WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) – The Pentagon is weighing a
request from Malaysia for sonar equipment to bolster the so-far
frustrated search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370,
as concerns grow that any debris may have sunk to the bottom of
Malaysia’s Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein asked for
undersea surveillance equipment in a phone call with U.S.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, as the Pentagon tallied $2.5
million in costs so far in the nearly two-week-old search.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s search for the missing Malaysian jetliner has cost $2.5 million so far, the Pentagon estimated on Friday, adding it has set aside about $4 million for the hunt so far, enough to cover operations through early April.
It was the first disclosure of costs for the U.S. ships and aircraft joining the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370, which went missing almost two weeks ago with 239 people aboard.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Thursday it was focusing for now on Ukrainian requests for non-lethal support, as opposed to any weaponry, as a senior U.S. official said Washington wanted to avoid further militarizing the standoff with Russia.
Ukraine’s government has put its heavily outnumbered and outgunned forces on alert for an invasion from Russia in the east following Moscow’s seizure of Crimea.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel received assurances on Thursday from his Russian counterpart that the thousands of Russian troops along Ukraine’s eastern border had no plans to enter the country, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Hagel held an often “direct” conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the Ukraine crisis for about an hour, U.S. Rear Admiral John Kirby said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of NATO warned on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin may not stop with the annexation of Crimea and said the crisis should serve as a “wake-up call” for European nations to bolster defense spending.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia’s move to annex Crimea following a Kremlin-backed referendum on Sunday had triggered “the gravest threat to European security and stability since the end of the Cold War.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Russia on Wednesday of tossing out international rules in an attempt to “redraw the map of Europe,” as he called the Ukraine crisis NATO’s most pressing security challenge.
“We have seen Russia rip up the international rule book, trying to redraw the map of Europe, and creating, in just a few weeks, the most serious security crisis since the end of the Cold War,” Rasmussen told a forum at Georgetown University during a trip to Washington.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A government watchdog is raising fresh concerns that U.S. funds meant to help pay Afghan police salaries may instead be going to “ghost workers,” according to a letter he sent to military commanders in Afghanistan.
John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said his staff has initiated an audit on the reliability of personnel data for Afghan National Security Forces, including how such data are used to calculate payrolls for Afghan National Police officers.
WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – The United States is
weighing requests for military assistance from Ukraine,
including both lethal and non-lethal support, two U.S.
officials said on Thursday, as a prominent U.S. senator urged
approval of any arms sought by Kiev.
The U.S. officials, who asked to speak on condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the diplomatic
discussions, said the United States had already decided to move
ahead with some aid, including military food rations.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New Guantanamo Bay U.S. prison guidelines describe hunger striking detainees as undergoing “long term non-religious fasting,” a copy of the document obtained by Reuters shows.
Two U.S. military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday the change in terminology helps differentiate between detainees with medical conditions caused by malnourishment, and political protesters who were at or above their ideal bodyweight.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia, locked in a standoff with the West over Ukraine, would be unable to thwart a complete or partial U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan even if it cut off access to Russian supply routes, a top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
Asked at a Senate hearing whether the United States could still get its equipment out of Afghanistan even if Russia cut off routes running through its territory, General Joseph Dunford, the top U.S. and NATO commander in the war effort, replied: “Yes.”