US Department of Defense news and updates

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U.S. starts process to return Balangiga Bells to PH

Nov 14, 2018 - 9:48 AM

(UPDATED) The United States confirms a November 14 ceremony in Wyoming 'marking the beginning of the process to return the Balangiga Bells' to the Philippines

BALANGIGA BELLS. The United States is returning the historic Balangiga Bells to the Philippines. Photo from Wikipedia

U.S. won't allow China to 'rewrite rules' in South China Sea

Aug 16, 2018 - 8:30 PM

'We'll fly, sail, and operate where international law allows.... Our guidance will be if we are operating legally, we will continue to operate legally,' says US Defense Assistant Secretary Randall Schriver

WEIGHING IN. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver in a roundtable with reporters at the US Embassy in Manila. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Junta after Duterte? Democracy should remain, says U.S. defense exec

Aug 16, 2018 - 2:57 PM

'I hope that the future of the Philippines remains at the hands of the people here,' says US Defense Assistant Secretary Randall Schriver

VISITING. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver in a roundtable press interview at the US Embassy in Manila. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

U.S. official warns PH vs buying Russian equipment

Aug 16, 2018 - 1:43 PM

The Philippines 'should think very carefully' about dealing with Russia, says US Defense Assistant Secretary Randall Schriver

VISITING. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver in a roundtable press interview at the US Embassy in Manila. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

After a century, U.S. to return Balangiga Bells

Aug 12, 2018 - 5:07 PM

Malacañang hails the United States' plan to return the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines

Mattis visits China amid Korea talks, strategic tensions

Jun 25, 2018 - 9:55 AM

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis says he wants to 'take measure' of China's strategic ambitions after it positioned weaponry on disputed islets in the South China Sea and is seeking to project its military power deep into the Pacific

JAMES MATTIS. This file photo taken on November 28, 2017 shows US Secretary of Defense James Mattis making a statement at the White House in Washington, DC. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

Google retreating from military AI project: reports

Jun 02, 2018 - 3:35 PM

The collaboration with the US Department of Defense was said to have sparked rebellion inside the California-based company.

GOOGLE. A man walks past the logo of the US multinational technology company Google during the VivaTech trade fair ( Viva Technology), on May 24, 2018 in Paris. Photo by Alain Jocard / AFP

Pentagon chief lets transgender troops remain in service

Aug 30, 2017 - 10:00 AM

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says transgender troops will continue to serve in the military while he studies an order by President Donald Trump banning them from US forces

In this file photo, US Defense Minister James Mattis addresses the press during a NATO defense ministers' meetings at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 15, 2017. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

Trump warns North Korea of 'fire and fury'

Aug 09, 2017 - 6:58 AM

UPDATED Trump: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen

STERN WARNING. US President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea at a meeting with administration officials on the opioid addiction crisis at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on August 8, 2017. Nicholas Kamm/AFP

Mattis 'shocked' by U.S. military readiness, warns on North Korea

Jun 13, 2017 - 11:06 AM

UPDATED The US defense secretary also warns of a return to Great Power competition where countries like Russia and China are gaining military assertiveness and placing long held global security protocol at risk

SHOW OF FORCE. In this file photo, Musudan-class missiles are displayed during a military parade in honour of the 100th birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012. Ed Jones/AFP

U.S. successfully tests ICBM defense system

May 31, 2017 - 7:28 AM

The first of its kind test comes amid concerns over North Korea s weapons program

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE. People watch a ground based interceptor missile take off at Vandenberg Air Force base, California on May 30, 2017. Gene Blevins/AFP

Trump hits State Department in 'hard power' budget blueprint

Mar 16, 2017 - 12:20 PM

3rd UPDATE An alarmed United Nations warn against abrupt funding cuts that would undermine its longer term reform efforts

AMERICAN AID. In this file photo, a USAID officer watches as a US military C-17 cargo plane taxis to a stop at Kathmandu's international airport on May 3, 2015. Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Civilians 'likely' killed in U.S. raid in Yemen – Pentagon

Feb 02, 2017 - 10:19 AM

The January 29 raid against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has garnered wide attention because a Navy SEAL was also killed and several more wounded in what marked the first operation of its kind authorized by President Donald Trump

