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Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey (left) joins Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to tell lawmakers about the potential effects of the looming and “potentially tragic” cuts to the defense budget. (Associated Press)

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.