military

Middle East
8:29 am
Sat December 13, 2014

2 U.S. Soldiers Among More Than A Dozen Killed In Afghan Attacks

Afghan security personnel inspect a damaged bus at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday. There was no immediate report of casualties, but the attack was one of several in the last 24 hours that have been blamed on the Taliban.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:12 pm

It's been a violent 24 hours in Afghanistan:

-- 12 workers clearing mines on Saturday were attacked by Taliban militants and another dozen were wounded, a police spokesman said.

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Sensitive Material
8:50 am
Wed December 10, 2014

New Haven Man Charged With Attempted Theft of Military Aircraft Documents

Credit lagereek/iStock / Thinkstock

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.

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White House
11:20 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Obama Taps Ashton Carter As Defense Secretary Nominee

President Obama announced Friday that Ashton Carter is his nominee to succeed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:21 am

Updated at 11:19 a.m.

President Obama named Ashton Carter, a former No. 2 Pentagon official, as his pick to succeed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Obama described Carter today as one of the "nation's foremost national security leaders."

"He was at the table in the situation room. He was by my side navigating complex security challenges that we were confronting," Obama said. I relied on his expertise and I relied on his judgment."

Carter called the nomination an "honor and a privilege."

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White House
12:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Reports: Ashton Carter Emerges As Obama's Top Pick For Secretary Of Defense

Ashton Carter answers a reporter's question during a March 2013 news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.
Lee Jin-man AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:06 pm

President Obama is likely to nominate Ashton Carter as his next secretary of defense, CNN, The Associated Press, The Washington Post and

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White House
11:45 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:34 pm

(This post was last updated at 11:41 a.m. ET.)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the highest-profile Republican on President Obama's Cabinet, will step down, once his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

Calling Hagel an "exemplary defense secretary," Obama made the announcement in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday.

Hagel, a two-term Republican senator, came to the post in February of 2013, the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

You're a Yellow-Bellied Coward!

Chris Walsh is acting director of the Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Boston University and the author of "Cowardice: A Brief History".
Chion Wolf WNPR

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.

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Pentagon
11:49 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Hagel Announces Billions In Upgrades To Nuclear Program

A Minuteman III missile engine is loaded into a truck for transport to another building for X-raying before being torn down and rebuilt. The Air Force's missile command-and-control structure has been the subject of several recent scandals.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

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.

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Military Forces
12:50 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

U.S. Would Consider 'Modest' Force For Complex Iraq Operations

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

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.

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Veterans Day
8:25 am
Tue November 11, 2014

A 3-Star General Explains 'Why We Lost' In Iraq, Afghanistan

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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."

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Iraq War
7:56 am
Fri November 7, 2014

10 Years After Battle For Fallujah, Marines Reflect On 'Iconic Fight'

U.S. Marines take position on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq, at the start of a major operation to combat insurgents in the city, on Nov. 8, 2004.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

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.

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Military
1:48 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Visits Connecticut, Talks Leadership

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S Army Gen. Martin Dempsey visited Connecticut this week. First talking with the senior class at the Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday and then speaking to business leaders on Wednesday.
Facebook

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. 

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Administrative Discharge
9:34 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Biden's Son, Hunter, Discharged From Navy Over Failed Cocaine Test

Joe Biden fields questions as his son Hunter Biden looks on at a campaign stop back in 2007 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:57 pm

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, has been discharged from the Navy after testing positive for cocaine, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

Navy spokesman Cmd. Ryan Perry tells Tom:

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Orbital Mission
12:46 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Secret U.S. Space Plane To Land After 22 Months In Orbit

This photo released by Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday shows the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, after it landed at Vandenberg from a previous orbital mission.
Paul Pinner AP

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."

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Foreign Policy
1:01 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Panetta: Fight Against Terrorism Will Be A Long, Sustained War

Leon Panetta says he and other top national security advisers to the president argued to keep some U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq after 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:04 pm

As a member of the Obama administration, Leon Panetta was involved in many of the major foreign policy decisions of the past six years. He stepped down as secretary of defense last year.

As director of the CIA, Panetta carried out President Obama's decision to end enhanced interrogation of terror suspects, and he oversaw the operation to kill Osama bin Laden.

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Air National Guard
12:24 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Pilot Fontenot to Be Laid to Rest

Japanese Air Self Defense Force Lt. Col. Miyake Hideaki, at left, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot, 67th Fighter Squadron commander, shake hands during a press conference in Japan in 2011.
Staff Sgt. Amber E. N. Jacobs U.S. Air Force

Funeral services are scheduled Friday in Colorado for a Massachusetts Air National Guard pilot who was killed in a plane crash five weeks ago.

