WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. military official declared “the days of Rambo are over” as the Pentagon unveiled its plans on Tuesday for integrating women into combat infantry positions following 12 years of war in which they fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan while barred from front-line fighting jobs.
The plans, which call for gender-neutral job requirements like scaling walls and lifting 55-pound (25-kg) tank ammunition, will require more years of study, education and training before some services open combat jobs to women.
WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) – The United States said on
Saturday it will keep Patriot missiles and F-16 jet fighters in
Jordan after joint military exercises end next week while
Secretary of State John Kerry said a political solution to the
civil war in neighboring Syria may be getting “out of reach.”
The decision to put Patriot batteries – an air and missile
defense system – in Jordan has been particularly controversial
for Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main global ally.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is promising to step up assistance to Syrian rebels after concluding Damascus used chemical weapons against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, but the military options facing the United States are no easier than before.
President Barack Obama has been slow to move toward military assistance for Syria’s opposition in the past and is likely to continue to move judiciously, looking to work with allies in any intervention in the country’s civil war.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Armed Services Committee endorsed several steps to improve prosecution of military sexual assault on Wednesday during a rare open debate of its annual defense policy bill, but it killed a controversial proposal opposed by Pentagon leaders.
The panel, on a 17-9 vote, approved a plan by committee chairman Carl Levin that would continue to let military commanders decide whether to bring sexual assault cases to trial but would add levels of automatic review by more senior leaders.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday approved a controversial plan to improve the military’s handling of sexual assault cases, backing draft legislation that would let prosecutors, rather than a victim’s commander, decide if a sex offense should go to trial.
The proposal was one of a dozen sexual assault-related measures endorsed by the personnel panel of the Senate Armed Services Committee for inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual legislation that sets policy for the U.S. military.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army is failing to deal with sexual assault in its ranks because too many soldiers in positions of authority do not think there is a problem, the Army chief of staff told a summit of leaders called to address the issue.
General Ray Odierno told a gathering of officials in the Army’s Sexual Harassment, Assault Response and Prevention program that when he travels to different bases and speaks to smaller units, he finds too many sergeants, lieutenants and captains who say they do not have a sex assault problem.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The commanding general of U.S. Army forces in Japan was suspended on Friday due to allegations he failed to properly investigate a sexual assault complaint, the Pentagon said.
The suspension came as the U.S. military seeks to crack down on the problem of sexual assault following a jump in reports of unwanted sexual contact in the services and a spate of embarrassing assault cases that have raised questions about the military’s ability to deal with the problem.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sexual assault is an “insider attack” that is lethal to the U.S. military’s culture of discipline and should have been eliminated years ago, the second-highest U.S. officer told a women’s military group on Thursday.
“We have worked hard on this but not hard enough,” said Admiral James Winnefeld, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, comparing sexual assault to the insider attacks in which Afghan soldiers have turned their weapons on coalition forces.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO fleshed out plans on Wednesday for the smaller training and advisory mission it will leave in Afghanistan once it ends combat operations at the end of 2014, including which allies will take charge of the mission in each region of the country.
But the military alliance did not spell out how many troops would stay on, with several countries waiting for lead nation the United States to detail its commitment before making pledges of their own.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO is likely to wait until after this year’s fighting season in Afghanistan before deciding the size of the international military force that will remain behind after 2014 to train and assist Afghan troops, a U.S. general said on Tuesday.
Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, head of international forces in Afghanistan, said he expected NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels this week to further define the nature of the mission they want to perform in Afghanistan after 2014, when most foreign combat troops withdraw.