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Aerospace & Defense

The latest coverage of the Defense Department, State Department and aerospace industry.

China's President Xi Jinping takes his seat for the first closed session of the BRICS summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, July 26, 2018. The five leaders of the BRICS emerging economies have gathered in South Africa for an annual summit where the United States is being criticized for escalating tariffs on foreign goods. (Mike Hutchings/Pool Photo via AP) ** FILE **

China 'likely training for strikes against U.S.,' Pentagon warns

By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times

China's military is "likely training for strikes" against U.S. targets in the Pacific, the Defense Department warned Thursday in a sobering report that says Beijing's broader strategy is to develop armed forces capabilities able to "degrade" American advantages. Published August 17, 2018

Military spouses receive instruction about how to apply for jobs at Fort Campbell, Ky. (AP Photo/Kristin M. Hall)

Pentagon: High military spouse unemployment rate threatens force readiness, national security

By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times

The husbands and wives of military service members face a whopping 26 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared with their civilian counterparts, according to the Pentagon's figures. Published July 2, 2018

Recent Stories

President Donald Trump salutes as he arrives on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, as he returns from Springfield, Mo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump unleashes troop-level diplomacy

- The Washington Times

President Trump relies on the mere mention of troop withdrawal as a negotiating tool with defense officials, continually forcing them to justify troop deployments anywhere in the world, experts say.

President Donald Trump salutes as he steps off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to Iowa and Illinois. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump's military parade delayed at least until 2019, Pentagon says

- Associated Press

The Defense Department says the Veterans Day military parade ordered up by President Donald Trump won't happen in 2018. Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday that the military and the White House "have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019."

In this July 28, 2018, photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the State Prize awards ceremony in Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool) ** FILE **

Could Russian 'inspector satellite' actually be space weapon?

- The Washington Times

A top State Department official warned Tuesday that Russian "space apparatus inspector" satellites are behaving unlike anything seen before, and that current international inspection protocol makes it virtually impossible to know for sure whether they could actually be space-weapon prototypes.

The F-35 and National Security Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Maintaining military superiority

America's national security relies on our military maintaining its absolute superiority — in the air, on the ground and at sea.

Taliban blindside U.S. forces with surprise Afghan offensive

- The Washington Times

The Taliban are on the verge of dramatically expanding their control over southern and eastern Afghanistan in a surprise offensive that has caught Afghan and U.S. forces off guard and thrown a vexing new wrench into the Trump administration's strategy for ending the nearly 17-year-old war there.

A Palestinian protester wore a plastic bag as protection from teargas during a protest Friday at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel. (Associated Press/File)

Egypt losing hope to partner with Trump for Middle East 'deal of the century'

Egyptian zeal to partner with President Trump's special envoys to reach a "deal of the century" has dimmed in recent months with a lack of concrete progress in brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The pessimism is spreading to other Arab capitals.

A Delta IV rocket, carrying the Parker Solar Probe, lifts off from launch complex 37 at the Kennedy Space Center, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Parker Solar Probe will venture closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft and is protected by a first-of-its-kind heat shield and other innovative technologies that will provide unprecedented information about the Sun. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

NASA spacecraft hurtles toward sun in bid to unlock mysteries

- Associated Press

Embarking on a mission that scientists have been dreaming of since the Sputnik era, a NASA spacecraft hurtled Sunday toward the sun on a quest to unlock some of its mysteries by getting closer than any object sent before.

In this May 21, 2017, file photo released by the Saudi Press Agency, from left to right: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi; Saudi King Salman; U.S. first lady Melania Trump; and President Donald Trump; visit the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump has made clear who he considers to be his friends, and his foes, on the international stage. (Saudi Press Agency via AP, File)

Trump's 'Arab NATO' faces skepticism, commitment issues

- The Washington Times

President Trump's plan to bring America's top Arab Middle East allies to the White House this fall in a bid to forge a military alliance against Iran and radical terrorism groups has the potential to transform the military balance in one of the world's most unstable regions -- if the putative allies can find a way to get along.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking Thursday at the Pentagon, announced plans to create a U.S, Space Force to ensure American dominance in space amid heightened completion and threats from China and Russia.  (Associated Press)

Space Force will enter military's new frontier by 2020, Pence and Pentagon promise

- The Washington Times

The U.S. "Space Force" will become a reality by 2020, Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis promised Thursday, laying out an ambitious timeline to set up the first new branch of the armed forces in nearly 75 years and making the case that Americans must prepare for space threats from Russia, China, North Korea and other hostile actors.

President Donald Trump speaks as he meets with business leaders, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump's 'Space Force' meeting resistance in Pentagon, insiders say

- The Washington Times

The Pentagon is moving ahead with President Trump's call to establish a "Space Force" as a potential sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces, with top officials scrambling to tamp down reports of disagreement between military leaders and the White House ahead of a high-profile speech Thursday by Vice President Mike Pence.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat said the FBI notified her five years ago that a staff member was "potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information." (Associated Press/File)

China targeted Feinstein

China's intelligence service sought to recruit a Chinese-American staff member for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a lawmaker who had access to the most sensitive U.S. secrets, but Beijing gained no secrets in the case.

