Tag: United States Defense and Military Forces

With Beijing’s Military Nearby, U.S. Sends 2 Aircraft Carriers to South China Sea

WASHINGTON — Two American aircraft carriers sailed to the South China Sea on Saturday for what Navy officials described as a freedom-of-navigation operation while China’s military conducts exercises nearby. The carriers — the Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz — deployed “in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement by the Navy’s Seventh […]

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New Administration Memo Seeks to Foster Doubts About Suspected Russian Bounties

A memo produced in recent days by the office of the nation’s top intelligence official acknowledged that the C.I.A. and top counterterrorism officials have assessed that Russia appears to have offered bounties to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but emphasized uncertainties and gaps in evidence, according to three officials. The memo is said […]

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Russia Denies Paying Bounties, but Some Say the U.S. Had It Coming

MOSCOW — Three years into a grinding war in eastern Ukraine, the Trump administration, in a sharp break with Obama-era policy, proposed providing the Ukrainian army with potent American weapons, Javelin anti-tank missiles, to aid its struggle with Russian-backed separatists. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia responded with an ominous warning, saying weapons in the […]

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Prosecutors File Charge in Case of Vanessa Guillen, Missing Fort Hood Soldier

Prosecutors have announced a charge in the case of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, an Army soldier whose family had searched desperately for answers since she disappeared in April, detailing for the first time accusations that she was killed by another soldier who then tried to dispose of her remains. In a federal complaint, the accused soldier […]

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Bounties Uproar Casts a Shadow Over a Rare Trump Foreign Policy Achievement

For a president with few tangible foreign policy accomplishments under his belt, Afghanistan had come to look something like a bright spot. His nuclear talks with North Korea have proved fruitless; his “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has produced no concessions from Tehran; Palestinians declared his Middle East peace plan dead on arrival; and a […]

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The V.A. Made Me Vomit. And That Was a Good Thing.

The psychiatrist was bald, with kind eyes, a silver goatee and the air of exhaustion that follows a person who works hard in a difficult field. It was March 2019, and having let an old prescription expire months earlier, I had gone to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Manhattan — my first time at a […]

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Afghan Contractor Handed Out Russian Cash to Kill Americans, Officials Say

KABUL, Afghanistan — He was a lowly drug smuggler, neighbors and relatives say, then ventured into contracting, seeking a slice of the billions of dollars the U.S.-led coalition was funneling into construction projects in Afghanistan. But he really began to show off his wealth in recent years, after establishing a base in Russia, though how […]

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Slotkin, Former Intelligence Briefer, Presses White House on Russia Reports

WASHINGTON — From the moment President Trump publicly denied knowledge of intelligence that suggested that Russia had offered bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan, something seemed off to Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan. Ms. Slotkin, a former White House national security aide and intelligence briefer whose tasks included ensuring that previous presidents were […]

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Vanessa Guillen Investigation: Arrest in Case of Missing Fort Hood Soldier

A woman has been taken into custody in connection with the disappearance of a Fort Hood soldier who has been missing since April, the Army said on Wednesday. A second suspect, identified only as a soldier, took his own life in Killeen, Texas, on Tuesday, the Army said. The missing soldier, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, […]

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White House Dismisses Reports of Bounties, but Is Silent on Russia

First President Trump denied knowing about it. Then he called it a possible “hoax.” Next, the White House attacked the news media. And now an unnamed intelligence official is to blame. The one thing Mr. Trump and his top officials have not done is to address the substance of intelligence reports that Russia paid bounties […]

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A Russian Plot to Kill U.S. Soldiers

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via Spotify | Via Stitcher A New York Times investigation has revealed evidence of a secret Russian operation to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan — and of the failure of the Trump administration to act on that intelligence. As lawmakers from […]

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Trump’s New Russia Problem: Unread Intelligence and Missing Strategy

The intelligence finding that Russia was most likely paying a bounty for the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan has evoked a strange silence from President Trump and his top national security officials. He insists he never saw the intelligence, though it was part of the President’s Daily Brief just days before a peace deal […]

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Why Does Trump Put Russia First?

