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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
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.
Israel said it would not allow advanced weapons to fall into the hands of Hezbollah, after a raid on Syria that opposition sources said had hit an air force garrison believed to be holding Russian-made missiles destined for the militant group. Israel has a clear policy on Syria and will continue to enforce it, officials said on Friday, after U.S. and European sources said Israel had launched a new attack on its warring neighbor.
The Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea, has written a letter to her lawyer saying she'll go to court if necessary to get treatment for gender identity disorder. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for sending more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
The Associated Press is reporting negotiators from the House and Senate are promising to try to reach an agreement that would spare both the Pentagon and domestic agencies from automatic spending cuts, the result of Washington's failure to strike a budget deal. But taxes, again appear to be in the way -- with top GOP negotiator Paul Ryan taking a firm stance against using tax revenues to ease the automatic cuts.
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.