Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:45 pm
This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.
Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.
An engineer who worked for defense contractor United Technologies in Connecticut has been charged with attempting to travel to China with stolen documents on the development of advanced titanium for U.S. military aircraft.
We're talking about cowardice today and it makes me think of two people - Hector and Dr. Bones McCoy.
We claim to despise cowardice and to exalt bravery but in real life, I think we value balance a little bit more.
Hector, in the Iliad, is a much debated figure. He seems on occasion to lose his nerve. He also on occasion seems to do something brave mainly because he could not live down the dishonor of not being brave. I've always liked Hector.
Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 1:25 pm
Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today that the Pentagon is aiming to invest about 10 percent more over the next five years to upgrade the nation's nuclear deterrent, following reviews that uncovered "systemic problems" in the system.
Hagel said the U.S. was "probably looking at a 10 percent increase" in spending, according to Reuters, which said internal and external reviews have made some 100 recommendations on improving the nuclear forces.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 2:58 pm
Updated at 12:55 pm. EST
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military commander, told lawmakers today that the U.S. would consider sending some U.S. troops to fight alongside Iraqi forces in more complex missions against militants of the Islamic State.
He told the House Armed Services Committee that though Iraqi forces were tackling the militants, operations such as retaking the city of Mosul or restoring the border with Syria could need help.
Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 7:57 am
"I am a United States Army General, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism."
Those are the frank opening words of a new book by retired Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Bolger continues:
"It's like Alcoholics Anonymous. Step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem. To wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry."
Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:58 pm
NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first installment of the ongoing series.
Even 10 years after the battle for Fallujah, it's hard for Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Torain Kelley to talk about some things that happened.
"We had people shooting at us from up [on] the rooftops, from the houses, from the sewers or wherever they could take a shot at us from," he says.
The nation’s highest-ranking military officer delivered the keynote address at this year’s Geno Auriemma Leadership Conference organized by UConn School of Business. U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke about the tenets of leadership that exist in both the military and civilian world.
Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 8:59 pm
This much we know: It's not a bird and it's not exactly a plane.
Beyond that, the U.S. Air Force holds all the answers. The mission of the unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which is scheduled to touch down at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California Tuesday after 22 months in orbit, has been described only vaguely as "to gather more test data."
Connecticut’s submarine community gathered Tuesday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the commissioning of the nation’s first nuclear powered submarine. The U.S.S. Nautilus is now a historic state ship and a museum on the waterfront in Groton.
Hundreds of sailors and shipbuilders gathered at the ceremony, which remembered the beginning of 25 years of service for Nautilus.
Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:29 pm
Update at 9:55 a.m. ET
Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.
The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.
Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 3:23 pm
Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET
The British Parliament has voted to approve the U.K.'s participation in U.S.-led airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq after Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that the extremists pose a "clear and proven" threat to British lives.
The 524-to-43 vote in Parliament came after a lengthy debate that followed the latest U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on targets of the hard-line Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The strikes hit oil installations for a second consecutive day.
Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 11:13 am
Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET
The U.S. and some of its Arab coalition partners have conducted another round of airstrikes in Syria, hitting oil refineries that have fallen into the hands of Islamic State militants, who officials say are funding themselves with the petroleum revenues.
The Pentagon says 13 airstrikes hit a dozen "modular" oil refineries in eastern Syria. The refineries are thought to produce $2 million worth of refined petroleum each day for the self-declared Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 7:29 pm
Update at 6:50 p.m. ET
U.S. officials have confirmed that a new round of airstrikes in Syria is ongoing, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman told All Things Considered.
"We know some of the targets are oil assets, oil wells being controlled by the Islamic State. There's not a lot of detail at this time ... but it's likely around the Raqqah area, which is sort of [the Islamic State's] de facto headquarters.
Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:55 pm
The United States and its allies expanded their assault against the Islamic State on Monday, striking targets inside Syria for the first time, the Pentagon said.
In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. had used "a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."
Kirby said that because these strikes are ongoing, he could not go into details about where in Syria the allies were attacking. But a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman that the strikes occurred near Raqqah, an Islamic State stronghold.
Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal split their votes on legislation authorizing the U.S. military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting the so-called Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm
President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.
"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
Over the last 13 years, the media has focused on the sacrifices of the thousands of service-members who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But behind these men and women are their families. We talk to author, Sarah Smiley who writes about her life as a Navy wife. Her latest book is a memoir about how she and her children invited members of their community to dinner as a way to fill the void in their home during her husband’s 13-month deployment.
Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:01 pm
The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.
NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an Islamic State position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.