A Pentagon sign is seen during a press briefing at the Pentagon Briefing Room August 29, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Trump stacks top government posts with retired generals

Dec 08, 2016 - 10:58 AM

Trump s naming of at least 3 retired generals to top posts raises questions as to why there will be so much military brass in cabinet level jobs

This file photo taken on November 19, 2016 shows US President-elect Donald Trump shaking hands with retired United States Marine Corps General James Mattis after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, in Bedminster, New Jersey. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

Trump says Putin is 'far more' of a leader than Obama

Sep 08, 2016 - 11:43 AM

Vladimir Putin is very much of a leader Donald Trump says in a televised interview where he and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are separately grilled over their national security and military credentials

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks while accepting the Conservative Party of New York State's nomination for president on September 7, 2016 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

US military lifts ban on transgender personnel

Jul 01, 2016 - 10:40 AM

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says lifting the ban is the right thing to do but Republican lawmakers criticize the move

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announces that the military will lift its ban on transgender troops during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, June 30, 2016. "This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force," Carter said in a statement. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

China tensions top agenda as Pentagon chief heads to Asia

Apr 10, 2016 - 1:20 AM

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter however chooses to skip China during his Asian tour even though he had earlier accepted an invitation to visit

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. File photo by Wallace Woon/EPA

Pentagon invites hackers to attack its websites

Mar 03, 2016 - 3:01 PM

Vetted hackers will get cash awards if they spot weaknesses in the US Defense Department s web pages

epa05187640 US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (L), with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine General Joseph Dunford (R), responds to a question from the news media during a press conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 29 February 2016. Secretary Carter and General Dunford replied to questions on Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the war against ISIS and recruiting and retention for the US armed services. EPA/SHAWN THEW

US eyes top equipment for PH amid China row

Apr 15, 2015 - 2:22 PM

Courting US support Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario will visit key US officials in Washington DC

Pentagon asks for more funds for high-tech weapons

Feb 03, 2015 - 8:32 AM

Barack Obama s 585 billion budget request for the Pentagon would devote 107 7 billion to big ticket weapons – an increase of 14 1 billion over the previous budget

US President Barack Obama. File photo by Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP

US-led coalition hits ISIS jihadists with 39 air strikes

Dec 27, 2014 - 6:01 PM

The hits include more than a dozen near the flashpoint Syrian town of Kobane

A file picture dated 23 October 2014 of onlookers watching an explosion following an alleged airstrike carried out by the international anti-Islamic State (ISIS) coalition as part of operation Inherent Resolve on the Syrian town of Kobane, from the Turkish side of the border, near Suruc district, Sanliurfa, Turkey. Sedat Suna/EPA

Obama nominates Ashton Carter as Pentagon chief

Dec 06, 2014 - 2:32 PM

Carter who is expected to be confirmed by the Senate is named to replace Chuck Hagel who resigned under pressure last week

US President Barack Obama and Ashton Carter wait in the Oval Office doorway before entering the Roosevelt Room where the President announced Carter's nomination for Defense Secretary, Dec. 5, 2014. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Obama vows US will not be intimidated by new beheading

Sep 03, 2014 - 9:01 PM

Obama pledged that justice would be done to the Islamic State ISIS killers of 31 year old reporter Steven Sotloff wherever they hid and however long it took

US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, on September 3, 2014. Saul Loeb/AFP

Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad: White House

Sep 03, 2014 - 8:36 AM

UPDATED White House: The president authorized the Department of Defense to fulfill a Department of State request for approximately 350 additional US military personnel to protect our diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad Iraq

In this file photo, US soldiers salute during a handover ceremony of the "entry control points" of Baghdad's Green Zone, now referred to as the International Zone, to Iraqi control inside the heavily-fortified compound in Baghdad on June 1, 2010. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

US says hopeful on Ukraine crisis after Russia talks

Mar 06, 2014 - 12:15 AM

UPDATED Although fears of outright war have eased tensions remain disconcertingly high in Ukraine

