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Apr 6, 2014

U.S., eyeing North Korea, to send more missile defense ships to Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States will deploy two additional destroyers equipped with missile defense systems to Japan by 2017, in a move Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday was a response in part to North Korean missile launches that have alarmed the region.

Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbors since Pyongyang – in an apparent show of defiance – fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.

Apr 6, 2014

U.S., eyeing N.Korea, to send more missile defence ships to Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States will deploy two additional destroyers equipped with missile defence systems to Japan by 2017, in a move Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday was a response in part to North Korean missile launches that have alarmed the region.

Tensions have been building between North Korea and its neighbours since Pyongyang – in an apparent show of defiance – fired two Rodong missiles on March 26, just as the leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States were sitting down to discuss containing the North Korean nuclear threat.

Apr 5, 2014

Hagel, in Tokyo, moves to reassure Japan on security ties

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel moved on Saturday to reassure Japan of America’s commitment to its security, as Russia’s annexation of Crimea raises eyebrows in a region facing its own territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China.

The United States and its allies have made clear they have no military plans to defend Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, instead moving to isolate Russia diplomatically and impose limited sanctions.

Apr 4, 2014

U.S. to skip China fleet review after Japan shunned

HONOLULU (Reuters) – The United States is scrapping plans for a Navy ship to join a fleet review in China after key ally, Japan, was not invited, U.S. officials said on Thursday, in a move that came just ahead of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s trip to Japan and China.

The United States had been invited to participate in the fleet review – essentially a parade of ships – as part of activities linked to the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, which is being held this month in Qingdao, an eastern port city.

Apr 3, 2014

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 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.

    • 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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