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Posts in "Navy"
July 30, 2014
July 28, 2014
With the United States-Africa Leaders Summit starting Aug. 4, there is a preponderance of events about the continent this week in advance. President Barack Obama himself will kick off some of the pre-Summit activities. Africa has been a growing national security concern, given events in Nigeria, Libya and elsewhere.
It’s also the last week Congress is in town for a while. The schedule is a bit ambiguous, but before everyone leaves, there could be action at various levels on a new secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs; legislation addressing the VA’s health care backlog; a bill overhauling the National Security Agency’s bulk record collection programs; and declassification of a report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation and detention practices under President George W. Bush. Full story
July 21, 2014
By the reckoning of a new report by the left-leaning Center for New American Security, we screwed it up from the start when designing the architecture of digital computing — security just wasn’t drawn into those original blueprints. Now we have to live with it. The report, helmed by Richard Danzig, a former Navy secretary who currently serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board and The President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, makes recommendations on how. Full story
Taxpayers for Common Sense found fault with the House’s fiscal 2015 Defense spending bill, and the group now has its share of gripes with the Senate’s $549.7 billion version, too, for spending money on programs the Defense Department doesn’t want and adding money beyond what the Obama administration requested. Full story
Former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan J. Pitts will be at the White House on Monday to receive a Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama. His story is both heroic and a tale of missteps by superiors, as he fought to fend off a wave of insurgents in Afghanistan in a patrol base in the bloody Battle of Wanat, all while badly wounded by shrapnel himself. Obama is awarding more Medals of Honor to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans than his predecessor, but the process has become slower.
The week’s offerings also include a confirmation hearing for a new leader at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a review of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Commission report and discussions on the cyber threat, the shape of U.S. Combatant Commands, Iraq and the Navy budget. Full story
July 18, 2014
Concerns over the Defense Department’s reliance on the Russian RD-180 rocket engine are just one aspect of the Senate’s worries about foreign-supplied rocket propulsion methods and instances where the Pentagon is counting on one vendor. In a report on the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill the Appropriations Committee approved Thursday, the panel expresses dismay about the overall state of the United States’ ability to produce rocket motors and the department’s tendency to award sole-source contracts. Full story
July 14, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union and a national security law professor say that when the GOP-controlled House added an amendment to the annual defense spending bill to prevent overseas prisoner transfers from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base — a response to the prisoner exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — it endorsed language that was unconstitutional. The amendment was offered by a tea party-aligned lawmaker who has vowed to fight unconstitutional laws.
It’s not true that the Guantanamo provision is unconstitutional, though, answer a pair of GOP aides, as a Senate panel prepares to vote on its own take on the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill Tuesday morning. Full story
July 8, 2014
William J. Lynn III, the former No. 2 man at the Defense Department, compares the state of the defense industry to the car business from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. “It was basically unpatriotic to drive a European or an Asian car,” he said Tuesday. “Look what’s happened now. Of the top 10 most American-made cars now, five have foreign name plates.” Full story
July 1, 2014
In about a month, the number of designs moving forward for the technology demonstration program that’s associated with a long-term plan for replacing the current fleet of military helicopters will be pared down, a top program official said Tuesday. And he’s not worried about the rug being pulled out from underneath the program because of budget pressures. Full story
In Neal Stephenson’s nanotech-oriented novel The Diamond Age, microscopic “mite” robots are everywhere, sometimes forming clouds and waging war among themselves. That 1995 book was set in a relatively distant future; in 2014, the scale of warfare involving clouds isn’t quite so tiny.
June 20, 2014
Type “piracy” into Google News and you’re more likely to get stories back about people stealing episodes of “Game of Thrones” than you are about the sea scourge that led to the film “Captain Phillips.” Perhaps that’s because, after a resurgence, sea piracy is on the wane, down to its lowest levels since 2006.
June 18, 2014
For a younger generation that became aware of the word “Guantanamo” only after the naval base’s prison turned internationally infamous and politically divisive in Congress, the images of earlier times at the island Navy facility are jarring: children playing tug of war, or jumping rope.
Those images and others — some jarring in other ways — are coming to Rayburn House Office Building Monday, June 23 as part of a touring exhibit by the Guantanamo Public Memory Project. The exhibit is making its first trip to Washington, D.C., and for only one day at Rayburn, accompanied by a reception featuring people who have worked at the base, were detained at the base or who cover the base. Full story
June 17, 2014
It’s a tale as old as time: From the moment a high-profile terrorist suspect is snagged, the partisan fight is renewed over whether terrorism suspects belong in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. It happened Tuesday, too, with Republicans — among them potential presidential candidates Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — calling for captured Benghazi attack plot suspect Abu Khatallah to be housed at Gitmo.
The White House released a lengthy statement pushing back against that argument Tuesday. Full story
June 16, 2014
Under the House’s annual State Department and foreign aid spending bill, the executive branch would have to report to Congress five days after it made any arrangements with other countries to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees — a response to the recent transfer of five Taliban prisoners to Qatar for Bowe Bergdahl. Full story
June 12, 2014
Pentagon Agency Rid Itself of 45 Football Fields’ Worth of Storage Space, Delivering Other Stuff Elsewhere
The Department of Defense has a lot of, well, stuff. With wars winding down and amid the push to reduce the U.S. budget, the agency in charge of supplying the military with commodities like food, clothing, fuel and more has been dramatically shrinking its inventory and all the things going along with it — like demolishing 45 football fields’ worth of warehouse space in the past couple years alone.
But the Defense Logistics Agency isn’t done shrinking yet, said its director, Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, on Thursday. And it’s firmly in the middle of gearing up for the changing needs of the military, including in places like Africa and Asia. Full story