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Jul 23, 2015

Pentagon probe of anthrax samples sent to labs in U.S. and abroad finds faulty protocols

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An investigation into how Defense Department labs sent live anthrax spores to researchers in the United States and seven other countries did not find a single root cause but concluded that protocols to inactivate the bacteria were deficient, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

A 38-page report on the discovery of the live anthrax shipments found that Defense Department personnel responsible for sterilizing the anthrax samples at four locations had followed their own protocols correctly.

Jul 23, 2015

Pentagon probe of anthrax samples sent to labs in U.S. and abroad finds faulty protocols

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An investigation into how Defense Department labs sent live anthrax spores to researchers in the United States and seven other countries did not find a single root cause but concluded that protocols to inactivate the bacteria were deficient, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

A 38-page report on the discovery of the live anthrax shipments found that Defense Department personnel responsible for sterilizing the anthrax samples at four locations had followed their own protocols correctly.

Jul 21, 2015

U.S. general touts putting air controllers with Iraqi troops

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – Putting U.S. air controllers
with Iraqi forces closer to combat areas so they can identify
and direct bombing would improve air strikes on Islamic State
rebel targets and should be “seriously considered,” a top U.S.
general told lawmakers on Tuesday.

General Mark Milley, nominee for the next Army chief of
staff, also told his Senate confirmation hearing he favored
providing lethal defensive equipment to help Ukrainian troops
counter the artillery of Russian-backed rebels.

Jul 17, 2015

Shrinking U.S. Army increasingly stretched by global commitments: general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army is far more heavily engaged around the world than projected when it began slashing force size several years ago, and its commitments will be hard to maintain in the long run as troop numbers shrink, General Ray Odierno said on Friday.

Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said decisions about cutting the size of the force from 570,000 to the current 490,000 were made several years ago when Pentagon planners expected a peaceful Europe, a declining commitment in Afghanistan and no return to Iraq.

Jul 13, 2015

U.S. considers training Ukrainian army troops: general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials are considering expanding the American military training mission in Ukraine to include army and special operations troops, likely focusing on issues like tactics and combat medicine, a top U.S. Army general said on Monday.

Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, the head of U.S. Army forces in Europe, said expanding the mission from training interior ministry guardsmen to training forces under the control of the defense ministry did not mean the administration would provide Ukraine with lethal arms.

Jul 9, 2015

Facing spending squeeze, U.S. Army plans to cut thousands of soldiers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army unveiled a long-awaited plan on Thursday for cutting the military service by nearly 60,000 soldiers and civilians, a budget-driven reduction it said would touch nearly every Army installation in the United States and overseas.

The decision to cut 40,000 soldiers and 17,000 civilians by the end of the 2017 fiscal year will mean several thousand lost jobs at bases in Georgia, Texas and Alaska and more than a thousand each in Hawaii and Washington, the Army said.

Jul 9, 2015

Russia is top U.S. national security threat: Gen. Dunford

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia presents the greatest threat to U.S. national security and its behavior is “nothing short of alarming,” Marine General Joseph Dunford told lawmakers on Thursday as they weighed his nomination to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dunford also added his voice to those Pentagon officials who have supported providing lethal arms to Ukraine to help it defend itself from Russia-backed separatists, a step that President Barack Obama has so far resisted.

Jul 9, 2015

Russia is top U.S. national security threat -U.S. Gen. Dunford

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) – Russia presents the greatest
threat to U.S. national security and its behavior is “nothing
short of alarming,” Marine General Joseph Dunford told lawmakers
on Thursday as they weighed his nomination to become chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dunford also added his voice to those Pentagon officials who
have supported providing lethal arms to Ukraine to help it
defend itself from Russia-backed separatists, a step that
President Barack Obama has so far resisted.

Jul 8, 2015

Lawmakers bash U.S. Army plan to cut 57,000 troops and civilians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration was criticized by lawmakers on Wednesday over U.S. Army plans to cut nearly 60,000 soldiers and civilian personnel, warning the reductions were risky for U.S. forces at a time of conflict in the Middle East and rising tensions with Russia.

Senator John McCain, the Republican head of the Armed Services Committee, called the plan to cut 40,000 soldiers and 17,000 civilian personnel “another dangerous consequence of budget-driven strategy” pursued by President Barack Obama.

Jul 7, 2015

U.S. only training 60 Syrian fighters, far below expectations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States was only training about 60 Syrian opposition fighters to battle Islamic State as of July 3, far below expectations, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress on Tuesday, citing rigorous U.S. vetting of recruits.

The program, which launched in May in Jordan and Turkey, was designed to train as many as 5,400 fighters a year and seen as a test of President Barack Obama’s strategy of engaging local partners to combat extremists.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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