The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee introduced a new bill Thursday to revoke the broad war-making powers granted to the president in 2001 and 2002 and to replace them with a much slimmer authorization targeting the Islamic State, al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Aerospace & Defense
The latest coverage of the Defense Department, State Department and aerospace industry.
By Bill Gertz
Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice is expected to be a central witness in the coming weeks before committee investigators to explain the unmasking and wide dissemination of what the committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, has called improper electronic surveillance of Trump transition team officials. Published April 26, 2017
The Defense Intelligence Agency warned former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn in 2014 about accepting foreign payments when he retired, according to new documents released Thursday by a bipartisan congressional investigation into Mr. Flynn's foreign payments and communications with Russian contacts.
Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2017, was a federal holiday for most people in the National Capital Region. While most federal offices around the region were empty, Airmen assigned to the Air Force District of Washington were on duty!
The virulent rhetoric coming from the North Korea which has dramatically escalated tensions with the U.S. and its allies in the Pacific current has far outpaced the regime's ability to deliver on those threats.
The last troops to die on the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania did not fight in the infamous Civil War conflict, but in World War I.
President Trump is expected to issue an executive order Thursday creating an office within the Department of Veterans Affairs to take charge of disciplining or firing incompetent employees and protecting whistleblowers.
In a defiant bit of timing, South Korea announced Wednesday that key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system have been installed a day after rival North Korea showed off its military power.
As chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, I am proud to be an unwavering defender of the Jones Act -- a critical U.S. national security law that requires vessels moving from one U.S. port to another must be U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed.
When gentlemen compete, they honor the rules of the game and accept the referee's calls. But no one would mistake the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran for gentlemen, and their gamesmanship in pursuing nuclear weapons is deadly serious. As the mullahs make a bid for more uranium, They have been called out for cheating. The United States is obliged to withhold approval of a new supply of the radioactive material until the regime can prove it's not up to mischief. Anything else is simply tomfoolery.
A surprise visit by Defense Secretary James Mattis to Afghanistan on Monday has fueled speculation that the Trump administration may be close to a new battle plan for the 16-year-old war.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived unannounced in Afghanistan on Monday to assess America's longest war as the Trump administration weighs sending more troops.
Army Capt. Nathan Michael Smith believes the U.S. fight against the Islamic State is a "good war" against "an army of butchers" -- which makes it all the more surprising that he has filed a lawsuit that, if successful, could end up scuttling the war.
The outcome of the Turkish vote on constitutional changes, notwithstanding lingering allegations of fraud, represents further evidence of a crumbling global status quo.
President Trump didn't sugar-coat it Thursday when contradicting Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's argument that the U.S. should play a "very critical role" in stabilizing Libya after the defeat of the Islamic State there.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday the decision to drop the "mother of all bombs" on Islamic State targets in eastern Afghanistan was a deafening signal to American enemies and allies alike that Washington will pull no punches against the international terror group.
There was a moment at Press Secretary Sean Spicer's White House briefing Monday that was significant. Asked by a reporter about North Korea's missile launch last weekend, Mr. Spicer said the administration was aware of the launch and that "it failed." End of story. Next question, please.
Was "Tomahawking" Syria for an alleged gas attack justifiable retribution, misfeasance, malfeasance or just a mistake? Was it a warning to China and North Korea as some have advanced? (This is the same line of thinking that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was really aimed cautioning the Soviet Union.) Why would China, the "celestial kingdom," powerful in her own right, pay attention; why would North Korea, in the hands of a madman, even care?
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson slammed the Iran nuclear deal Wednesday -- just a day after the Trump administration had begrudgingly acknowledged that Tehran is complying with the terms of the 2015 multinational accord negotiated under former President Obama.
A war veteran congressman is hoping the Trump administration will reverse another Obama administration policy and provide drones to allies Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
It was a strong opening, but the endgame is proving a hard slog for the U.S. and its Iraqi allies trying to oust Islamic State fighters from their last big outpost in the country.
President Trump took one of his first steps Wednesday to address chronic problems in the Department of Veterans Affairs by signing a bill that extends stopgap services for veterans to go outside the VA medical system for care.
The unsuccessful test launch of a North Korean medium-range missile on Saturday has fueled media speculation the missile blew up as a result of U.S. clandestine cyber attacks.
Islamic State fighters launched a chemical attack against advancing Iraqi security forces in the besieged city of Mosul, injuring a number of local troops amid heavy fighting, the senior U.S. ground commander confirmed Wednesday.
One of the hallmarks of the 2016 presidential campaign was Donald Trump's insistence on being honest about the threat of "radical Islamic terrorism." It's a phrase that President Obama refused to speak, preferring the euphemism "violent extremism." Hillary Clinton muttered the taboo expression half-heartedly only after Mr. Trump shamed her into it.
It appears to be accepted that North Korea will have an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability with a suitably miniaturized warhead in the next three to four years, along with the capacity to deliver that weapon to the West Coast of the United States.
