In a tent at Nellis Air Force Base on the northern edge of Las Vegas, the officer in charge of a U.S. Air Force drone unit strolled into a meeting with the 20 or so pilots and sensor operators under his command. It was in the winter of 2005-2006, and the officer just wanted to try out some ideas he had for boosting unit morale, he recalled later in a conversation with an Air Force historian.
The cold and snow that walloped Washington didn't stop Ashton Carter from reporting for work at the Pentagon Tuesday. Carter was sworn in as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense on Tuesday. Sworn in by Vice President Biden at the White House Tuesday, Carter formally replaces Chuck Hagel, becoming President Obama's fourth defense chief in the past six years. Carter's debut at the Pentagon this morning was briefly interrupted when his wife, Stephanie, "slipped and fell on the icy pavement," the AP reports. "She laughed it off, and officials indicated she was not injured."
Ashton B. Carter officially became the 25th U.S. secretary of defense on Tuesday, taking the oath of office at the White House in a ceremony with Vice President Biden. Carter, standing next to his wife, Stephanie, took the oath of office in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. He said that becoming secretary of defense was the “highest honor,” and he thanked his wife, two children and others who have helped him prepare for the job. “I am honored to rejoin the men and women of the Defense Department in what is the highest calling, which is the defense of our country,” he said.
Do you like watching Internet videos and then drawing broad, sweeping, pseudoscientific conclusions about the people involved? If so, congratulations, you might be qualified to join the Pentagon’s secret team investigating the nonverbal cues of powerful world leaders. Yesterday, following Freedom of Information Act requests by a group of news organizations including Politico, the Pentagon released two studies, both published here in full for the first time, analyzing Vladimir Putin's inner demons—or at least those inner demons that you can observe from watching a ton of publicly available videos.
Congress’ abomination of a defense spending bill is all about pleasing weapons manufacturers and diverting funds to useless projects. Who says Democrats and Republicans can’t get along? This week president Obama signed a massive one-stop bill (a.k.a “Cromnibus”) that will keep the government funded until the end of the fiscal year. Among other things, the bill appropriates $1.1 trillion in funding—including over $550 billion for the Department of Defense.
It was the end of the road for Chuck Hagel last week and the Washington press corps couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about writing his obituary. In terms of pure coverage, it may not have been Ferguson or the seven-foot deluge of snow that hit Buffalo, New York, but the avalanche of news reports was nothing to be sniffed at. There had been a changing of the guard in wartime Washington. Barack Obama’s third secretary of defense had gone down for the count. In the phrase of the moment, he had “resigned under pressure.” Sayonara, Chuck! With a unanimity that crossed political lines, the accounts read as if written by a single reporter.
Today's the last day for Congress to pass a budget deal and avert a government shutdown. Part of the $1.1 trillion "Cromnibus" package is the 2015 defense budget. While there's been some wrangling over pay and benefits for service members, finalizing the Pentagon budget has been relatively uncontentious.
President Obama is closing in on appointing his new Secretary of Defense to replace Chuck Hagel, and "barring any last minute complications," he will choose Ashton B. Carter, report CNN's Jamie Crawford and Barbara Starr. And an Associated Press report says that, according to a senior GOP senator, Carter has already been chosen.
Ashton Carter, the former second-in-command at the Pentagon, appears to be the top choice to replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel. Pentagon insider may lead war on ISIS The candidates for Secretary of Defense Barring any last minute complications, Ash Carter will be President Barack Obama's choice as the new Secretary of Defense, several U.S. administration officials told CNN. An administration official had said that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former General Counsel at the Pentagon, was also still on the list of possibilities, but on Tuesday morning, sources said Johnson was no longer being considered.
When skirmishes began in this corner of eastern Ukraine earlier this year, Yuriy Bereza decided to use “direct action” (read fists and clubs), threats, and incentives to ensure this fourth largest city—and a mainly Russian-speaking one—didn’t slide into rebel hands as Donetsk and Luhansk had done. Bereza, a veteran of the Orange Revolution of mass protests against Russian-backed governments, joined forces with a group of local businessmen, including billionaire oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, to make sure this city stayed on the Ukrainian side of the political divide.
Hagel had two kinds of failures as Secretary of Defense. The first kind are policy failures, and they're not insignificant. In Afghanistan, Hagel failed to gain enough ground against the Taliban to force them to accept some kind of peace deal; instead, the Taliban sees itself as winning outright and is largely ignoring American negotiators. In Egypt, Hagel took the lead in trying to convince defense minister Abdel Fatah el-Sisi not to depose Egypt's first-ever democratically elected president in a coup; Hagel failed and the coup went ahead. In Iraq and Syria, Hagel failed to devise a strategy that would prevent the rise of ISIS or that would roll it back. In Ukraine, Hagel has not contributed to the effort to roll back or deter Russia's still-ongoing invasion.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amid criticism of the president’s national security team on a series of global issues, including the threat posed by the militant group known as ISIS. Senior defense officials confirmed to NBC News Monday that Hagel was forced to resign. The officials say the White House has lost confidence in Hagel to carry out his role at the Pentagon. According to one senior official, “He wasn’t up to the job.” Another senior administration official said that Hagel has been discussing a departure from the White House "for several weeks.
Billions of dollars are needed in the next five years to ensure the security and effectiveness of the ageing U.S. nuclear deterrent, the Pentagon said on Friday, after reviews found evidence of neglect during years of conventional warfare. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, announcing an overhaul of the system, said Americans had never been endangered. "We have just kind of taken our eye off the ball here...(but) there's nothing here we can't fix," he said. "As long as we have nuclear weapons we must ensure that they are safe, secure and effective."
The images coming out of Ferguson, Mo., in the last few days have been harrowing, and one element in particular has shocked those watching the events unfold. American law enforcement decked out in military fatigues, patrolling the streets in armored vehicles that look like they were plucked out of Afghanistan or Iraq. And the thing is, they very well might have been. The Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments have both received equipment from the U.S. military through what's known as the 1033 program, a federal program that the American Civil Liberties Union says has been a key catalyst to the broader escalation of law enforcement force in the United States.
The Pentagon is doing a survey of armed service men to see what their reaction will be to the repeal of the DADT policy.
"The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials," the New York Times' James Risen reported on Monday.