NSA devises radio pathway into computers isolated from web
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.
Obama lost faith in his Afghan strategy, Gates’ memoir asserts
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama eventually lost faith in the troop increase he ordered in Afghanistan, his doubts fed by top White House civilian advisers opposed to the strategy, who continually brought him negative news reports suggesting it was failing, according to his former defense secretary, Robert M. Gates.
Obama is willing to go it alone in Syria, aides say
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria, administration officials said Thursday, despite a stinging rejection of such action Thursday by America’s stalwart ally Britain and mounting questions from Congress.
US is considering arming Syrian rebels, Hagel confirms
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed Thursday that the Obama administration was rethinking its opposition to arming the rebels in Syria’s civil war, although he said that no decisions had been made.
Iran abandons chase of drone after warnings from the US
WASHINGTON — An Iranian jet fighter pursued an American surveillance drone over the Persian Gulf this week.
Partners of gay military personnel are granted some benefits
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Monday expanded benefits to same-sex partners of military personnel to include a range of services offered at posts and bases, but withheld more expansive benefits sought by gay and lesbian couples — in particular medical and dental coverage and housing allowances.
US forecast as No. 2 economy, but energy independent
WASHINGTON — A new intelligence assessment of global trends projects that China will outstrip the United States as the leading economic power before 2030, but that America will remain an indispensable world leader, bolstered in part by an era of energy independence.
Israeli success in downing Hamas rockets draws interest
WASHINGTON — The success cited by Israel for its Iron Dome anti-missile system in its confrontation with Hamas has re-energized U.S. missile defense advocates and generated new interest in the global arms bazaar from nations like South Korea that face a short-range rocket threats from hostile neighbors.
Pentagon to review ethical standards
WASHINGTON — Responding to a string of recent scandals that have tarnished the military, the Pentagon’s top two leaders, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, served notice on Thursday that they would strictly enforce ethical standards for their most senior officers.
US war game sees dire results of Israeli attack on Iran
WASHINGTON — A classified war simulation exercise held this month to assess the U.S. military’s capabilities to respond to an Israeli attack on Iran forecast that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to U.S. officials.
General said to order effort to sway U.S. lawmakers
WASHINGTON — The American commander in Afghanistan will order an investigation into accusations that military personnel deployed to win Afghan hearts and minds were instructed over their own objections to carry out “psychological operations” to help convince visiting members of Congress to increase support for the training mission there, military officials said Thursday.
With $9 billion in cuts, Gates sees crisis in military budget
WASHINGTON — Even as the Obama administration on Monday rolled out its budget for 2012, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates was dueling with Congress over military spending for this year, saying the Pentagon cannot do its job with cuts of more than $9 billion.
Once wary, now President Obama relies on Petraeus
WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama descended into the White House Situation Room on Monday for his monthly update on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the new top U.S. military commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, ticked off signs of progress.
Obama’s Afghan Plan Focuses On Pakistan Aid to Militants
The emerging outlines of President Barack Obama’s plan for Afghanistan include proposals to shift more U.S. efforts toward problems in neighboring Pakistan and to seek some kind of political reconciliation with the vast majority of insurgents in the region, according to administration officials.
China Harassed U.S. Ship, The Pentagon Says
The United States has lodged a formal protest with the government in Beijing, saying five Chinese ships harassed a U.S. surveillance vessel in international waters, in actions the Pentagon described as illegal, unprofessional and dangerous.
U.S. Special Forces Raid Into Syria, Kill Iraqi Militant
A raid into Syria on Sunday was conducted by U.S. Special Operations forces who killed an Iraqi militant responsible for smuggling weapons, money and foreign fighters across the border into Iraq, U.S. officials said Monday.
Defense Secretary Suggests Troop Levels in Iraq Should Not Decrease
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said for the first time on Monday that he supported a pause in American troop reductions in Iraq. It was the most authoritative indication to date that the United States will maintain a large force here through 2008 and into the next presidential term.
Bush Signals No Early Troop Reductions for Iraq Forces
President Bush said Thursday that the senior U.S. commander in Iraq could “have all the time he needs” before reducing U.S. forces there any further, but he promised shorter tours for troops and longer breaks for them at home.
Defense Secretary Gates Meets With Pakistan President Musharraf Mon.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made an unannounced trip to Pakistan on Monday for talks with one of America’s most complicated partners. He offered strong words of support for the government, even as he urged it to do more to halt the flow of Taliban fighters into Afghanistan.
A Defective Satellite is Obliterated, But Numerous Questions Still Linger
Videotape of the Navy mission to shoot down a dying spy satellite made available Thursday shows an interceptor missile ascending atop a bright trail of burning fuel, and then a flash, a fireball, a plume of vapor. A cloud of debris left little doubt that the missile had squarely hit its mark as it spent its final days orbiting more than 130 miles above the Pacific Ocean.
Faulty Satellite Will Be Target In Shoot-Down by the U.S. Military
The military will try to shoot down a crippled spy satellite in the next two weeks, senior officials said Thursday. The officials laid out a high-tech plan to intercept the satellite over the Pacific just before it tumbles uncontrollably to earth carrying toxic fuel.
White House Reconsiders Plan To Reduce Troop Levels in Iraq
Four months after announcing troop reductions in Iraq, President Bush is now sending signals that the cuts may not continue past this summer, a development likely to infuriate Democrats and renew concerns among military planners about strains on the force.
Defense Secretary Urges Increase In Diplomatic Efforts, Negotiation
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called Monday for the U.S. government to commit more money and effort to “soft power” tools, including diplomacy, economic assistance and communications, because the military alone cannot defend America’s interests around the world.
US Pushes Missile Defense in EU Despite Putin’s Proposal
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made clear Thursday that the United States would not alter plans to deploy parts of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, despite an unexpected proposal by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to use a radar base in Azerbaijan instead.
Russia Cool to U.S. Request For Cooperation on Missile Defense
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pressed the Kremlin's top leaders on Monday to accept a detailed new plan for cooperation on missile defense in Europe that he said would make Russia a full partner in the American effort by sharing information, jointly developing new technology, and even combining the two countries' defensive radar systems.
Pentagon Chief Gates Sought Early Guantanamo Shutdown
In his first weeks as defense secretary, Robert M. Gates repeatedly argued that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had become so tainted abroad that legal proceedings at Guantanamo would be viewed as illegitimate, according to senior administration officials. He told President Bush and others that it should be shut down as quickly as possible.
Defense Secretary Instructs NATO Allies to Send Troops
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, attending his first conference of NATO defense ministers, told these American allies that they must fulfill their commitments to provide troops for Afghanistan in time for a spring offensive against the Taliban.