Author Archives: ROBERT BURNS

{FD} Pentagon watchdog raises doubts about Afghan war progress

A Pentagon watchdog agency is raising fresh doubts about progress in the 16-year-old U.S. war in Afghanistan. Continue reading

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{FD} As IS shrinks, end game for US in Syria gets murky

The closer the U.S. gets to its original goal in Syria of defeating the Islamic State group, the murkier its end game. Continue reading

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{FD} For US in Syria, end game gets murkier as IS shrinks

The closer the U.S. gets to its original goal in Syria of defeating the Islamic State group, the murkier its end game becomes. Continue reading

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{FD} US adding air power, intelligence gathering in Afghanistan

The U.S. is shifting combat and intelligence-gathering aircraft to Afghanistan as part of an intensified focus on the Taliban, now that the campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is winding down, the commander of coalition air force… Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon says Trump ordered Washington military parade

The White House says President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to stage a military parade. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis: Proposed nuke missile is a bargaining chip

There’s a place for arms control in the Trump administration’s new nuclear strategy. Continue reading

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{FD} Trump taking tougher stance on Russia nuclear threat

The Trump administration on Friday announced it will continue much of the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy, but take a more aggressive stance toward Russia. Continue reading

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{FD} Trump nuclear doctrine takes tougher stance on Russia

The Trump administration on Friday announced it will continue much of the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy, but take a more aggressive stance toward Russia. Continue reading

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{FD} US has no evidence of Syrian use of sarin gas, Mattis says

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S. has no evidence that the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens despite reports from aid groups and others in the country. Continue reading

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{FD} Missile defense test failed to intercept target

A U.S. official says a missile interceptor failed to hit its target in a test conducted in Hawaii on Wednesday. Continue reading

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{FD} Grim reminders of a war in Vietnam, a generation later

It’s been over for 40-plus years, the war that Americans simply call Vietnam but the Vietnamese refer to as their Resistance War Against America. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis cozying up to Vietnam amid China’s assertiveness

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is cozying up to senior Vietnamese officials, hoping to strengthen an Asian partnership in the face of China’s more aggressive military stance. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis thanks Vietnam for supporting sanctions on N. Korea

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis praised Vietnam on Wednesday for supporting U.N. sanctions against North Korea and expressed hope that Washington and Hanoi can build closer defense ties despite being former enemies. Continue reading

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{FD} Indonesian troops show off snake-handling skills for Mattis

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis got an up-close look at Indonesian commandos — including soldiers walking on fire and breaking bricks with their heads. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis says Turk offensive in Syria is disruptive

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Turkey’s ground and air offensive against a Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria is distracting from international efforts to ensure the defeat of the Islamic State group. Continue reading

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{FD} US says it wants to help Indonesia provide maritime security

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the Trump administration wants to help Indonesia play a central role in maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading

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{FD} Administration plan sees deterrence in new nuclear firepower

With Russia in mind, the Trump administration is aiming to develop new nuclear firepower that it says will make it easier to deter threats to European allies. Continue reading

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{FD} Trump’s nuclear strategy seeks new weapons to counter Russia

With Russia in mind, the Trump administration is aiming to develop new nuclear firepower that it says will make it easier to deter threats to European allies. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon: Trump agrees to delay US-South Korean exercises

The Trump administration has agreed to delay joint military exercises with South Korea until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month, the Pentagon said Thursday. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis: ‘Storm clouds gathering’ over Korean Peninsula

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says “storm clouds are gathering” over the Korean Peninsula. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis: North Korea short of posing imminent missile threat

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says North Korea’s most recent test of a long-range missile did not demonstrate an imminent threat to the United States. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon: ‘Troubling’ lapses in giving criminal data to FBI

The Pentagon’s watchdog agency says it found a “troubling” number of failures this year by the military services to alert the FBI to criminal history information. Continue reading

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{FD} US putting off planned ban on its use of cluster bombs

The Pentagon is putting off indefinitely a planned 2019 ban on using certain cluster bombs, which release explosive sub-munitions, or bomblets, that can kill indiscriminately and pose hazards to civilians. Continue reading

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{FD} Air Force: Several dozen criminal histories not given to FBI

The Air Force says its failure to report the criminal history of the former airman who killed 26 people at a Texas church in early November was part of a pattern of such lapses. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon: Retweet of call for Trump to resign was accidental

The Pentagon says an authorized operator of its Twitter page accidentally retweeted a tweet urging President Donald Trump to resign. Continue reading

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{FD} Could anyone stop Trump from launching nukes? The answer: No

Here’s a question rarely raised before Donald Trump ran for the White House: If the president ordered a pre-emptive nuclear strike, could anyone stop him? Continue reading

