Tag: Defense Department

This Company Boasted to Trump About Its Covid-19 Vaccine. Experts Are Skeptical.

As the deadly new virus spread globally, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a small biotech company in Pennsylvania, rushed to develop a vaccine. After announcing promising early results, Inovio’s stock soared more than 1,000 percent. Riding the momentum, the company sold more shares to the public. That was 2009, when H1N1, better known as swine flu, was stoking […]

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Red Cross Cancels Guantánamo Visit Over Coronavirus Cases

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The International Committee of the Red Cross has canceled its coming quarterly visit to the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, citing the perils of travel during the pandemic, making for its longest absence from the prison since it opened in January 2002. […]

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Nixon Also Called In the Military Against Protesters

In the spring of 1971, Richard Nixon found himself in a situation not unlike President Trump’s. His approval rating was falling — in Mr. Nixon’s case, to a first-term low — just as an energetic social movement was hitting the streets. Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Nixon was tempted to use military force to counter those […]

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More U.S. Troops Will Leave Afghanistan Before the Election, Trump Says

President Trump said that there would be fewer than 5,000 American troops in Afghanistan by Election Day in November, signaling that the United States would continue to withdraw troops from the country despite limited progress toward the start of peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “We’re going down to 4,000, we’re negotiating […]

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Rescue of Troubled Trucking Company With White House Ties Draws Scrutiny

WASHINGTON — At a virtual congressional hearing in May, Senator Jerry Moran, Republican of Kansas, asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for help. A struggling trucking company in his state was on the brink of collapse and needed government support. Eager to assist, Mr. Mnuchin assured the senator that “we will look at that specific company […]

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Trump Pick for Pentagon Post Sidesteps Senate Ire for Different Defense Job

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s choice to fill the Pentagon’s top policy job withdrew his name from consideration on Sunday after senators from both parties voiced opposition to the official’s nomination, largely because of his history of inflammatory comments. But in an end run around the skeptical senators, the Trump administration appointed the official, Anthony J. […]

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U.S. to Cut 12,000 Forces in Germany

The United States is cutting back its deployments in Germany by nearly 12,000 troops and shifting some of those forces around the continent, including relocating some units to Belgium and Italy, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper announced Wednesday. About 6,400 troops are set to return to the United States. The move is certain to rankle […]

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Pentagon Admits to Civilian Casualties in Somalia for a Third Time

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has admitted for the third time that its bombing campaign against terrorist groups in Somalia, which has been underway for more than a decade, had caused civilian casualties there, a military report said on Tuesday. The announcement, by United States Africa Command, substantiated reports by Amnesty International that a U.S. airstrike […]

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The Two China Fires

We’ll probably never know exactly what sorts of documents were incinerated at China’s Consulate in Houston in the days before the United States forced it to close on Friday, after accusing it of being a hub of espionage. We may also never know what caused this month’s catastrophic fire aboard the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard, a […]

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Trump Administration Plans to Bypass Arms Control Pact to Sell Large Armed Drones

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration plans to announce on Friday that it will allow the sale of armed drones to other nations and bypass part of an international weapons export control agreement that the United States helped forge more than three decades ago, congressional aides said. Administration officials have been debating for years over how […]

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No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public

Despite Pentagon statements that it disbanded a once-covert program to investigate unidentified flying objects, the effort remains underway — renamed and tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, where officials continue to study mystifying encounters between military pilots and unidentified aerial vehicles. Pentagon officials will not discuss the program, which is not classified but deals […]

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Accuse, Evict, Repeat: Why Punishing China and Russia for Cyberattacks Fails

As smoke poured from the Chinese Consulate in Houston on Wednesday, the product of an old-fashioned ritual in which evicted diplomats touch off a bonfire of classified documents after being ordered to leave the country, Trump administration officials boasted that they were hitting Beijing where it hurt — in one of the epicenters of its […]

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Biden Could Quickly Reverse Trump’s Military Transgender Ban, Group Says

WASHINGTON — Joseph R. Biden Jr. could reverse President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military within 30 days if he is elected president, according to a policy memo from an advocacy group. The Palm Center, which has been fighting the ban since it was announced three years ago, says the Pentagon would […]

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Rise in Virus Cases Near Bases in U.S. and Abroad Poses Test for Military

WASHINGTON — More than 20,000 American service members have contracted the coronavirus, and the infection rate in the services has tripled over the past six weeks as the United States military has emerged as a potential source of transmission both domestically and abroad, according to military and local public health officials. Cases are rising the […]

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For Families of 9/11 Victims, Virus Further Slows the Pace of Justice

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. WASHINGTON — Terry Strada breathed a sigh of relief last summer when a military judge finally set a date to begin the death penalty trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other men accused of planning the attacks that killed her husband […]

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Pentagon Sidesteps Trump to Ban the Confederate Flag

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon, without once mentioning the word “Confederate,” announced a policy on Friday that essentially bans displays of the Confederate flag on military installations around the world. In a carefully worded memo that Defense Department officials said they hoped would avoid igniting another defense of the flag from President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark […]

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$174 Million Afghan Drone Program Is Riddled With Problems, U.S. Report Says

WASHINGTON — A Pentagon report on Thursday harshly criticized a $174 million American drone program that was meant to give Afghan forces an advantage over the Taliban but has instead shown few gains. The report from the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction cited delays and a lack of oversight or clear metrics for success […]

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U.S. Says Most of China’s Claims in South China Sea Are Illegal

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that China’s expansive maritime claims across most of the South China Sea were “completely unlawful,” setting up potential military confrontations with Beijing and sanctions against companies as the United States seeks to push back Chinese activity in the region. Mr. Pompeo said China’s yearslong “campaign […]

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Trump’s Shocking Inaction on Russia

Did President Trump know about U.S. intelligence community assessments that the Russians had offered bounties to the Taliban for attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan? He hasn’t so far offered a direct answer but instead shifting, manipulative responses. That is itself troubling. It is also troubling that he has not condemned even the […]

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Rename theMilitary Bases That Honor Confederates

African-Americans were nonpersons in the eyes of the state when the federal government started to name U.S. Army installations for Confederate officers. Black people in the South were being lynched with impunity for such offenses as seeking the vote, competing with white people in business or simply failing to give way on the sidewalk. In […]

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