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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
Curtis Tarr, the former head of the Selective Service System who oversaw the lottery for the draft during the Vietnam War, has died. Tarr died of pneumonia on Friday at his home in Walnut Creek, Calif. He was 88. The nation had held its first lottery drawing for the draft in December 1969. Before the lottery, local draft boards had control over who was called and who was not.
German authorities are investigating two men of Tunisian origin suspected of planning to use model airplanes for terrorist attacks, prosecutors said Tuesday. At the same time police in Germany and Belgium raided a series of sites searching for evidence of "possible attack plans and preparations." No one was arrested in Tuesday's raids, which were carried out by about 90 police in the Stuttgart and Munich areas of southern Germany and in Saxony in eastern Germany, federal prosecutors said in a statement.
Law enforcement and first responder got a special bulletin recently warning them to be aware of and understand that terrorists frequent popular social media sites and Web blogs to gather pre-operational surveillance. Some cyber terrorists according to the bulletin are sophisticated enough to penetrate an organization's network and devices-and gather personal, sensitive, or proprietary data. Virtual tours, security procedures, even business hours are key sources of information for terrorists and criminal organizations. Authorities warn terrorists are getting better and could use this type of information launch both cyber and physical attack almost simultaneously.
The U.S. government and military are still mulling over how to help Syrian rebels. Sources say the CIA and military are quietly training Syrian rebels on how to use anti-tank and anti-aircraft launchers, but one senior military official says no decisions have been made on what type of weapon support to provide or when to do it.
There is a lot of back and forth at the U.N. as Afghanistan and Pakistan traded accusations in the U.N. Security Council on Thursday over the whereabouts of Islamist extremists. The United Nations called increased tensions between the two as "unfortunate and dangerous." Both sides blame the other for deadly terrorist attacks that take place almost on a daily basis.
Hackers stealing sensitive design data from programs like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could limit the advantage the plane gives the U.S. Defense acquisitions chief Frank Kendall told a Senate hearing he was reasonably confident that classified information related to the development of the F-35 was well-protected. "But I'm not at all confident that our unclassified information is as well-protected," he said.
The U.S. is going to meet with the Taliban this week, but is managing its expectations. The talks are designed to achieve peace in Afghanistan. The Taliban opened an office in Doha, the Qatari capital, on Tuesday. U.S. officials say the talks will start in Doha on Thursday, but President Barack Obama says don't expect any quick progress, because the process won't be easy.
Later today, the military is going to add some clarity on its plan to start moving women into thousands of combat jobs, including those in special operations forces. The Army is expected to develop standards within the next two years to let women train and possibly serve as Rangers. By March of 2016, women could begin training as Navy SEALS. U.S. Special Operations Command is working on deciding what commando jobs could be opened to women, and when the transition would take place.
The Superintendent at West Point West Point is in hot water. Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, according to the Department of Defense Inspector, improperly allowed subordinates to give driving lessons, didn't properly compensate those who worked at a charity dinner and accepted gifts of services from subordinates. The report was released to The Associated Press on Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The House of Representatives has endorsed a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a member of the armed services convicted of rape or sexual assault in a military court. The Associated Press reports, "by voice vote, the House approved the additional punishment as part of a series of steps lawmakers have taken to tackle the growing problem of sexual assault. The provisions are contained in a sweeping defense policy bill for the 2014 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1."