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May 6, 2015

Pentagon chief calls for new multi-year defense spending deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Calling Republican defense spending plans a “road to nowhere,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter appealed on Wednesday for lawmakers to work with him toward a new bipartisan budget deal to provide stable funding for a U.S. military hurt by years of steep cuts.

Carter told a Senate appropriations panel that Republican efforts to try to meet President Barack Obama’s defense funding request were well-intentioned but would not give the Pentagon the flexibility it needed and ultimately would lock in budget cuts Obama has threatened to veto.

May 1, 2015

Sexual assault in U.S. military has fallen: pentagon survey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sexual assault in the U.S. military declined over the past two years, and studies found that men and women experience the crime in different circumstances, offering new insight into curbing the problem, the Pentagon said in an annual report on Friday.

Officials said a 27 percent drop in the prevalence of sexual assault, coupled with an increase in the number of people actually reporting the crime was positive news because it showed Pentagon efforts to fight the problem were bearing fruit.

Apr 28, 2015

Iranian Revolutionary Guards seize cargo ship in Gulf

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian patrol boats intercepted a cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday and forced it into Iranian territorial waters by firing shots across its bow, prompting the U.S. Navy to send a destroyer and reconnaissance plane to monitor the situation.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats confronted the MV Maersk Tigris, a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, as it was traversing one of the world’s most important oil shipping channels and forced it to divert toward Larak Island near Bandar Abbas, where it was boarded by Iranian forces, U.S. officials said.

Apr 28, 2015

U.S. says Iranian forces fire on and board cargo ship in Gulf

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf on Tuesday after patrol boats fired warning shots across its bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters, the Pentagon said.

U.S. planes and a destroyer were monitoring the situation after the vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, made a distress call in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most important oil shipping channels.

Apr 24, 2015

Pentagon dismisses Moscow claim of U.S. troops in Ukraine combat zone

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that U.S. troops were training Ukrainian forces in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, but the Pentagon flatly denied it, accusing Moscow of a “ridiculous attempt” to obscure its own activity in the region.

Interfax quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov as saying U.S. troops were training Ukrainian forces not only in western Ukraine “as Ukrainian TV channels show, but directly in the combat zone in the area of Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Artyomovsk and Volnovakha.”

Apr 23, 2015

Pentagon dismisses Moscow claim of U.S. troops in east Ukraine

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) – The Russian Defense
Ministry said on Thursday that U.S. troops were training
Ukrainian forces in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, but
the Pentagon flatly denied it, accusing Moscow of a “ridiculous
attempt” to obscure its own activity in the region.

Interfax quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major
General Igor Konashenkov as saying U.S. troops were training
Ukrainian forces not only in western Ukraine “as Ukrainian TV
channels show, but directly in the combat zone in the area of
Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Artyomovsk and Volnovakha.”

Apr 22, 2015

Pentagon chief warns sexual assault problem could deter recruits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned on Wednesday that the military’s sexual assault problem could drive away new recruits, and urged a group of officer trainees to have the courage to speak out against behavior that contributes to sexual misconduct.

Carter’s remarks to reserve officer trainees at Georgetown University came ahead of the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on sexual assault and prevention efforts, which is expected in the next few weeks.

Apr 22, 2015

Europe’s security challenges should mean more defense spending: Carter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Europe should be spending more on its military given the security challenges facing the region, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday, adding that falling investment had eroded Europe’s ability to be a capable U.S. ally.

“They’re not doing enough. They are spending a smaller share of their GDP than they have in the past, (than) we do now and (than) many, like Russia, are spending. It’s too low,” Carter told a group of university students training as military officers.

Apr 22, 2015

Obama says U.S. has warned Iran not to send weapons to Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the U.S. government had sent “very direct messages” to Iran warning it not to send weapons to Yemen that could be used to threaten shipping traffic in the region.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday the presence of a large convoy of Iranian cargo ships in the Arabian Sea was one factor in the U.S. decision to deploy additional warships in the waters off war-torn Yemen.

Apr 21, 2015

Iranian flotilla a ‘factor’ in warship deployment off Yemen -Pentagon

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on
Tuesday the presence of a large convoy of Iranian cargo ships in
the Arabian Sea was one factor in the U.S. decision to deploy
additional warships in the waters off war-torn Yemen but was not
the primary reason for the move.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, also said
he did not believe Navy warships patrolling the region had been
in direct contact with the Iranian flotilla of nine cargo ships.

    • 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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