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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
In spite of the billions of dollars the U.S. government has provided Iraq to train it's military forces, there is evidence still of deep concern about whether they can do it. The State Department is reportedly putting together a diplomatic protection force to take the place of the U.S. military once they leave the country next year. Department officials are asking the Pentagon to provide heavy military gear, including Black Hawk helicopters, and say they will also need substantial support from private contractors.
The Senate is considering a $60 billion that incorporates $30 billion for President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan with more than $5 billion to replenish disaster aid accounts, provide Haitian earthquake relief, and make a down payment on aid to flood-drenched Tennessee and Rhode Island. The Associate Press reports the must-pass legislation is the only appropriations bill likely to advance to Obama's desk until the fall and is a tempting target for Democrats seeking to add money for a summer jobs program or to help to local school district to retain teachers.
About 4 years ago, computer worms began nibbling at the Pentagon's sensitive computer based information networks. One in particular managed to infiltrate computers linked to U.S. Central Command. Now it appears that original version of the worm has been improved several times over and attempting even more damaging attacks of Pentagon systems. The Chinese are commonly accused of the attack, but experts who've studied the constant assaults, they say it bears the hallmarks of Russian Intelligence.
Department of Defense Undersecretary Ashton Carter has told Congress that it would keep working on Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk reconnaissance drone even though it's way over budget. He notified Congress on Tuesday that the program was essential to national security and that there were no alternatives that would meet the department's requirements for less money.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Associated Press that the Obama administration tried to improve relations with Pakistan recently by sharing intelligence about on the locations where insurgents were suspected of making bombs, but it turned out to be a big disappointment. The two locations are in the tribal territories in northwestern Pakistan. But by the time authorities reached the facilities, the suspects had been tipped off and were gone.
The United States and NATO are stepping up military operations against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, hoping to push him out of power to drive him from power -- or Reuters says a senior U.S. official is hoping they can kill him. The comments came after some of the heaviest bombing in Tripoli since the campaign to oust Gadhafi began. According to the Reuters report, the official said, "no one would shed a tear" if Gaddafi were to die in one of the many attacks."
CIA director Leon Panetta, expected to be the next Secretary of Defense told the Senate during his confirmation hearing he thinks Iraq will ask the U.S. to maintain a military present beyond the end of this year, when American troops are currently scheduled to leave. Panetta said Iraqi leaders will have to decide support they need, and for how long, in order to make sure security gains there are not lost. He said there are still about 1,000 al-Qaida insurgents in Iraq and keeping some troops in Iraq to support security forces there is a good idea.
The U/S has to continue its financial investment in Afghanistan. That's what the nominee to be the next Ambassador says. Ryan Crocker, who did some tough duty in Iraq said during his confirmation hearing that the multi-billion dollar commitment that now totals close to $20 billion dollars, is necessary to prevent the government there from slipping back into the state that it was when Al Qaida used it as a launching ground for terror attacks.
The U.S.S. Carl Vinson is arriving in Hawaii. This is it's first port of call since it ferried Osama Bin Laden's body out to sea to be buried. The ship arrived in Pearl Harbor for a a short visit before heading home to San Diego. The aircraft carrier was deployed in the Arabian Sea last month with the Navy SEAL team carrying the body of the man who spearheaded the Sept. 11th terror attacks was brought aboard. Bin Laden's body was reportedly put in a weighted bag on the carrier, an officer made religious remarks and his remains eased into the sea.
A non-event is how Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Charelli describes the training that U.S. troops are getting on a new law allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. Most of the problems and trouble that had been predicted appears not to have materialized. The Pentagon has avoiding giving up details on the training because of concern that too much attention could enflame the issue. All of the training should be complete by mid august. Two point two million people need to be trained on the new regulation.