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Military History
10:35 am
Wed October 1, 2014

U.S.S. Nautilus Turns 60

The USS Nautilus is now a museum of submarine history
Credit Stephanie Fish / National Park Service

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. 

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Middle East
9:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Afghanistan Signs Deal Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops To Remain

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar (right) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham exchange documents after signing the Bilateral Security Agreement, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (rear, left) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the background.
Jawad Jalali EPA/Landov

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.

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Middle East
8:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

U.K. Approves Joining Anti-ISIS Airstrikes In Iraq

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Houses of Parliament on Friday. He urged MPs to authorize the U.K.'s participation in anti-ISIS airstrikes.
PA EPA/Landov

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.

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Middle East
7:16 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Airstrikes Hit ISIS-Controlled Oil Refineries

An A-18C Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87, prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) to conduct strike missions against Islamic State group targets.
Robert Burck AP

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.

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Middle East
7:52 am
Wed September 24, 2014

New Airstrikes Target The Islamic State's Oil And Gas Resources

Thousands of Syrians enter Turkey at Yumurtalik crossing gate near Suruc on Tuesday. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has warned of a growing refugee crisis.
Burhan Ozbilici AP

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.

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Middle East
10:35 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama: Airstrikes in Syria "Not America's Fight Alone"

President Barack Obama speaks on Tuesday morning on the White House lawn.
whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama said the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone."

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Middle East
5:51 am
Tue September 23, 2014

U.S., Allies Hit Islamic State Targets In Syria, Pentagon Says

An Islamic State militant, left, stands next to Raqqah residents Sept. 16 as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in the northeast Syrian town.
Reuters /Landov

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.

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Massachusetts
2:49 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

3 Afghan Army Officers, Who Had Gone Missing, Detained At Canadian Border

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:53 pm

Update at 2:49 p.m. ET. Officers Found At Canadian Border:

After going missing over the weekend, three Afghan officers, who were being trained in the United States, were detained at the Canadian border, a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

The news was first reported by WCVB-TV's Karen Anderson. She reported that the men told customs agents at the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge that they were refugees.

The men, Anderson reports, will be sent back to the United States.

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Middle East
9:23 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Connecticut Senators Split on Vote to Arm Syrian Rebels

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and then Senator-elect Chris Murphy (File photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

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.

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Middle East
6:38 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Senate Approves Measure To Arm And Train Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:11 pm

The Senate joined the House on Thursday in rare bipartisanship by approving a measure to train and equip members of the Syrian opposition.

The Senate passed the measure 78 to 22; the House passed its version with a 273-to-156 vote on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

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Armed Forces
2:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

President Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

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.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

The Sacrifices of Military Spouses and Families

Glenda Caprini and her daughter-in-law waiting for her son, Casey, a sailor who serves on USS Annapolis.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

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.

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Islamic State
8:42 am
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.
Reuters/Landov

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.

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Europe
10:47 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Russia Reports Troop Deaths In Ukraine, But Calls Them 'Volunteers'

Mothers and wives of Russian paratroopers captured in Ukraine wait for information outside their base in Kostroma, Russia. Russia's military has been challenged to explain an upsurge in dead and missing soldiers from its elite units.
Dmitry Serebryakov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 12:31 pm

Ukraine and the West, including the United States, insist that the Russian army has been fighting in eastern Ukraine, a charge that Russia just as vehemently denies.

But reports from Russia now acknowledge that Russian soldiers are part of the battle — though they are claimed to be volunteers, on leave from their army jobs.

Critics say the Russian military is ordering soldiers into the fight, and covering up the deaths of those who are killed, in an unacknowledged war on foreign soil.

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NATO
6:55 am
Fri September 5, 2014

NATO Announces 'Rapid-Reaction Force' Amid News Of Ukraine Cease-Fire Deal

President Obama stands alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, center left, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, second left, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, left, Romanian President Traian Basescu, right, and RAF Group Captain David Bentley, second right, during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday.
Jon Super AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:11 am

(This post was last updated at 8:04 a.m. ET.)

On the second and final day of their meeting in Wales, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are expected to announce more aid to Ukraine.

NATO also announced the formation of a so-called rapid-reaction force. As The Associated Press describes it, this consists of "several thousand troops in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an alliance country in the region comes under attack."

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