Tag: Defense Department

First Woman Set to Pass Special Forces Training and Join Green Berets

WASHINGTON — A National Guard soldier is set to become the Army’s first female Green Beret in coming weeks, according to military officials, following the Pentagon’s opening of all combat and Special Operations jobs to women in 2016. The woman, an enlisted soldier, is in the final stage of training before graduating from the roughly […]

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Judge Excuses 9/11 Defense Lawyer and Postpones Torture Testimony

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — A military judge responded on Wednesday to a defense lawyer’s request to be released on health grounds from the case of the accused plotters of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, ruling that the 75-year-old lawyer would no longer […]

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John Rood, Top Defense Official, Latest to Leave After Impeachment Saga

WASHINGTON — John C. Rood, the Defense Department’s top policy official, is the latest member of President Trump’s national security team involved in the Ukraine matter to leave the government. Mr. Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, will step down at the end of February, the department’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said Wednesday. […]

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Huawei Is Winning the Argument in Europe, as the U.S. Fumbles to Develop Alternatives

WASHINGTON — America’s global campaign to prevent its closest allies from using Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, in the next generation of wireless networks has largely failed, with foreign leaders publicly rebuffing the United States argument that the firm poses an unmanageable security threat. Britain has already called the Trump administration’s bluff, betting that officials […]

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An Afghan Killed 2 Americans. The U.S. Government Issued the Gun.

On Feb. 8 an Afghan soldier turned his American-supplied M249 light machine gun on a group of American and Afghan commandos who were huddled and patiently waiting for an airlift from a small base in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. The burst of fire killed Staff Sgt. Javier J. Gutierrez and Staff Sgt. Antonio R. Rodriguez […]

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Trump Administration Considering Halting Sales of Aircraft Parts to China

The Trump administration is considering halting to China the sale of an aircraft engine produced in part by General Electric, two people familiar with the discussions said, part of a broader effort to limit the flow of technology there that could one day give Beijing an economic and security edge. Top Trump administration officials will […]

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The President Takes a Campaign Donation From the Pentagon

That “big, beautiful wall” President Trump never tires of carrying on about is becoming one of the most expensive campaign stunts ever. It is a potentially unconstitutional one as well, as the Defense Department prepares to divert more billions of dollars authorized by Congress from a variety of weapons programs to generate bragging rights for […]

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White House Memo Justifying Suleimani Strike Cites No Imminent Threat

WASHINGTON — The White House told Congress on Friday that President Trump authorized the strike last month that killed Iran’s most important general to respond to attacks that had already taken place and deter future ones, contradicting the president’s claim that he acted in response to an imminent threat. In a legally mandated, two-page unclassified […]

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Russians Pressure U.S. Forces in Northeast Syria

WASHINGTON — Russia is intensifying a pressure campaign on U.S. military forces in northeastern Syria following the American withdrawal from much of that area ahead of a Turkish cross-border offensive last fall, American military and diplomatic officials say. Russian military personnel have increasingly had run-ins with U.S. troops on highways in the region, breaking agreements […]

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Administration to Divert Billions From Pentagon to Fund Border Wall

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to divert $3.8 billion intended for military equipment to the construction of a wall at the southwestern border, it informed lawmakers on Thursday, drawing bipartisan outrage and reviving a long-running battle with Congress over funding for President Trump’s signature campaign promise. The formal notification to Congress on Thursday, which was […]

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Siding With Amazon, Judge Halts Work on Microsoft’s JEDI Contract

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in Washington ordered Microsoft on Thursday to halt all work on a $10 billion cloud-computing contract for the Pentagon, in a victory for Amazon, which had challenged the awarding of the contract. In a sealed opinion, the judge ordered work to stop on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, […]

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U.S. Faces Tough ‘Great Game’ Against China in Central Asia and Beyond

