BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European defence ministers spoke out on Thursday against sending weapons to the Ukrainian army, pointing to a potential transatlantic split if Washington decides to supply arms.
The United States is considering whether to provide weapons to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists, although no decision has been made, senior administration officials said on Monday.
BRUSSELS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – NATO defence ministers met on
Thursday to sign off on a network of command centres in eastern
Europe to rapidly reinforce the region in the event of any
threat from Russia, as well as a bigger rapid reaction force and
two new regional headquarters.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the measures,
part of the alliance’s response to Russia’s annexation of
Ukraine’s Crimea, amounted to “the biggest reinforcement of our
collective defence” since the end of the Cold War 25 years ago.
WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Facing new security challenges
in the Middle East and Ukraine, the Obama administration on
Monday proposed a $534 billion Pentagon base budget plus $51
billion in war funds as it urged Congress to end spending cuts
which it says erode U.S. military power.
In addition to the base budget and war funding requests, the
administration proposed some $27 billion in defense spending at
other agencies, primarily nuclear weapons work by the Department
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The 2016 U.S. defense budget being released on Monday will continue a recent trend of shifting funds from the Pentagon base budget to its supplemental war-funding request, fuelling criticism of the account’s use to offset spending caps, defense analysts say.
The Obama administration is expected to seek $51 billion for so-called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), primarily the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, when it submits the president’s budget request for the 2016 fiscal year.
WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – A congressionally appointed
panel on U.S. military compensation recommended overhauling
retirement and healthcare benefits on Thursday to improve
services offered to troops and families while cutting costs by
up to $12.6 billion annually.
The nine-member panel, including former military leaders and
lawmakers, recommended the Pentagon broaden its retirement
benefits to provide 401(K)-style savings plans for most service
members while retaining a slimmed-down version of its current
20-year retirement plan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The soldier who went on a deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, last year was under great personal stress because of family deaths, a career setback and financial woes, but showed no signs he was about to explode, investigators said on Friday.
Army Specialist Ivan Lopez-Lopez, 34, opened fire at several locations on the sprawling military post on April 2, 2014, with a .45 caliber pistol, killing three soldiers and wounding 12 before taking his own life when confronted by military police.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the first group of about 100 U.S. troops to head to the Middle East in the next few days to establish training sites for Syrian opposition fighters battling Islamic State militants, the Pentagon said on Friday.
Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the troops, mostly special operations forces, were authorized last week and would begin arriving in countries outside Syria in the coming days, with a subsequent wave of several hundred military trainers following in the weeks thereafter.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s insatiable demand for intelligence collected by drone aircraft is putting a huge stress on operators who fly them 14 hours a day, Air Force officials said on Thursday as they unveiled bonus pay and other steps to tackle the issue.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said aviators who remotely fly Predators, Reapers and other drones have been putting in 900 to 1,100 flight hours a year, three or four times the number flown by traditional military pilots.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon transferred five Yemenis held at Guantanamo prison to foreign custody on Wednesday in the first handover of detainees in 2015, sending four to Oman and one to Estonia despite Republican calls for a moratorium on the resettlements.
U.S. officials said all five Yemenis, held for a dozen or more years at the military prison at a U.S. Navy base in Cuba, had been cleared for release nearly five years ago by a multi-agency task force that included intelligence, diplomatic and military officials.
(Reuters) – The Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. military command that oversees operations in the Middle East were hacked on Monday by people claiming to be sympathetic toward the Islamic State militant group being targeted in American bombing raids.
“American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back, ISIS,” the hackers posted on the U.S. Central Command Twitter feed, using an acronym for the hardline Islamist group, which has taken control of parts of Syria and Iraq.