There is hope. I am speaking of the envisioned memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower here in Washington, D.C. Admittedly, its design by the crank architect Frank Gehry has been pretty much accepted by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, and the chairman of the House committee that has control of the funding, Rep. Ken Calvert, seems to be going along.
On the grounds of the Turkish Embassy facing Massachusetts Ave. in Washington, D.C. is a statue of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, father of the Republic of Turkey, the nation-state he built from the rubble of the defeated Ottoman Empire and Islamic caliphate.
Turkey has been bumping along on the ragged margins of democracy for years. With this week's slim approval of a governmental reform referendum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proclaimed that the nation can "change gears and continue along our course more quickly."
North Korea's nuclear arsenal has expanded to 30 warheads and will grow further as Pyongyang produces increased quantities of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium, according to estimates.
With the Islamic State's strongholds in Mosul and Raqqa under siege, the U.S. and its allies soon will face a different problem: how to track and contain the thousands of foreign fighters who have flocked to the jihadi movement and threaten to scatter to the winds to create mayhem back home.
North Korea's most recent attempt to test-launch a missile was yet another "reckless act" by Pyongyang to further ratchet up tensions in the Pacific, said Defense Secretary James Mattis.
U.S. military officials said a pair of American fighter jets intercepted and escorted two Russian bombers away from Alaska's coastline during a high-stakes encounter in international airspace Monday.
Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that the U.S. would meet any conventional or nuclear attack by North Korea with an "overwhelming" military response to protect allies such as Japan and South Korea.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation.
The Caucasus Mountains that run between the Black and Caspian Seas could soon turn into a nuclear flash point because of dangerous saber-rattling by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
Defense Secretary James Mattis is en route to the Middle East and North Africa for a series of meetings with key allies during a weeklong trip that comes as an American-backed offensive against the Islamic State group in Syria heats up and Iraqi forces battling for control of the group's stronghold in Mosul have bogged down into brutal street-by-street fighting in the city's ancient district.
Sunday's referendum narrowly granting expansive new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may distance Turkey from the pro-democracy forces of Western Europe, but could bring it closer to Washington, where the Trump administration has shown itself eager to build counterterrorism alliances with perceived strongmen in the Middle East.
The idea of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was to make for a more stable, secure Europe. But obligations established by treaties don't always last forever.
The White House said Monday that President Trump's new bond with China's president is "paying off" with North Korea, despite Pyongyang's attempted missile test over the weekend.
First lady Melania Trump gave a shoutout Monday to U.S. troops as she welcomed visitors to the 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
President Trump's son said Monday that his father has shown "tremendous backbone" in dealing with the continuing crises in North Korea and Syria.
Vice President Mike Pence said the "era of strategic patience is over" with North Korea, expressing impatience with the willingness of the North Korean regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
American armed forces consistently perform so well that their effectiveness is taken for granted. Complaints about military spending cuts during the Obama years are such a cliche that they have been yawned at by our political leaders and completely ignored by the media.
Russia is a declining economic power that plays an outsized role in world affairs owing to its nuclear arsenal and aggressive behavior. Russia remains resentful over the Soviet Union's collapse and NATO's expansion to its borders.
Turkish voters chose Sunday to fundamentally restructure their government from parliamentary rule to a presidential system that grants sweeping powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the nation's current ruler and driving force behind the change.
The U.S. Navy instituted a ban on electronic cigarettes on a number of transient military installations because of the devices' high risk of explosion, the military branch said in a statement Friday.
The Pentagon released footage on Friday of its decision to drop the "mother of all bombs" for the first time in combat.
Rep. Brian Mast, a combat veteran, on Friday said there was a level of "responsibility" and "restraint" in the United States' attacking an Islamic State terrorist group site in Afghanistan with the "mother of all bombs," compared to other methods that could have been used.
President Trump's recent summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping was only modestly successful. The hard reality is that on both security and economic issues, the United States and China are rivals -- not partners -- and much tougher days lie ahead.
Al Qaeda's most dangerous branch office is focusing more on the single-jihad terrorist business, muscling in on operations advocated by its Sunni extremist competitor, the Islamic State group.
In a referendum watched closely across Europe and across the Atlantic, Turkish voters will decide on Sunday whether to remake the political fabric of their nation and grant far-reaching powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The deployment of one of the largest non-nuclear bombs in the U.S. arsenal on an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan Thursday marks a new and dramatic step for U.S. forces in the country, sending a message likely to resonate far beyond the battlefields of the 16-year war there.
Defense Secretary James Mattis remained mum on potential military options being weighed by the Trump White House, should North Korea carry out a new round of nuclear weapons tests.
An American airstrike against suspected Islamic State positions near the Syrian city of Raqqa ended with nearly 20 militia members allied with the U.S.-backed coalition dead.
Donald Trump and James Mattis came to office vowing to "win" America's wars again. But unless they change our politically correct military culture, it is certain America won't.
Last year, President Obama assured the world that "we are living in the most peaceful, prosperous and progressive era in human history," and that "the world has never been less violent."
