Tag: Defense Department

Capitol Police Detail Failures During Pro-Trump Assault

In testimony prepared for her video appearance before the House Appropriations Committee, Chief Pittman also suggested that officers were underequipped for the violence they faced and did not have easy access to the additional supplies of chemical sprays and other substances they needed to disperse the crowd. “Instead, the department had to send in personnel […]

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Lloyd Austin Tackles Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

WASHINGTON — After years of failure to curb the scourge of sexual assault in the military, Lloyd J. Austin III, the new secretary of defense, is open to considering significant revisions to how those crimes are prosecuted, a potential sea change that generations of commanders have resisted. Overhauling the way the military handles sexual assault […]

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Biden Ends Military’s Transgender Ban, Part of Broad Discrimination Fight

At the Pentagon, officials said they welcomed the action, and indicated that the department would begin implementing it quickly. “The department will immediately take appropriate policy action to ensure individuals who identify as transgender are eligible to enter and serve in their self-identified gender,” Mr. Austin said in a statement. “No one will be separated […]

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Five Takeaways From the Developing Space War Between China and the U.S.

The stars of the new space age include not only famous entrepreneurs but a rising generation of dreamers and doers. Small companies, developing states and even high schools now loft spacecraft into orbit. But Beijing is intent on dominating the democratized space age. It is building ground-based lasers that can zap spacecraft and rehearsing cyberattacks […]

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How Space Became the Next ‘Great Power’ Contest Between the U.S. and China

Beijing’s rush for antisatellite arms began 15 years ago. Now, it can threaten the orbital fleets that give the United States military its technological edge. Advanced weapons at China’s military bases can fire warheads that smash satellites and laser beams with a potential to blind arrays of delicate sensors. And its cyberattacks can, at least […]

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Senate Confirms Austin in Historic Vote, Installing First Black Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd J. Austin III as defense secretary, filling a critical national security position in President Biden’s cabinet and elevating the first Black American in the country’s history to lead the Pentagon. The 93-to-2 vote came a day after Congress swiftly moved to grant Mr. Austin, a retired four-star […]

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Lloyd Austin Confirmed as Defense Secretary

The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd J. Austin III as defense secretary, filling a critical national security position in President Biden’s cabinet and elevating him as the first Black Pentagon chief. The 93-2 vote came a day after Congress granted General Austin, a retired four-star Army general, a special waiver to hold the post, which […]

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Congress Grants Waiver to Austin to Serve as Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON — The House and Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a special waiver to allow Lloyd J. Austin III, a retired four-star Army general, to serve as secretary of defense, eliminating a hurdle to confirmation for a crucial member of President Biden’s national security team who is poised to become the first Black American to […]

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Who’s Got the Nuclear Football? Actually, the Question Is When Biden Gets ‘the Biscuit’

The last time a president refused to show up at his successor’s inauguration — Andrew Johnson in 1869 — the United States did not possess the world’s deadliest nuclear arsenal, and it would be seven decades before Washington first established the principle that the commander in chief would be given sole authority to launch it. […]

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12 National Guard Members Removed From Inauguration Duties Amid Extremist Threats

General Austin added later, “We can do a better job of screening the folks we bring in.” The F.B.I. investigation into the Capitol rampage, still in its very early stages, has identified at least six suspects with military links out of the more than 100 people who have been taken into federal custody or the […]

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Pentagon Accelerates Efforts to Root Out Far-Right Extremism in the Ranks

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is intensifying efforts to identify and combat white supremacy and other far-right extremism in its ranks as federal investigators seek to determine how many military personnel and veterans joined the violent assault on the Capitol. In the days since a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, senior leaders of […]

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N.S.A. Installs Trump Loyalist as Top Lawyer Days Before Biden Takes Office

At the Pentagon, Mr. Miller was angry that the agency’s leadership had slow-rolled Mr. Ellis’s installment for months despite his going through the standard hiring process and being selected for the position, a senior U.S. official said. So Mr. Miller ordered the agency to swear Mr. Ellis in, a move The Washington Post reported on […]

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Pentagon Moves to Block Exam of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner

WASHINGTON — In his final days as Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy has moved to thwart a federal judge’s order for an independent examination of a mentally ill prisoner at Guantánamo Bay who was previously tortured there, the Justice Department disclosed on Friday. Lawyers for the prisoner, Mohammed al-Qahtani, 45, had obtained the […]

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A Scoop About the Pentagon Papers, 50 Years Later

Janny Scott was researching the life of Neil Sheehan, the New York Times reporter who broke the news of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, when she noticed a gaping, unanswered question. How did Mr. Sheehan actually get the documents? In all of the articles, movies and special reports about the story over the years, he […]

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Trump Appointee to Temporarily Lead Pentagon; Retired Admiral Will Be Spokesman

WASHINGTON — A low-profile deputy defense secretary will be the lone Trump holdover running the Pentagon until President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s defense secretary pick is confirmed. Mr. Biden is also planning to install John F. Kirby — the former spokesman for John Kerry when he was secretary of state, Chuck Hagel when he was […]

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Overwhelmed, More States Turn to National Guard for Vaccine Help

