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Inside the Ring: Air Force on China threat
Adm. Syring said Iran may have the technical capability to flight test an ICBM in two years.
To meet the threat, the Pentagon is deploying 14 additional long-range missile-defense interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska, and is considering an interceptor base on the East Coast.
“We are taking these steps to stay ahead of the challenge posed by Iran and North Korea’s development of longer-range ballistic missile capabilities,” Adm. Syring stated in one slide.
Army email embarrassment
One reality of the digital age is the unpleasant experience of clicking the “send” button on a blast email message that you didn’t intend to send. That was what happened to Army spokesman Dov Schwartz last week.
Mr. Schwartz, a spokesman at the Pentagon, mistakenly sent a mass email to news reporters that was an internal assessment revealing how the Army catalogs and characterizes news reporters’ requests and coverage.
The email from the Army’s Media Relations Division had the subject line, “MRD Dailies of Note, Aug. 21, 2013.” Shortly after it was sent, Mr. Schwartz sent a second email “recalling” the email.
Several items discussed stories defense reporters were covering, including the terrorist trial of Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. It included an “outlook” for the media coverage: “neutral [people]” and noted that next steps were to “escort media. Continue to monitor coverage.”
Similar assessments listed other stories, including work by Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard on a Pentagon contract to send more than 592,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition for Afghanistan. Classified as “neutral,” the report said coverage would be monitored.
Other queries were made by USA Today, Army Times and a book author that were assessed as “positive” or “balanced.”
However, one entry was on the politically sensitive issue of gender-neutral standards for physical training, a hot topic considering the Pentagon’s new policy of putting women in front-line ground combat units.
Army Times reporter Lance Bacon was said to be working on a piece on “developing the new [physical training] test.”
In its final notation, the email contained this: “OUTLOOK: Positive (Deceive Action).”
Was the Army planning to deceive Mr. Bacon? Asked about the email, the reporter quipped: “Can’t wait to hear the explanation on this!” He said he was told later that it was a typing mistake.
Mr. Schwartz agreed. In an email to Inside the Ring, he said there was no deception scheme. The reference was the result of a typographical error.
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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