges yesterday in New York.
Secretary of Defense Hagel spoke with United Arab Emirates (UAE) Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan Monday to consult on regional issues. Hagel emphasized the U.S. commitment to regional security and noted that the strong U.S.-UAE bilateral relationship remains integral to regional stability. Hagel also reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the strategic partnership with Egypt, and discussed the recent decision about US security assistance to Egypt.
The Navy says a three-star admiral was notified Wednesday that he has been relieved of duty as second-in-command at the military organization that oversees all U.S. nuclear forces. He is under investigation in a gambling matter. The Navy's top spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said that Vice Adm. Tim Giardina will drop in rank to two-star admiral as a consequence of being removed from his position at U.S. Strategic Command.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, Ohio, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Gladstone, Missouri, died on Feb. 26, when they ran out of air while trying to locate a sunken helicopter in 150 feet (46 meters) of water at the Super Pond training site at Aberdeen Proving Grounds near Baltimore. As a result four sailors have been charged with dereliction of duty resulting in the deaths of Reyher and Harris during a training exercise. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Bennett, the command diving officer for a salvage and diving unit, was charged with failing to ensure that safety procedures were followed and with failing to tell the commanding officer of a request to deviate from the training scenario. Senior Chief Navy Diver David Jones, Senior Chief Navy Diver James Burger and Chief Navy Diver Gary Ladd Jr also were accused of failure to follow safety procedures.
The government of Turkey says it might still reconsider its decision to co-produce a long-range air and missile defense system with a Chinese firm currently under U.S. sanctions, but officials said they are not obligated to adhere to the U.S. blacklist. Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance, announced recently it had chosen the FD-2000 missile defense system from China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp over rival systems from Russian, U.S. and European firms.
As investigators fill in the blanks regarding Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the department will complete three separate reviews in late December, including internal and independent assessments of base safety procedures as well as the security clearance process. Carter said during a Pentagon briefing the "Bottom line is, we need to know how an employee was able to bring a weapon and ammunition onto a DoD installation."