LANDOVER, Md. — As tens of thousands of his National Guard colleagues descended on the nation’s capital to ensure the peaceful transfer of presidential power, 10 miles up the road, Emmanuel Alfaro was doing what he viewed as the pinnacle of his career in the Guard: administering Covid-19 vaccines to his fellow citizens. “It’s a […]

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Rare Pentagon Mission: Armed Troops in Capital

Foreign interference that may be masked as domestic unrest is another point of concern. If the protesters cannot get near the inaugural events, Department of Homeland Security officials are worried they may turn to cyberinterference, in an effort to black out Mr. Biden’s first words to the nation, and the world. There are similar concerns […]

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Military Chiefs Remind Troops of Their Oath After Fallout From Assault on Capitol

Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, asked the acting secretary of defense, Christopher C. Miller, this week for the military’s various law enforcement agencies to cooperate with the F.B.I. in investigating whether current or former service members were involved in the deadly mob. Capitol Riot Fallout Updated  Jan. 13, 2021, […]

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Pentagon to Arm National Guard Troops Deploying to Capitol for Inauguration

WASHINGTON — National Guard troops who are flooding into Washington to secure the Capitol for Inauguration Day will be armed, the Army secretary, Ryan McCarthy, has decided, Defense Department officials said Tuesday. The armed troops will be responsible for security around the Capitol building complex, the officials said. As up to 15,000 troops continued to […]

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Defense Secretary Pick, Lloyd Austin, Unlikely to Be in Job on Biden’s First Day

At the same time, the Biden team was slow to get the general’s financial disclosure forms to Capitol Hill for vetting, doing so only this weekend. Such delays caused the confirmations of many early Trump administration officials to linger. The Presidential Transition Updated  Jan. 10, 2021, 1:26 p.m. ET Many lawmakers from both parties have […]

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Biden’s Pick for Defense Secretary Unlikely to Be in Job on Administration’s First Day

At the same time, the Biden team has been slow to get the general’s financial disclosure forms to Capitol Hill for vetting. Such delays caused the confirmations of many early Trump administration officials to linger. The Presidential Transition Updated  Jan. 8, 2021, 10:32 p.m. ET Many lawmakers from both parties have balked at having another […]

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Were These the Fingerprints of a Terrorist?

Mr. Maher uncovered this apparent smoking gun, he said, with the help of Mr. Carney, the biometrics expert, a retired New York City police officer who had worked alongside him prosecuting Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, at the Justice Center in Parwan, for the U.S. State and Defense Departments and the Afghan government. The U.S. government […]

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Pelosi Pressed Pentagon on Safeguards to Prevent Trump From Ordering Military Action

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California on Friday took the unprecedented step of asking the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about “available precautions” to prevent President Trump from initiating military action abroad or using his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons in the last days of his term. In a phone call to the […]

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Now It Can Be Told: How Neil Sheehan Got the Pentagon Papers

To Mr. Sheehan, however, it seemed that Mr. Ellsberg’s reservations were “about going to jail.” “Because when The Times got it,” he said, “The Times would go ahead with it. And when it came out, he might get caught. And he didn’t have a politician yet to protect him.” He was, Mr. Sheehan said, “totally […]

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How Neil Sheehan Got the Pentagon Papers

To Mr. Sheehan, however, it seemed that Mr. Ellsberg’s reservations were “about going to jail.” “Because when The Times got it,” he said, “The Times would go ahead with it. And when it came out, he might get caught. And he didn’t have a politician yet to protect him.” He was, Mr. Sheehan said, “totally […]

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Biden to Tap More Former Obama Officials for Top National Security Jobs

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is turning to more veterans of the Obama-Biden administration to fill senior positions on his national security team, including two former officials who played crucial roles in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, an agreement the Biden administration will seek to restore. Mr. Biden plans to name as deputy national […]

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Leader of Proud Boys, a Far-Right Group, Is Arrested as D.C. Braces for Protests

In June, Mr. Trump raised the option of deploying active-duty troops onto the streets and ran into resistance from both his defense secretary at the time, Mark T. Esper, and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The president eventually backed down. Some Pentagon officials acknowledged that they were worried […]

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Leader of Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, Is Arrested as DC Braces for Protests

In June, Mr. Trump raised the option of deploying active-duty troops onto the streets and ran into resistance from both his defense secretary at the time, Mark T. Esper, and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The president eventually backed down. Some Pentagon officials acknowledged that they were worried […]

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In Reversal, Pentagon Announces Aircraft Carrier Nimitz to Remain in Middle East

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said on Sunday that it had ordered the aircraft carrier Nimitz to remain in the Middle East because of Iranian threats against President Trump and other American officials, just three days after sending the warship home as a signal to de-escalate rising tensions with Tehran. The acting secretary of the defense, […]

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As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm

On Election Day, General Paul M. Nakasone, the nation’s top cyberwarrior, reported that the battle against Russian interference in the presidential campaign had posted major successes and exposed the other side’s online weapons, tools and tradecraft. “We’ve broadened our operations and feel very good where we’re at right now,” he told journalists. Eight weeks later, […]

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