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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Defense Department violated U.S. law by failing to alert Congress before releasing five Taliban members held at Guantanamo Bay military prison in exchange for a captured U.S. soldier, a government watchdog agency said on Thursday.
The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon broke the law by using money appropriated by Congress to carry out the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners without giving lawmakers the required 30-day notice.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A specially equipped U.S. ship has finished neutralizing all 600 metric tons of the most dangerous of Syria’s chemical weapons components surrendered to the international community this year to avert threatened air strikes, the Pentagon said on Monday.
It said the Cape Ray, equipped with the U.S.-developed Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, neutralized 581.5 metric tons of DF, a sarin precursor chemical, and 19.8 metric tons of HD, an ingredient of sulfur mustard, while afloat in the Mediterranean.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Friday the transfer of heavy-caliber multiple-launch rocket systems from Russia to Ukrainian separatists appeared to be imminent with the arms close enough to the border they could be handed over “potentially today.”
“We have indications that the Russians intend to supply heavier and more sophisticated multiple-launch rocket systems in the very near future,” said Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, adding that the weapons were in the over-200mm range.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army on Wednesday defended its decision to notify 87 captains deployed overseas, including 48 in Afghanistan, that they were losing their jobs, would be transferred home and had nine months to organize their departure from the service.
Senior Army officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the officers were among a group of 1,188 captains notified last months that they were being separated from the service as it draws down from the current 513,800 soldiers to 510,000 by the end of the year due to budget cuts.
WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – As Russia and Ukraine trade
blame over the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian airliner,
they appear to agree on one thing: the type of Soviet-era
missile that brought it down.
But if an SA-11 Buk missile, known as “Gadfly” in NATO,
struck the aircraft and killed all 298 on board, that won’t
solve the mystery of who did it: Russia, Ukraine and
Russian-speaking rebels have all claimed the missile in their
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A day after President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on several Russian arms firms over the Ukraine conflict, a top U.S. general warned that a congressional bid to bar dealings with Moscow’s main weapons exporter could be “catastrophic” for U.S. forces.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said 88 Russian helicopters the Pentagon is buying for Afghan security forces were critical for protecting U.S. troops that remain in the country after the end of this year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Pentagon officials on Wednesday defended their 2015 war-spending request before skeptical lawmakers, some of whom called the $58.6 billion plan a “slush fund” to offset defense cuts at home and others who worried the funding-level was too small.
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon’s 2015 spending plans for the Afghanistan war were a third less than this year’s and $100 million less than four years ago.
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – U.S. senators gave initial
approval on Tuesday to a bill that would provide $549.3 billion
in defense spending next year but reject many Pentagon
cost-cutting plans, such as retiring a fleet of planes and
delaying modernization of a nuclear aircraft carrier.
The defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations
Committee approved legislation that would provide the Pentagon
with a $489.6 billion base budget in the 2015 fiscal year
beginning in October, plus $59.7 billion for conflicts abroad.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraqi security forces will probably not be able to recapture ground they have lost to Islamist militants without assistance, the top U.S. military officer said on Thursday.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said U.S. advisers now conducting an assessment of Iraqi forces were reporting the military was “capable of defending Baghdad” but it “would be challenged to go on the offence, mostly logistically challenged.”