Since at least February, and possibly as early as March 2019, the United States has had compelling intelligence that a committed adversary, Russia, paid bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill American troops in Afghanistan. American service members were reportedly killed as a result. To this day, the president of the United States has done nothing […]

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Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties

American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, which was among the evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence. Though the […]

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Father of Slain Marine Finds Heartbreak Anew in Possible Russian Bounty

WASHINGTON — Erik Hendriks has largely avoided news reports since his son, Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, was killed by a car bomb in Afghanistan last April. But the news that several American officials believe that a Russian military intelligence unit paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan has been […]

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U.S. Commandos at Risk for Suicide: Is the Military Doing Enough?

He was one of the most elite military men in America, but his service in the Special Operations forces (S.O.F.) had taken a heavy toll. “The job I love and have committed my whole being to is creating my suicidal condition, but I’d rather die than admit to having trouble and being removed from my […]

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Trump Got Written Briefing in February on Possible Russian Bounties, Officials Say

American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said. The investigation into the suspected Russian covert operation to incentivize such […]

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U.S. Halts High-Tech Exports to Hong Kong Over Security Concerns

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration placed new restrictions on U.S. exports of defense equipment and certain high-technology products to Hong Kong on Monday, in response to a new Chinese law aimed at tightening Beijing’s control over the territory. The administration determined in late May that Hong Kong no longer had significant autonomy under Chinese rule, […]

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Lawmakers Press for Answers on Russian Bounty Offers to Taliban to Kill U.S. Troops

Democrats and Republicans in Congress demanded on Monday that American intelligence agencies promptly share with lawmakers what they know about a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, and threatened to retaliate against the Kremlin. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic […]

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College Is Worth It, but Campus Isn’t

Each fall, millions of students head to college campuses. Most stay close to home, but many crisscross the country to study in a different state. Students typically move into crowded housing and reconnect with friends at parties, mixers and bars. When classes start, they customarily file into large lecture halls and small seminar rooms, sitting […]

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Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON — United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter. The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on […]

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Biden Criticizes Trump Over Intelligence on Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. assailed President Trump on Saturday for failing to punish Russia for offering bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, while the White House denied that Mr. Trump had been briefed on the months-old classified intelligence assessment about Russia’s activities. Citing officials briefed on […]

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Afghan Deaths Pile Up in Uncertainty Over U.S. Deal With Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two employees of Afghanistan’s human rights commission were killed in Kabul on Saturday as a bomb attached to their vehicle exploded, the latest in a rising number of targeted killings in the Afghan capital. From assassinations of religious scholars and assaults against cultural figures to widespread Taliban attacks across the country, the […]

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Biden Still Wants to Close Guantánamo Prison

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. President Barack Obama vowed to close it, and failed. President Trump vowed to load it up with more “bad dudes,” and has not. Now Joseph R. Biden Jr. is saying that if elected president, he would support shutting down the military prison […]

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Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter. The United States concluded months ago that […]

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China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States

In the same week that Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a deadly brawl, one of China’s submarines cruised through the waters near Japan, prompting a scramble of aircraft and ships to track its furtive movements. Chinese fighter jets and at least one bomber buzzed Taiwan’s territorial airspace almost daily. With the world distracted by […]

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Defense Secretary Faces White House Pressure on Aides and a Military Promotion

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is facing a hemorrhage of talent as senior officials resign amid continued efforts by the White House to purge those perceived as political foes, including the Army lieutenant colonel who testified in the House impeachment hearings. The Army this week forwarded to Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper a list of hundreds […]

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U.S. Used Missile With Long Blades to Kill Qaeda Leader in Syria

WASHINGTON — American Special Operations forces used a specially designed secret missile to kill the head of a Qaeda affiliate in Syria this month, dealing the terrorist group a serious blow with a weapon that combines medieval brutality with cutting-edge technology. American and Qaeda officials said on Wednesday that Khaled al-Aruri, the de facto leader […]

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Trump Didn’t ‘Send In the Troops.’ They Were Already There.

A little more than 28 years ago, a convoy of Marines drove north on Interstate 5 toward Los Angeles. I was in the convoy, a young Marine company commander, riding with misgivings. The city was smoldering after two nights of violence and arson following the acquittal of police officers who had brutally beaten Rodney King, […]

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U.S. Soldier Admits Plotting With Neo-Nazi Cult to Kill Fellow Troops

An Army private has confessed to sharing secret information with a satanic neo-Nazi cult in a plot to attack his own military unit while it was overseas and to cause “the deaths of as many of his fellow service members as possible,” federal prosecutors in Manhattan said on Monday. The private, Ethan Phelan Melzer, was […]

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