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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
President Hamid Karzai says he will meet President Barack Obama in Washington next month to discuss a postwar U.S. role in his country. At a news conference with visiting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Karzai said he and Mr. Obama will discuss how many U.S. troops will remain after the Western combat mission ends in December 2014. Immunity from Afghan laws for those remaining Americans is said to be of great importance" to Obama administration, but Karzai said he has his own priorities in negotiating a postwar U.S. role.
Mali's new prime minister has vowed to deal with a growing concern over insurgents in the north after his predecessor was forced out of office and placed under house arrest by soldiers responsible for a military coup earlier this year. The international community is considering backing a military intervention, including Malian soldiers, to wrest the country's north from the hands of radical Islamists. Diango Cissoko was chosen as the new prime minister in Mali's transitional government.
The military launched a rocket into orbit on yesterday on what appears to be a mystery mission. The Air Force launched the unmanned spacecraft on top of an Atlas V rocket. It's a small, top-secret version of the space shuttle and it is the second flight for this the X-37B space plane. The craft circled the planet for seven months in 2010. A second X-37B spacecraft spent more than a year in orbit.
Eleven Republicans and 11 Democrats sent a letter yesterday to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders pushing strategic reductions in the long term Pentagon budget. The Associated Press is reporting, a bipartisan group of House members says any budget deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts should include "substantial defense savings." The lawmakers noted that organizations of various political leanings have backed cuts of $550 billion in projected military spending. They also cited retired Adm. Mike Mullen's argument that the nation's debt is the greatest threat to national security.
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey says ethics training for senior leaders is adequate but should begin earlier in an officer's career and be reinforced more frequently. That comes in response to a request by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for a review of ethics training following a series of highly publicized ethical lapses by top military officers. Dempsey also suggests that the number of staff they have be reviewed as well.
Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's top lawyer has resigned and says he will return to private practice. Johnson is leaving at the end of December after four years that included a number of controversial legal issues including the escalation in the use of drone strikes and the repeal of the Pentagon's ban on openly gay military service. He left the New York City- based law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, to take the Pentagon job, and is expected to return there.
The Senate has voted for a broad $631 billion defense bill, that among other things, calls for accelerating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and tightens sanctions on Iran. The legislation which passed 98-0, would authorize money for weapons, aircraft and ships and provide a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.
Missing in Vietnam since 1971, Army Sgt. John R. Jones, of Louisville, Ky., is coming home. His remains will be buried Dec. 6, in Arlington National Cemetery. On June 4, 1971, Jones was part of a U.S. team working with indigenous commandos to defend a radio-relay base, known as Hickory Hill, in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. When enemy forces attacked the site, Jones and another serviceman took up a defensive position in a nearby bunker. The following morning, Jones was killed by enemy fire.
The U.S. military wants the "Iron Dome". Israel used the technology to knock 85% of the missiles Hamas fired at them from Gaza recently, out of the sky. Israel has agreed to give the United States the know-how needed to produce interceptors, but it is not interested in co-production yet. The United States has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to assist Israeli or joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs like David's Sling. Iron Dome was developed by Israel on its own.
Gunmen shot dead a Saudi diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard in Yemen's capital of Sanaa on Wednesday. Reuters is reporting the attack, "according to a local security source, was the work of al Qaida. The killing, the latest attack on security officials and politicians in the U.S.-allied state, underscores the challenges facing Yemen since an uprising that began last year toppled President Ali Abdullah Saleh."