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{FD} Air Force: Texas shooter’s history should have been reported

The top U.S. Air Force official is publicly acknowledging for the first time that the domestic abuse charges for which the Texas church shooter was court martialed in 2012 should have been reported to the FBI. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon: Probe of Niger killings likely to come in January

The Pentagon has told family members of the four U.S. soldiers killed last month in Niger that its investigation won’t be finished until at least January. Continue reading

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{FD} Air Force failed to submit Texas shooter’s criminal history

Trump administration officials say the Air Force didn’t submit the accused Texas church shooter’s criminal history to the FBI, as required by Pentagon rules. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon chief says North Korea engages in ‘outlaw’ behavior

The threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea is accelerating, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday, accusing the North of illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear programs and pledging to repel any strike. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis says threat of nuclear attack by NKorea accelerating

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday the threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea is accelerating. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon chief Mattis stresses diplomacy in Korean crisis

On his first visit to the tense but eerily quiet frontier between North and South Korea as U.S. secretary of defense, Jim Mattis conveyed the message he hopes will win the day: Diplomacy is the answer to ending the nuclear crisis with the North, not war. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon chief in South Korea amid North Korea nuke threats

The American defense secretary has arrived in South Korea to consult with his counterpart and U.S. military commanders on countering North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Continue reading

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{FD} Questions loom as Mattis visits SKorea: Can diplomacy work?

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is visiting the Korean Peninsula at a momentous juncture in the faltering effort to persuade Pyongyang to halt and dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Continue reading

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{FD} US diplomat says US played key role in Marawi success

The top U.S. diplomat in the Philippines says the U.S. detected no credible reports of human rights violations by the Philippine armed forces and police during their five-month campaign to oust Islamist militants from the southern city of Marawi. Continue reading

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{FD} Japanese defense minister sounds alarm on North Korea

Japan’s defense minister is sounding an alarm on North Korea, saying its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities have grown to what he called an “unprecedented, critical and imminent” level. Continue reading

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{FD} Report: 152 Afghan trainees have gone AWOL in US since 2005

At least 152 Afghans sent to the United States for military training during the course of the war against the Taliban have gone AWOL, and the problem, which worsened last year, is unlikely to improve soon, U.S. inspectors said Friday. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon faces demands for details on deadly attack in Niger

Members of Congress are demanding answers two weeks after an ambush in the African nation of Niger killed four U.S. soldiers, with one top lawmaker even threatening subpoenas. Continue reading

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{FD} After IS collapse in Raqqa, US faces other extremism threats

The U.S. military says the Syrian city of Raqqa is about 90 percent cleared of Islamic State fighters. Continue reading

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{FD} Pentagon has no plans to boost size of nuclear arsenal

The Pentagon has no current plans to increase the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Continue reading

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{FD} Trump says US nuke force must be in ‘tiptop shape’

President Donald Trump says he wants the U.S. nuclear arsenal in “tiptop shape” but has not asked that it be greatly expanded. Continue reading

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{FD} Trump misfired on tweet about Iranian missile launch

When President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Iran had “just test-fired” a missile, he seemed to know something the rest of the government did not. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis: No need yet to shoot down NKorean missiles

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S. has not attempted to shoot down any of North Korea’s missiles — including two that have recently overflown Japan — because they have not posed a direct threat. Continue reading

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{FD} Amid US-Mexico tension, defense chief aims to be calm voice

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is stepping into politically fraught U.S. relations during a visit to Mexico, seeking to add a calming voice on defense ties. Continue reading

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{FD} US nuke commander ‘assumes’ North Koreans tested H-bomb

The top commander of U.S. nuclear forces says he assumes the Sept. 3 nuclear test by North Korea was a hydrogen bomb. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis’ message: US is not intimidated by North Korea

He inspected a mock-up nuclear warhead, but there was no Kim Jong Un-like posing for photographs. Continue reading

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{FD} Defense chief says US must keep all 3 parts of nuclear force

As North Korea flaunts its new nuclear muscle, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is spotlighting the overwhelming numerical superiority of America’s doomsday arsenal. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis disputes reports of being at odds with Trump

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is disputing reports that he is distancing himself from President Donald Trump on issues like North Korea and domestic social tensions. Continue reading

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{FD} US commander: IS leader al-Baghdadi probably still alive

The U.S. commander of forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria believes the militants’ top leader is still alive. Continue reading

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{FD} Mattis begins sending additional troops to Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he has signed orders to begin deploying additional troops to Afghanistan to carry out President Donald Trump’s new war strategy. Continue reading

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