David's Feed
Nov 1, 2013

Pentagon chief criticizes states over ID cards for same-sex couples

WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
criticized nine U.S. states on Thursday for refusing to issue
identity cards to same-sex spouses and said he expected the
adjutants general for the state militias to comply with lawful
directions and Pentagon policy.

Hagel, in remarks prepared for delivery to a Jewish rights
group in New York, also announced the United States has agreed
to sell Israel six vertical liftoff V-22 Osprey aircraft – the
first U.S. ally to receive the plane.

Oct 31, 2013

Iraqi leader blames regional unrest for revival of al Qaeda in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Thursday he was seeking U.S. help to counter a resurgent al Qaeda in his country and blamed the revival of the extremist group on power vacuums in the region rather than divisive Iraqi policies.

On his first visit to Washington in two years, Maliki met with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army General Martin Dempsey before speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is due to meet President Barack Obama on Friday.

Oct 30, 2013

Lockheed signs deal to design largest ocean thermal electric plant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leading U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin signed a contract on Wednesday to design the biggest power station fueled by differences in ocean temperatures, a 10-megawatt plant that would provide electricity for a new Asian resort.

The contract between Lockheed and Beijing-based Reignwood Group, a Chinese consumer products and lifestyle firm, is the initial 10-month stage in a 3-1/2-year effort to build the green energy electric plant, which would generate power using a process known as ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC).

Oct 30, 2013

U.S. nuclear arms overhaul needed to ensure reliability: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. nuclear arsenal needs a multi-billion dollar overhaul in the coming decade to ensure the weapons’ safety and effectiveness, defense officials said on Tuesday, despite warnings from arms control groups that the effort is unaffordable and unnecessary.

Assistant Defense Secretary Madelyn Creedon told a panel in the U.S. House of Representatives that modernization work on the aging weapons was needed to give policymakers the confidence they need to pursue President Barack Obama’s goal of deeper cuts to the nuclear stockpile.

Oct 25, 2013

Automatic budget cuts could hit Pentagon harder this year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Months after the U.S. military was hit with a $37 billion budget cut that threw it into turmoil and confusion, the Pentagon is headed into the new fiscal year facing a similar threat that could have even more devastating consequences, officials say.

The budget deal that ended the government shutdown this month let the Pentagon continue spending at an annualized level of $496 billion in the 2014 fiscal year that began on October 1.

Oct 23, 2013

Despite high-tech arms, war requires ground troops: Army chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even with drones, smart bombs and precision weapons, war remains a clash of human wills that ultimately requires boots on the ground, and the notion that land forces are obsolete is naive and dangerous, the top U.S. Army general said on Wednesday.

“Technology will not solve the problems alone,” General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told a panel discussion at the annual conference of the Association of the U.S. Army, a military support group.

Oct 23, 2013

Despite high-tech arms, war requires ground troops -U.S. Army chief

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Even with drones, smart bombs
and precision weapons, war remains a clash of human wills that
ultimately requires boots on the ground, and the notion that
land forces are obsolete is naive and dangerous, the top U.S.
Army general said on Wednesday.

“Technology will not solve the problems alone,” General Ray
Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told a panel discussion at the
annual conference of the Association of the U.S. Army, a
military support group.

Oct 18, 2013

U.S. nuclear arms modernization plan misguided: scientists’ group

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An Obama administration plan to spend $60 billion over the next 25 years to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal is misguided and violates the spirit of its pledge not to develop new nuclear arms, a Union of Concerned Scientists report said on Thursday.

The 81-page report by the independent nonprofit said the $60 billion for upgrading warheads is a fraction of what Washington plans to spend on its nuclear deterrent in the coming decades, on top of billions for new manufacturing facilities and billions more for delivery systems like submarines.

Oct 17, 2013

Pentagon facing fiscal shadow despite end of shutdown: Hagel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday the Pentagon is still laboring under the shadow of budget uncertainty despite a deal by Congress that reopened the federal government and let some 7,000 furloughed defense employees return to their jobs.

Hagel urged lawmakers working to craft a government funding bill by mid-January to show the flexibility needed to reach a long-term spending agreement. He warned that further fiscal uncertainty would undermine U.S. national security and erode America’s standing in the world.

Oct 16, 2013

Pentagon chief apologizes for lost Medal of Honor nomination

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel apologized on Wednesday to a former Army captain whose nomination for the nation’s highest military honor was misplaced for two years after he complained about a lack of artillery and air support during a deadly 2009 firefight in Afghanistan.

Former Army Captain Will Swenson received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama on Tuesday for heroism during the battle of Ganjgal in Kunar Province and was inducted on Wednesday into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes, which lists the recipients of the military’s top award for valor.

    • 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."
    • More from David

    • Follow David