July 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is eyeing plans to eliminate danger pay for service members in as many as 18 countries and five waterways around the world, saving about $120 million a year while taking a bite out of troops' salaries, The Associated Press has learned. Senior defense and military leaders are expected to meet later this week to review the matter and are poised to approve a new plan. Pentagon press secretary George Little declined to discuss details but said no final decisions have been made.
May 26, 2013 |
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - With a growing sexual assault epidemic staining the military, President Obama urged U.S. Naval Academy graduates Friday to remember their honor depends on what they do when nobody is looking and said the crime has "no place in the greatest military on earth. " The commander in chief congratulated the 1,047 midshipmen graduating at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, telling the 841 men and 206 women that they have proven themselves morally by meeting rigorous standards at the academy.
May 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Members of a House panel angry over the growing epidemic of sexual assaults in the military took a key step toward tackling the problem by passing legislation Wednesday that would strip commanding officers of their long-standing authority to unilaterally change or dismiss court-martial convictions in rape and assault cases. Lawmakers believe the revision will lead to a cultural shift and encourage victims to step forward. The legislation, which will be folded into a broader defense policy bill that the full House will consider in the coming weeks, also would impose harsher penalties on service members found guilty of sexual offenses by requiring that they be dismissed or dishonorably discharged.
May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama said Thursday the nation's military leaders told him they were "ashamed" of their failure to end sexual abuse in the services. He pledged to "leave no stone unturned" in the effort to halt the abuse, which he said undermined the trust the military needed to be effective. Obama said he had asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to lead a process to root out the problem. "They care about this and they are angry about it," Obama said at the White House, after he summoned Hagel, Dempsey, and other top defense leaders to discuss a problem thrust to the fore by misconduct cases and a Pentagon report showing up to 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year.
April 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is expected to give Syrian rebels broader nonlethal military assistance, including body armor and night-vision goggles, while stopping short of providing weapons to forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The timing and scope of the stepped-up aid package is unclear. President Obama has not given final approval, and an announcement is not imminent, said a senior administration official, who requested anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the internal deliberations.
January 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The United States should keep a residual force of about 10,000 in Afghanistan after combat forces leave at the end of 2014, the Senate Republican leader said Monday after a series of meetings with military leaders in the country. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who led a congressional delegation to Afghanistan and Israel, expressed optimism about an 11-year war that now stands as the longest in American history, and the prospect of Afghans assuming a lead role in the fighting. "My observation about Afghanistan at this point is this is the first time I've left there with a sense of optimism," he told reporters in a conference call.
August 21, 2012
'Yes, I will. " This is the unequivocal answer of Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi to the long-pending question of whether he is willing to show the military leaders that he is in charge of the country. Morsi gave his answer by firing the nation's defense minister, the army's chief of staff, and other military leaders. He was right to do so. On the one hand, the United States may not feel too comfortable about a president who is a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, it is justified for foreign policy makers to be skeptical about an organization that holds a historic animosity toward America and Israel.
July 15, 2012 |
CAIRO - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used her first meeting with Egypt's new Islamist president to press Mohammed Morsi to start a dialogue with military leaders as a way of preserving the country's transition to democracy. Clinton voiced support for the "full transition" to civilian rule at a time when Morsi's backers are in a political standoff with the generals who have ruled since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. Resolving the impasse "requires dialogue and compromise, real politics," Clinton said.
June 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Automatic defense cuts looming in January would be more devastating than previously feared and make it impossible for President Obama to refocus his national security strategy, a bipartisan group of former lawmakers and retired military officers said Thursday. Members of the Bipartisan Policy Center painted a dire picture for the nation's economy, the military, and large and small defense contractors if the automatic reductions occur Jan. 2, 2013. Based on a special task force's calculations, the group said the cuts would mean an indiscriminate, across-the-board 15 percent reduction in programs and activities within the military, not the 10 percent that had been estimated.
May 24, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Mali's interim president, who was beaten by a mob of demonstrators who broke into his office this week, has left the country to seek medical treatment in France, an adviser and two French government officials said Wednesday. The unexpected, and unpublicized, departure of 70-year-old Dioncounda Traore leaves a dangerous power vacuum in the West African nation, which was thrown off course after a March coup. Contacted by telephone, an adviser to Traore said the interim president had left Mali for France to undergo medical tests on his heart because he has had a previous heart attack.