Women can do most things as well as men. Almost nobody any longer disputes that. Women can do some things better than men. Many women thought Donald Trump as president would be a disaster for the final female assault on the glass ceiling. It hasn't turned out quite that way, and women, such as Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos, have been stars of his new administration.
"The land of the morning calm" is anything but that. The ancient Korean name for the divided peninsula is belied by the tension simmering for nearly 70 years, enlivened with frequent bursts of cross-border invective and sometimes violence.
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged views on the assessment of North Korea's nuclear weapons program last week, and "there was mutual agreement the problem has become more urgent," a senior administration tells Inside the Ring.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson emerged from a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday saying relations between Moscow and Washington were "at a low point," marked by serious distrust in the wake of a chemical weapons attack by Kremlin ally Syria.
Recent Opinion Columns
With North Korea threatening its sixth nuclear test, and the pace of its ballistic-missile tests quickening, Pyongyang's global threat is ever more imminent. Twenty-five years of self-defeating American efforts to negotiate with the world's only hereditary Communist dictatorship have, not surprisingly, proven fruitless.
When a politician promises something that "holds the promise of changing the course of human history," we naturally assume it's typical overstatement. But when President Ronald Reagan said that on March 23, 1983, in reference to his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), he was exactly right.
If demography is destiny, in North Korea the guiding force is ancestry. Like his grandfather and father before him, Kim Jong-un suffers delusions of grandeur, surrounded only by frightened sycophants, coveting a place among the world's important nations. As Pyongyang edges closer to building a working nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States, Mr. Kim must get the right response to his vow to annihilate his enemies. Tough talk from the United States and its allies is only a stopgap. The solution, short of war, lies with China.
When James Mattis, the retired Marine general once called "Mad Dog Mattis" by his troops for his no-nonsense combat leadership, was named secretary of Defense many senior officers were encouraged to think that at last someone would put his foot down, hard, on the use of the military as a petri dish for the social experiments so beloved by Barack Obama and Ashton Carter.
President Trump's first budget called Thursday for a dramatic shift from the "soft power" diplomacy of the Obama era to a "hard power" military buildup, cutting the State Department by 28 percent in a slashing of foreign aid, boosting Pentagon spending by 10 percent and budgeting more than $4 billion to start construction of a border wall with Mexico.
From The Vault
Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pushed for deeper U.S. cooperation in the war on terrorism during a lunch at the White House on Tuesday, the first such meeting President Trump has hosted with an Arab Muslim leader since assuming office.
Seeking to jumpstart his legislative agenda, President Trump stood before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night and demanded lawmakers work with him to crack down on illegal immigration, increase economic growth and rebuild the U.S. military.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he's impressed with some of the national security picks that President Trump has made, but that Mr. Trump's brash public persona is still an ongoing factor in terms of perceptions around the world.
Manpower, not money, may prove a bigger challenge to President Trump's hopes to rebuild what he calls a "hollowed-out" U.S. military.
In a final venting at Congress for failing to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, President Obama told lawmakers Thursday that keeping open the detention center for terrorism suspects makes "no sense."
President Obama said Wednesday that he commuted the sentence of transgender military-secrets leaker Chelsea Manning because "justice has been served" in her case.
After meeting Wednesday with Donald Trump, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he would find a way to lower the price for a new Air Force One fleet, the cost of which the president-elect earlier complained was "out of control."
President-elect Donald Trump took aim Monday at Lockheed Martin's F-35 program, saying on Twitter that the "cost is out of control," and he will be looking to save money on the fighter jet and other military programs when he takes office.
The U.S. Marine Corps says that it and the Department of Defense as a whole are "blazing a trail" to create a transgender-friendly military.
Donald Trump tried to revive his sputtering campaign Monday by vowing to beef up cybersecurity, wipe out the Islamic State terror group and ensure that veterans receive the care they deserve, at the first of three scheduled campaign stops Monday.
Despite the distractions of a raucous presidential election, America has not forgotten that Friday is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. It is a solemn but heartfelt 24 hours, remembered in myriad ways around the nation.
The Islamic State, belittled by President Obama just two years ago as a "JV" terrorist group, will dominate the attention of newly elected President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump as they face the challenge of taking on the extremists abroad and while preventing another Orlando-style attack that could shake public confidence in the next administration just as it's leaving the starting gate.
The Obama administration has launched the first cyberwar against the Islamic State, a war that, coupled with real, not virtual, fighting, is producing one of the most encouraging on-the-ground successes in the conflict -- sharply cutting into the number of foreign fighters sneaking into Syria to join the group's terrorist army and its so-called Islamic caliphate.
Perhaps out of jealously, al Qaeda is out with a special edition of its online magazine Inspire with stories devoted to a terrorist attack carried out by a rival — the Bastille Day truck massacre in Nice, France.
The military was woefully unprepared to help Americans in Benghazi during the 13-hour crisis, with no nearby troops on alert for the Sept. 11 anniversary and not one aircraft sent to that Libyan city to pick up survivors and four dead.