David's Feed
May 31, 2013

Cyber threats pose ‘stealthy, insidious’ danger – U.S. defense chief

MILITARY AIRCRAFT, May 31 (Reuters) – Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday that cyber threats posed a
“quiet, stealthy, insidious” danger to the United States and
other nations, and called for “rules of the road” to guide
behavior and avoid conflict on global computer networks.

Hagel said he would address cyber security in his speech on
Saturday to the Shangri-La Security Dialogue in Singapore and
the issue was likely to come up in a brief meeting with Chinese
delegates on the margins of the conference.

May 22, 2013

Army sergeant accused of videotaping female cadets in shower

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An Army sergeant at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has been accused of videotaping female cadets in the shower, a defense official said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of sex-related incidents that has rocked the military.

Sergeant Michael McClendon was charged this month with four violations of U.S. military law: indecent acts, dereliction in the performance of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and actions prejudicial to good order and discipline, Army spokesman George Wright said.

May 21, 2013

Lawmakers move to address U.S. military sex assault problem

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers frustrated by a spate of high-profile military sexual assault cases unveiled draft proposals in the House of Representatives on Tuesday to crack down on the crime, but they stopped short the kind of overhaul sought by some officials.

The Republican-led personnel panel of the House Armed Services Committee proposed additions to the annual defense policy bill that would impose tougher penalties on people who commit sex crimes and would ensure better treatment for victims.

May 19, 2013

Training push fails to halt military sexual assault crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under pressure to fight sexual assault, the U.S. armed forces in recent years rolled out education programs about proper sexual conduct through methods like role playing and video games.

The increase in education has nevertheless failed to prevent what the nation’s top general called last week “a crisis” after the Pentagon reported a 37 percent jump in the estimated number of sexual assault cases in 2012.

May 17, 2013

Pentagon chief vows to ‘fix’ military’s sexual assault problem

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered top military chiefs on Friday to redouble their effort to address the problem of sexual assault, saying the frequency and perceived tolerance of the crime was eroding the military’s ability conduct its mission.

“We’re going to fix this problem,” Hagel told a news conference a day after he and top military leaders met with President Barack Obama to discuss a series of incidents that have reduced confidence in the services’ handling of the crime.

May 16, 2013

Sex assault scandals put unprecedented pressure on Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A rash of scandals discrediting the U.S. military’s efforts to stamp out sexual assault is putting unprecedented pressure on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to consider options that once appeared off limits to address sex crimes in the armed forces.

On Tuesday, the military disclosed that another one of its advocates for victims of sexual assault was himself being accused of sex crimes, including allegations linking him to prostitution.

May 15, 2013

Army anti-sexual assault coordinator accused of sex crimes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Army sergeant who worked as a sexual assault prevention coordinator at Fort Hood, Texas, has been accused of sex crimes, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, the second man in the military’s anti-sexual assault effort to be accused since last week.

News of the investigation sparked renewed anger and frustration over military’s inability to deal quickly with its sexual assault problem. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed disappointment over the “breakdown in discipline” implied by the allegations, and lawmakers voiced outrage.

May 14, 2013

Navy makes aviation history with carrier drone launch

BUSH (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy made aviation history on Tuesday by launching an unmanned jet off an aircraft carrier for the first time, taking an important step toward expanded use of drones by the American military with an eye on possible rivals like China and Iran.

The bat-winged X-47B stealth drone roared off the USS George H.W. Bush near the coast of Virginia and flew a series of pre-programmed maneuvers around the ship before veering away toward a Naval air station in Maryland where it was scheduled to land.

May 14, 2013

U.S. Navy plans to make aviation history with carrier drone launch

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy plans to make
aviation history on Tuesday by catapulting an unmanned jet off
an aircraft carrier for the first time, testing a long-range,
stealthy, bat-winged plane that represents a jump forward in
drone technology.

The X-47B, which can carry the equivalent of two
precision-guided bombs and fly 2,000 nautical miles in one trip,
is due to take off from the USS George H. W. Bush in the
Atlantic using the same sling-shot system that sends manned
aircraft aloft from the short runways aboard aircraft carriers.

May 8, 2013

Lawmakers demand military leaders curb sex assaults

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senators alarmed by a jump in sex crimes in the U.S. military called on Wednesday for a cultural overhaul of the Air Force and a lawmaker exposed a web page used by Marines that she said depicted a “culture of misogyny and sexual harassment.”

“I’m just fed up with this sexual assault stuff,” Senator Barbara Mikulski told a hearing with top Air Force leaders a day after the Pentagon released its 2012 annual report on sexual assault in the military, which showed a 37 percent jump in estimated sex crimes to 26,000.

    • 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