KHIVA, Uzbekistan — Inside the ancient walls of the Silk Road oasis town of Khiva, China has put down a marker of its geopolitical ambitions. A sign promotes a Chinese aid project to renovate a once-crumbling mosque and a faded madrasa. Outside the town’s northern gate, a billboard-size video screen shows clips of President Shavkat […]

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The Iranian Missile Strike Did Far More Damage Than Trump Admits

Over 100 American soldiers have been treated for traumatic brain injuries following Iran’s missile strike on Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq. The strike came in retaliation for the killing of Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian Quds Force commander, which has become a rhetorical staple of President Trump’s re-election campaign. At the time, most of […]

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Philippines Tells U.S. It Will End Military Cooperation Deal

MANILA — The Philippines said Tuesday it had officially informed the United States that it was scrapping a military pact that has given the longtime American ally a security blanket for the past two decades. The notice to terminate the pact, the Visiting Forces Agreement, comes as President Rodrigo Duterte has warmed up to China […]

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Trump Budget Calls for New Nuclear Warheads and 2 Types of Missiles

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has begun to put a price tag on its growing arms race with Russia and China, and the early numbers indicate that restoring nuclear weapons to a central role in American military strategy will cost tens of billions of dollars over the next decade. In the 2021 budget released on […]

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More Than 100 Troops Have Brain Injuries From Iran Missile Strike, Pentagon Says

More than 100 American service members have traumatic brain injuries from Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq in January, the Defense Department said, a number that was more than 50 percent higher than previously disclosed. Of the 109 troops who have been diagnosed with brain injuries, 76 had returned to duty, officials […]

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Amazon Looks to Question Trump in Pentagon Contracting Case

SEATTLE — Amazon has asked a federal court to let it depose President Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, arguing that hearing from them was essential to determining if they had intervened against the internet company when the Pentagon awarded a multibillion-dollar defense contract to a competitor. The request, which was unsealed on Monday, escalates […]

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With a Year Until Guantánamo’s 9/11 Trial, the Military Has a Long To-Do List

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — After a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck in the Caribbean, the Navy captain in charge of this remote Pentagon outpost declared a tsunami warning. Word reached the base school and boats on the bay but never got to the war […]

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Trump Fires Gordon Sondland Hours After Dismissing Impeachment Witness Alexander Vindman

WASHINGTON — President Trump and his aides wasted little time opening a campaign of retribution against those he blames for his impeachment, firing on Friday two of the most prominent witnesses in the inquiry against him barely 48 hours after the Senate acquitted the president. Emboldened by his victory and determined to strike back, Mr. […]

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In Trump’s Pentagon, Bringing Back Banned Weapons and Alienating Allies

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration, which came into office pledging to end “endless wars,” has now embraced weapons prohibited by more than 160 countries, and is readying them for future use. Cluster bombs and antipersonnel land mines, deadly explosives known for maiming and killing civilians long after the fighting ended, have become integral to the […]

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Impeachment Witness Alexander Vindman Will Be Transferred From the White House

The White House plans to transfer Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, whose testimony in the House impeachment hearings infuriated President Trump and his allies, out of the National Security Council staff as early as Friday, two senior administration officials said. Mr. Trump essentially confirmed the move in brief comments with reporters before leaving on a […]

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Navy Secretary Pushed Out by Trump Says He’ll Endorse Bloomberg

WASHINGTON — The Navy secretary ousted by President Trump said Thursday that he would endorse Michael R. Bloomberg for president, a high-profile defection that Mr. Bloomberg’s allies hope will convince Democratic voters that their best chance of defeating Mr. Trump is the former mayor of New York. Richard V. Spencer, who was ousted as Navy […]

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U.S. Special Operations Forces Overemphasize Combat Experience, Review Says

America’s special operations forces, like the Army’s Green Berets and the Navy SEALs, have developed a problematic culture that overemphasizes combat “to the detriment of leadership, discipline and accountability,” according to a sweeping review conducted by the military’s Special Operations Command. Time on the battlefield is seen as “the ultimate expression of competence,” the review […]

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