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Salute America's military heroes this holiday

Rowan Scarborough

Articles by Rowan Scarborough

The Navy has planned to buy about 480 of the aircraft-carrier version of the F-35, even as the stealth fighter's costs have skyrocketed and the Navy prepares to shrink its fleet of ships for lack of money. A magazine column by Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, suggests they may not be needed. (U.S. Air Force via Associated Press)

Navy admiral hints at jettisoning F-35 fighter

The chief of naval operations has penned an opinion column that has military analysts buzzing over whether it signals the Navy may be the first military branch to jettison the costly F-35 stealth fighter jet. Published July 10, 2012

** FILE ** Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies June 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Pentagon holds first gay pride event

The Pentagon on Tuesday saluted open gays in the ranks, with a civilian lawyer calling on fellow homosexuals to "stretch a little" and become more visible inside the military in the drive for benefits for same-sex couples. Published June 26, 2012

** FILE ** Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

Panetta not ordering gay pride events

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is not requiring commands and agencies to hold gay pride events this month, even as the Pentagon prepares for its first celebration on Tuesday of gays serving openly in the ranks. Published June 24, 2012

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta testifies June 13, 2012, on Capitol Hill before the Senate Defense subcommittee during a hearing on the the Defense Department's fiscal 2013 budget. (Associated Press)

Congress won't let Panetta close bases

Congress is poised to deliver a defeat to the Obama administration on one of its main defense policies in the new budget — base closings. Published June 20, 2012

Protesters chant slogans against the Syrian regime and Russia's support of President Bashar Assad as they hold a burned banner depicting Mr. Assad (right) and his brother, Maher Assad (left), in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, on Sunday, June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Russia clings to a crucial power base in Syria uprising

Russia would lose a source of revenue and a Middle East power base if Syrian President Bashar Assad falls — two reasons why Moscow has armed the regime and blocked votes to let the United Nations punish Damascus. Published June 17, 2012

An F-35 Joint Strike Fighter soars over Destin, Fla., before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base. Purchasing more of the fighters would be off the table in 2014 if automatic federal spending cuts go into effect. (Associated Press)

Pentagon weapon systems can survive spending cuts

The Pentagon could hold on to its crown-jewel weapon systems even though looming automatic federal spending cuts would inflict a $54 billion gash in the 2013 defense budget, military budget analysts say. Published June 10, 2012

** FILE ** In this image released by Relativity Media, a scene is shown from the film "Act of Valor," which stars real, active-duty Navy SEALs. (Associated Press/Relativity Media)

Delta Force: Army's 'quiet professionals'

As Navy SEALs bask in the limelight for daring missions, some in the Army are wondering whether the other half of the nation's counter-terrorism covert warriors — Delta Force — is being upstaged and left in the shadows. Published June 3, 2012

**FILE** Then Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy testifies on March 16, 2011, on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Ex-Obama aide's think tank hits defense budget

A Washington think tank founded by President Obama's first Pentagon policy chief has issued a report criticizing the administration's defense budget, which the think tank's founder played a role in developing. Published May 25, 2012

** FILE ** Ringo, a bomb-sniffing dog, listens to trainer Adam Ward, a contractor working for American K-9 Interdiction, as dog handler Marine Cpl. William Childs observes in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2009. The Pentagon also has spent more than $200 million a year developing devices to detect roadside bombs. (Associated Press)

U.S. troops winning war against IEDs of Taliban

The U.S. military is on a path toward significantly fewer battlefield deaths in Afghanistan this year because it has become better at detecting the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops: the improvised explosive device (IED). Published May 24, 2012

This Nov. 17, 2010 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows an aerial view of the F-22 crash site located approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska. An Air Force official says evidence found at the remote, rugged Alaska site where an F-22 Raptor crashed indicates the pilot died, Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force,Master Sgt. Jeremiah Erickson)

F-22 Raptor pilots make problems public

The Air Force late last month convened a summit in Ohio to address the most vexing problem of its premier jet fighter — pilots becoming dizzy from oxygen deprivation while flying the supersonic F-22 Raptor. Published May 10, 2012

**FILE** In this photo taken Dec. 7, 2010, former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pins Combat Infantry badges on soldiers at Forward Operating Base Connolly in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

Defense budget casualties light on civilian side

The Pentagon's civilian workforce, which expanded dramatically during President Obama's first three years, is not facing any significant reductions even as the Defense Department is slashing ground troops by more than 10 percent, retiring ships and combat planes, and putting off the purchases of some new weapons. Published May 6, 2012

** FILE ** Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outline the main areas of proposed defense spending cuts during a Jan. 26, 2012, news conference at the Pentagon. (Associated Press)

Pentagon is planning 'contingency' for Iran and North Korea

The U.S. military is discussing significant changes in its war plans to adhere to President Obama's new strategic guidance that downplays preparing for conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and counts on allies to provide additional troops. Published May 1, 2012

**FILE** An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Gulf of Alaska. Production will be stopped at 187 Raptors. (Associated Press/U.S. Navy)

Iran is top 'contingency' in whittled U.S. war plans

The U.S. military is discussing significant changes in its war plans to adhere to President Obama's strategic guidance that downplays preparing for conflicts such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and counts on allies to provide additional troops. Published May 1, 2012

**FILE** Afghan farmers work in an opium poppy field in Nawa district of Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on April 25, 2009. (Associated Press)

Doubts of victory surface in war on Afghan poppy crops

The other war in Afghanistan — the one to reduce the opium poppy crop by eradication, crop trade-offs and threats — has made substantial gains over the past five years as cultivation has dropped 32 percent. Published April 22, 2012