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Sep 17, 2014

U.S. welcomes China’s first-time attendance at naval forum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. Navy officials welcomed China’s first-time attendance at a 113-nation naval forum on Wednesday but made clear that despite progress in U.S.-Chinese military interaction, more work is needed to avoid incidents that could trigger a crisis.

Chinese navy chief Admiral Wu Shengli’s participation in the 21st International Seapower Symposium comes less than a month after Washington formally protested what it said was a “dangerous intercept” of a Navy surveillance plane by a Chinese fighter pilot in international air space off China’s coast.

Sep 15, 2014

Top NATO commander questions Russian intentions toward Moldova

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NATO’s top military commander said on Monday that Russia appeared to be following some of the same “hybrid warfare” script in dealing with the former Soviet republic of Moldova that it used before annexing Crimea and intervening in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow intervened in Ukraine amid growing unrest by pro-Russian residents and rebels. U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the head of NATO forces in Europe, noted that “little green men” – troops in uniform of unclear national origin – helped the rebels shape the military situation in Ukraine.

Sep 12, 2014

U.S. defense industry says global turmoil swaying budget hawks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Images of two Americans being beheaded and of Russian tanks rolling through Ukraine have boosted pressure on Congress to roll back $1 trillion in mandatory defense cuts that the defense industry blames for almost 100,000 job cuts in recent years.

U.S. lawmakers this week signaled support for President Barack Obama’s plan to take action against Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq.

Sep 8, 2014

U.S. military to set up field hospital in Ebola-stricken Liberia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon will send a 25-bed field hospital to Liberia to help provide medical care for health workers trying to contain the fast spreading Ebola virus that has killed 2,100 people in West Africa.

The Pentagon said the $22 million hospital was being provided at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is coordinating the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak first identified in Guinea in March.

Sep 5, 2014

U.S. confirms death of al Shabaab leader Godane in Somalia strike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that Ahmed Abdi Godane, a leader of the al Shabaab Islamist group, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia this week, calling it a “major symbolic and operational loss” for the al Qaeda-affiliated militants.

“We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al Shabaab, has been killed,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said in a statement.

Aug 29, 2014

Pentagon says Iraq operations costing on average $7.5 million per day

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. military operations against Islamic State in Iraq have cost an average of $7.5 million per day since they began in mid-June, the Pentagon said on Friday, a figure that means the department has spent more than $500 million on the conflict.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told a briefing the expense of U.S. operations against Islamic State in Iraq had varied since U.S. forces became involved on June 16 but on average “it’s costing us about $7.5 million per day.”

Aug 28, 2014

Pentagon’s relatively small Iraq costs may jump with escalation: analysts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A big escalation in U.S. military activity against Islamic State militants could force the Pentagon to seek more money from Congress as policymakers draft next year’s budget, though it should be able to pay for the current pace of operations from existing funds.

The prospect of seeking more money for the Pentagon just months ahead of congressional elections could raise scrutiny on Capitol Hill of the Obama administration’s decision on whether to step up U.S. efforts against the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

Aug 25, 2014

Experimental U.S. hypersonic weapon destroyed seconds after launch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A hypersonic weapon being developed by the U.S. military was destroyed four seconds after its launch from a test range in Alaska early on Monday after controllers detected a problem with the system, the Pentagon said.

The weapon is part of a program to create a missile that will destroy targets anywhere on Earth within an hour of getting data and permission to launch.

Aug 22, 2014

U.S. protests intercept of Navy jet by Chinese warplane

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States charged on Friday that a Chinese fighter pilot conducted a “dangerous intercept” of a Navy patrol plane in international air space this week, flying a few yards (meters) from the U.S. jet and performing acrobatic maneuvers around it.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the United States lodged a formal diplomatic protest with Beijing over the incident, which took place on Tuesday 135 miles (215 km) east of Hainan Island, site of a sensitive Chinese submarine base.

Aug 22, 2014

Insight – Amid U.S. air strikes, Iraq struggles to build own air force

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told a recent interviewer he did not want the U.S. military to become Iraq’s air force. But he may have little choice.

Iraq had only a fledgling air force when the United States withdrew in 2011. Washington has agreed to bolster Iraqi air power by selling Baghdad 36 sophisticated F-16 multi-role jet fighters and 24 Apache helicopters.

    • 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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