AGENDA: UKRAINE. Top Western diplomats meet in Paris to discuss the situation in Ukraine, 5 March 2014. In this photo, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius chairs a meeting with the foreign ministers of the EU, UK, Germany, and Poland. Image courtesy of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

US pledges $1B to Ukraine as Kerry visits

Mar 04, 2014 - 8:59 PM

UPDATED Kerry accuses Moscow of looking for a pretext to invade Ukraine and condemns Russia s intervention on the flashpoint Crimean peninsula as an act of aggression

IN KIEV. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 4, 2014. US State Department photo

US suspends military cooperation with Russia; Kerry to Ukraine

Mar 04, 2014 - 10:38 AM

UPDATED World markets plunged and oil prices spiked on fears of an all out offensive that would pit nuclear armed Russia against its Western backed neighbor

SHOW OF LOYALTY. A man waves Russian national flag outside the territory of the Ukrainian naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Ukraine, 03 March 2014. Zurab Kurtsikidze/EPA

Pentagon proposes to shrink US Army to pre-WWII level

Feb 25, 2014 - 6:57 AM

The spending plan is the first to fully reflect a transition away from a war footing that has been in place for 13 years says US Defense Sec Hagel

SMALLER MILITARY. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters on his recommendations to President Barack Obama for the fiscal year 2015 budget at the Pentagon, Feb. 24, 2014. US Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler/US Dept of Defense photo

US, EU 'stand with Ukraine people' in their fight: Kerry

Feb 01, 2014 - 7:08 PM

Kerry addressed the Munich Security Conference in Germany before meeting Ukrainian opposition leaders

'US, EU STAND WITH UKRAINE'. US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 1, 2014. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

US suspends 34 nuclear missile officers over exam cheating

Jan 16, 2014 - 10:29 AM

The scandal at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana marked the latest in a series of damaging revelations dogging the US s nuclear force

Drones, Taliban on agenda as Hagel heads to Pakistan

Dec 09, 2013 - 1:06 PM

Ties between Washington and Islamabad have been seriously strained over US drone strikes in Pakistan s tribal belt as well as Afghan Taliban sanctuaries inside Pakistan s borders

TO PAKISTAN. US Defense chief Chuck Hagel in a file photo. Ramin Talaie/Getty Images/AFP

PH, US resume bases access talks after impasse

Dec 04, 2013 - 12:47 PM

The negotiations resume after the US military s impressive response to the Philippines call for help after monster typhoon Yolanda

TALKS RESUME: Philippines and US panels resume negotiations to allow increased rotational presence of American troops in the Philippines. DND file photo

US, British warships sent to typhoon-hit PH

Nov 12, 2013 - 7:19 AM

UPDATED The magnitude of the disaster continued to build with almost unimaginable horror

TO TYPHOON ZONE. A file image of the USS George Washington (CVN 73) (center) during a 2008 joint US-Japan naval exercise. Image courtesy US Navy

US military sending troops to Yolanda-hit areas

Nov 10, 2013 - 9:30 AM

UPDATED US Defense Secretary Hagel directs naval and aviation resources to storm ravaged Philippines

RETRIEVAL. Dead bodies litter the streets of Tacloban city as volunteers collect them. Photo by EPA/Francis Malasig

Insurgent attacks down, Afghan army casualties up – US

Nov 09, 2013 - 9:08 AM

The Pentagon says the Taliban have also strengthened their grip in some rural areas

Doctors complicit in torture at CIA, military prisons – study

Nov 05, 2013 - 10:29 AM

Report: Medical professionals helped design enable and participated in torture and cruel inhumane and degrading treatment of detainees

GUANTANAMO. In this file photo, a US soldier stands on the grounds of the now closed Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 22 August 2013. EPA/Johannes Schmitt-Tegge

US shutdown hurts military credibility with allies – Hagel

Oct 01, 2013 - 8:55 PM

While the shutdown will have no actual impact on US military treaty obligations Hagel says it does cast a very significant pall over America s credibility to our allies

CREDIBILITY ISSUE. US Secretary of Defense Chuck says the US federal government shutdown will hurt the country's military credibility. In this photo, Hagel speaks to the traveling press aboard a US military aircraft plane en route to Seoul, South Korea, on September 29, 2013. AFP / Pool /Jacquelyn Martin

South Korea stages largest military parade in a decade

Oct 01, 2013 - 11:01 AM

Some 11 000 troops and 120 aircraft took part in the event at an air base south of Seoul which showed off the military s most advanced weaponry

WAR-MONGERING? North Korea accused South Korea's president of war-mongering a day after launching an annual military drill with the United States.

