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Apr 3, 2014

Analysis: Shootings frustrate U.S. military efforts to secure bases

By Phil Stewart

(Reuters) – The latest shooting at Fort Hood is throwing a spotlight on the U.S. military’s so-far frustrated efforts to secure its bases from potential shooters, who increasingly appear to see the facilities as attractive targets.

A soldier with mental health problems killed three people and injured 16 at Fort Hood in Texas, going from one building to another to open fire with a semi-automatic handgun before taking his own life, the military said.

Apr 2, 2014

U.S. eyes lessons learned from Malaysia jet at Asia defense talks

HONOLULU (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Tuesday he expected to discuss lessons learned from the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner at talks with southeast Asian defense chiefs, but stopped short of criticizing Malaysia’s coordination effort.

The so-far fruitless search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 has been a massive international military undertaking that has included patrol flights by state-of-the-art U.S. spy planes.

Mar 30, 2014

Top NATO commander cuts short U.S. visit, eyes on Russian troops

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has sent America’s top general in Europe back early from a trip to Washington in what a spokesman on Sunday called a prudent step given Russia’s “lack of transparency” about troop movements across the border with Ukraine.

General Philip Breedlove, who is both NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the head of the U.S. military’s European Command, had been due to testify before Congress this week. Instead, he arrived in Europe Saturday evening and will be consulting with allies.

Mar 28, 2014

Russia’s buildup near Ukraine may reach 40,000 troops: U.S. sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia’s reinforcement of troops near Ukraine has brought the total forces there to as many as 40,000, U.S. officials estimated on Friday, as the United States voiced anxiety over the buildup and called on Moscow to pull back its military.

The U.S. estimates of as many as 35,000 to around 40,000 troops are higher than the more than 30,000 total deployments reported earlier this week by U.S. and European sources familiar with official reporting.

Mar 27, 2014

Nine officers removed, one resigns in Air Force cheating probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the nuclear missile wing at a base in Montana resigned on Thursday and nine officers were removed from their jobs over a test-cheating scandal that involved 91 missile launch officers, the Air Force said.

Lieutenant General Stephen Wilson, head of the Air Force’s Global Strike Command, said Colonel Robert Stanley, commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, had resigned on Thursday and would retire from the service.

Mar 27, 2014

Pentagon sees no signs of Russia military drills despite buildup

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States sees no indications that Russian forces along the border with Ukraine are carrying out the kind of springtime military exercises that Moscow has cited as the reason for their deployment, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

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, as the West moves to isolate Russia diplomatically and pressure it economically.

Mar 25, 2014

Deep budget cuts may erode U.S. Army ability to fight long war: general

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. Army officer told lawmakers on Tuesday that a return to deep budget cuts as required by law beginning in 2016 would make it difficult for the military to carry out even one extended ground war.

General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told a panel in the House of Representatives that severe, across-the-board budget cuts would force the Army to shrink to 420,000 active-duty soldiers, a level at which it could no longer execute the president’s national defense strategy.

Mar 24, 2014

U.S. sending undersea drone in hunt for Malaysian jetliner

WASHINGTON, March 24 (Reuters) – The United States is
sending an undersea Navy drone capable of exploring waters
nearly 15,000 feet deep to potentially help search for any
sunken wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the
Pentagon said on Monday.

The U.S. disclosure that it was pre-positioning the
sonar-equipped Bluefin “autonomous underwater vehicle” in
Australia came hours after Malaysia announced that the jetliner
which disappeared over two weeks ago had crashed in the southern
Indian Ocean.

Mar 21, 2014

U.S. may give sonar gear to Malaysia for plane search

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
the sea.

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.

Mar 21, 2014

U.S. search for missing Malaysian jetliner cost $2.5 million so far

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.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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