In this Tuesday, June 12, 2018, photo, U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. Mr. Trump has already met twice with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he is eager to re-create in Finland the heady experience that he had last month with Mr. Jong-un. That Singapore summit became a mass media event complete with powerful presidential images. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Iran to North Korea: Trust us, not U.S.

- The Washington Times

Iran's president warned North Korea's top diplomat Wednesday to be wary of embracing a denuclearization deal with Washington, arguing the Trump administration's pullout of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal shows the U.S. can't be trusted to keep its word.

The U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is shown in this file photo. The Pentagon on August 7, 2018 praised the Macedonian government for doing its part to repatriate captured ISIS fighters caught in Syria. Such moves lessen the strain on housing at the Guantanamo facility. (Associated Press/File) **FILE**

Pentagon praises Macedonia for repatriation of ISIS foreign fighters

- The Washington Times

The Defense Department is lauding Macedonia's decision Tuesday to repatriate a group of Islamic State foreign fighters captured in Syria, pressing other foreign nations to follow suit as part of an overall effort to address the growing issue of combat detainees taken off the battlefields of Syria and northern Iraq.

Atlas of the Middle East Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A Middle East strategic alliance

The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a plan for a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran's expansion in the Middle East. The plan, which some in the White House and Middle East are calling an "Arab NATO" of Sunni Muslim allies can clearly be seen as one way to counter expansionism by Shi'ite Iran and referred to as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA).

No Peace Plan Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The best peace plan never

President Trump has promised "the greatest" peace plan ever to settle what he concedes is the toughest negotiation of all: Peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In this July 25, 2018 photo, Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey.   Brunson, who had been jailed in Turkey for more than one and a half years on terror and espionage charges was released and will be put under house arrest as his trial continues.  The White House is announcing that the Treasury Department is imposing sanctions on two Turkish officials over a detained American pastor who is being tried on espionage and terror-related charges.  (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)

Free Pastor Brunson

It's sad when promising friendships turn sour. It's treacherous when carefully nurtured bonds among nations are put asunder. On paper, the United States and Turkey are NATO allies, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to trade relations with the West for ties to radical Islam. This has cast doubt on the future of the alliance. Turkey's harsh treatment of an American pastor intensifies the crisis.

Yemen: U.S. allies spin deals with al Qaeda in war on rebels

- Associated Press

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al Qaeda militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, speaks with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov during the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting on the sidelines of the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Singapore, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Mike Pompeo warns Russia, China not to violate North Korea sanctions

- The Washington Times

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he warned Russia, China and others at a major summit in Asia over the weekend not to violate sanctions on North Korea, asserting that the Trump administration has no intention of lifting them until Pyongyang fully abandons its nuclear weapons.

Iranian navy speed boats attend a drill in the sea of Oman, on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011.  Iran's navy chief has reiterated for a second time in less than a week that his country can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the passageway through which a sixth of the world's oil flows.  (AP Photo/IIPA, Ali Mohammadi)

Iran displays navy's ability to choke off Gulf oil flow

- The Washington Times

Iran's navy sent dozens of small boats into the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, dramatizing its ability to choke off the strategic Persian Gulf waterway -- a move that could send global oil and U.S. gasoline prices soaring -- and escalating the confrontation with the Trump administration for withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Illustration on a proposed space force by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The security benefits of space-based defense

President Trump's proposal to establish a U.S. Space Force as an independent military service on an equal footing with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps is necessary to defend the American people from the unprecedented existential and growing threat posed by the horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear missiles.

Vice President Mike Pence and Navy Rear Adm. Jon Kreitz, deputy director of the POW/MIA Accounting Agency, right, watch as military members carry transfer cases from a C-17 at a ceremony marking the arrival of the remains believed to be of American service members who fell in the Korean War at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. North Korea handed over the remains last week. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Identification work begins on Korean War remains now in U.S.

- Associated Press

The U.S. military is beginning the painstaking process of analyzing remains from the Korean War now that they are back on American soil after having been handed over by North Korea last week.

Targeting the Threat Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The threat that must be named

Psychiatrists tell their patients they have to "name their fears." A fear that cannot be named cannot be understood or faced. An unnamed threat cannot be defeated. This is particularly true of what is called the threat of "terrorism."

From The Vault

In this June 3, 2011, file photo, the Pentagon is seen from air from Air Force One. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) **FILE**

Trump reinstates broad ban on transgender troops

- The Washington Times

President Trump moved late Friday to exclude most transgender people from signing up for the U.S. military, after his defense and homeland security chiefs said they were worried about the armed forces' ability to handle the different challenges the troops would bring.

Illustration on the potential for Iranian popular revolt against the current regime by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Rallying to the willing

This is the second round of violent protests by Iranians against their government for suppressing their rights and attempts to enjoy those rights. Barack Obama didn't have much sympathy for the protests against the government suppression of voters in a national election in 2009.

Illustration on the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Communism's century of devastation

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941 "a day that will live in infamy," and with good reason. The date that Tojo's Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor heralded America's entrance into the bloody fighting of World War II. But there are other dates that live in infamy, and many of them aren't nearly as well known. But they deserve to be. Take Nov. 7, 1917.

Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government's foreign relations department (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Minister defends Kurds' vote for independence

Falah Mustafa Bakir heads the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government. He spoke with Washington Times special correspondent Seth J. Frantzman the day after Sunday's vote on why the region's nonbinding independence referendum deserves international support.