US missed 'red flags' about gunman: Pentagon chief

Sep 19, 2013 - 11:06 AM

Defense Sec Chuck Hagel made the admission as details emerged of the troubled former sailor turned contractor who gunned down civilian workers at the Washington Navy Yard

HEIGHTENED SECURITY. A police officer guards the main gate of the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, USA, 17 September 2013. EPA/Shawn Thew

Pentagon orders security review after US base shooting

Sep 18, 2013 - 10:02 AM

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel intends to order a review of physical security and access at all DoD Department of Defense installations worldwide

HEIGHTENED SECURITY. A police officer guards the main gate of the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, USA, 17 September 2013. EPA/Shawn Thew

US Senate measure has 90-day deadline on Syria action

Sep 04, 2013 - 9:26 AM

The Senate drafted a bipartisan measure that imposed a 90 day deadline for American military intervention in Syria and barred the use of US troops on the ground there

SENATE HEARING. US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asks questions during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill September 3, 2013 in Washington, DC, on congressional authorization for the use of military force in Syria. AFP/Brendan Smialowski

Kerry: No time for armchair isolationism

Sep 04, 2013 - 7:08 AM

House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor key Republicans both said they would support Obama s plan

MAKING THE CASE. US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill on September 3, 2013 in Washington. AFP/Brendan Smialowski

US officials make case for Syria attack

Sep 03, 2013 - 4:22 PM

Sec John Kerry Sec Chuck Hagel and Gen Martin Dempsey will face the US Senate s Foreign Relations committee Tuesday

(L-R) US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen Martin Dempsey. Kerry photo Shawn Thew/EPA; Hagel and Dempsey photos Michael Reynolds/EPA

US still seeks 'international coalition' on Syria - Hagel

Aug 30, 2013 - 12:43 PM

UPDATED Hagel: Our approach is to continue to find an international coalition that will act together

CONFERENCE CALL. US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel consults by phone with senior members of Congress during a conference call August 30, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. AFP / US Department of Defense / Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

Pentagon chief holds Indonesia talks amid Syria crisis

Aug 26, 2013 - 5:44 PM

Hagel has been taking part in White House crisis meetings about Syria via video link from his plane and hotel

'PIVOT' TOUR. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to the media during a joint news conference in Kuala Lumpur on August 25, 2013. AFP / Kamarul Akhir

Hagel to stress US 'pivot' in Southeast Asia tour

Aug 25, 2013 - 2:40 PM

The trip is part of a concerted effort by Washington to rebalance America s strategic priorities towards the Asia Pacific but crises in the Middle East continued to demand Hagel s attention

'PIVOT' TOUR. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks to the media during a joint news conference in Kuala Lumpur on August 25, 2013. AFP / Kamarul Akhir

US weighs military options for Syria - Hagel

Aug 24, 2013 - 11:08 AM

The Pentagon is moving forces into place in case President Barack Obama opts for military action against Syria

CIA to lose drones?

Mar 20, 2013 - 10:14 PM

The CIA will continue to be involved in the intelligence side but not in the manning of the aerial vehicles the report says

Hagel confirmed as next US defense chief

Feb 27, 2013 - 7:30 AM

After Hagel s bruising confirmation hearing and a 10 day delay thrown up by Republicans Senators voted 58 41 to confirm the former Republican senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran to replace outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta

MR SECRETARY. US Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, visits Amman in this July 22 2008, file photo. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards/FILES

USS Guardian salvage to cost almost $25-M

Feb 06, 2013 - 9:07 AM

UPDATED The salvage operation will not be completed until December the US Department of Defense says

WAITING TO BE DISMANTLED. The mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian seen on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 on the Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea, where it ran aground on January 17. AFP PHOTO / US NAVY