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Aerospace & Defense

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

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood speaks during a news conference on the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, at the Pentagon, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ** FILE **

Top Pentagon official John Rood to resign

- The Washington Times

The Pentagon’s top policy official was pushed out of his job Wednesday at the direct request of President Trump, marking the latest senior defense official to leave his post in the last six months amid tensions over the extent of White House influence in military affairs.

In this February 2017 photograph provided by Conflict Armament Research, a gyroscope recovered from a Qasef-1 drone is displayed in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Such gyroscopes, a small instrument within drones that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry and those in the arsenal of Yemen's Houthi rebels, match components recovered in downed Iranian drones in Afghanistan and Iraq, two reports said. Conflict Armament Research said in a report released on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, that these gyroscopes within the drones have only been found inside those manufactured by Iran. That follows a recently released United Nations report that says its experts saw a similar gyroscope from an Iranian drone and in a shipment of cruise missiles seized in the Arabian Sea bound for Yemen. (Conflict Armament Research via AP)

Devices found in missiles, Yemen drones link Iran to attacks

- Associated Press

A small instrument inside the drones that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry and those in the arsenal of Yemen’s Houthi rebels match components recovered in downed Iranian drones in Afghanistan and Iraq, two reports say.

In this Oct. 15, 2000, file photo, experts in a speed boat examine the damaged hull of the USS Cole at the Yemeni port of Aden after an al Qaeda attack that killed 17 sailors. Sudan's transitional government said it's reached a settlement with families of the victims of the 2000 attack on USS Cole in Yemen, in a bid to have the African country taken off the U.S. terrorism list. At the time of the bombing, Sudan was accused of providing support to al Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the attack. Sudan's justice ministry said the settlement was signed with the victims' families Friday. Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis, File)

Sudanese gov’t reaches settlement deal with USS Cole victims

- Associated Press

Sudan’s transitional government said Thursday it has reached a settlement with families of the victims of the 2000 attack on USS Cole in Yemen, in a bid to have the African country taken off the U.S. terrorism list and improve relations with the West.

North Korea scraps ‘Christmas surprise’ amid China woes

- The Washington Times

North Korea has delayed its much-anticipated “Christmas surprise” of a major intercontinental ballistic missile test out of concern that such a provocation — after two years of stop-start nuclear diplomacy — would trigger sharp negative reactions from Washington and the international community.

National army soldiers stand guard at the site of suicide attack near the military academy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. A suicide bomber targeting a military academy in the Afghan capital on Tuesday killed at least six people, including two civilians and four military personnel, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

U.S., Taliban close to ‘reduction in violence’ agreement

- Associated Press

The Taliban have issued an ultimatum to Washington after weeks of talks with a U.S. peace envoy, demanding a reply on their offer of a seven-day reduction of violence in Afghanistan, or they would walk away from the negotiating table, two Taliban officials said Wednesday.

In this photo released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, an Iranian rocket carrying a satellite is launched from Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran's Semnan province, some 230 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Tehran, Iran. The rocket failed to put the satellite into orbit on Sunday, state television reported, the latest setback for a program the U.S. claims helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile program. (Iranian Defense Ministry via AP)

Iran fails to launch satellite into orbit

- The Washington Times

Iran failed to launch a satellite into orbit Sunday, state media reported, marking the country’s latest unsuccessful attempt for a program the U.S. believes is aimed at furthering Tehran’s nuclear weapons development.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is joined at left by Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., as the panel holds a hearing titled, "The Betrayal of our Syrian Kurdish Partners," an examination of President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to withdraw from Syria and its impact on the Kurds and stability in the region, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Michael McCaul praises strike on al Qaeda leader in Yemen

- The Washington Times

Rep. Michael McCaul, the leading Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is praising a recent strike that killed the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in January in what he calls a “significant blow” to the terrorist organization.

Passengers board buses after arriving on an airplane carrying U.S. citizens being evacuated from Wuhan, China, at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif. Jan. 29, 2020.   The passengers will undergo additional screenings in California and be placed in temporary housing. Officials have not said how long they will stay there.  (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Pentagon approves use of military bases for coronavirus quarantine

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services for the possible use of military facilities to accommodate 1,000 people who may have to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas due to a new virus.

President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Washington, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, and others. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)  **FILE**

Democrats make another push to restrain Trump on Iran

- The Washington Times

House Democrats are making a renewed push to rein in President Trump’s war-fighting authority in a Thursday vote to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force and restrict taxpayer funding for a war with Iran without Congress’ approval.

In this photo taken Monday, April 16, 2018, a U.S. and Niger flag are raised side by side at the base camp for air forces and other personnel supporting the construction of Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger. (AP Photo/Carley Petesch, File)

GOP lawmakers step up concerns of troop drawdown in Africa

- The Washington Times

The Republican leaders of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees are urging the Pentagon to continue “robust” counterterrorism support in Africa amid reports of a significant troop drawdown in the region that would mark a significant pivot in U.S. security policy.

Protesters stage a sit-in at Tahrir Square during anti-government demonstrations in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Thousands turn up for ‘million’ Iraq rally against U.S. troops

- Associated Press

Thousands rallied in Baghdad on Friday to demand that American troops leave the country, though their numbers fell short of the “million-man” march called for by an influential Shiite cleric amid heightened anti-U.S. sentiment after a U.S. drone strike earlier this month killed a top Iranian general in the Iraqi capital.

U.S.-Russia ‘engagements’ underscore danger of oil mission in Syria

- The Washington Times

President Trump says he is determined to keep control of Syrian oil fields as the country’s civil war plays out, but exactly how far the U.S. military is willing to go to protect those valuable energy reserves remains a mystery and represents a key question for the administration’s broader policy in the Middle East.

A U.S. Marine Corps carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Slutman, of Newark, Del., was among three American service members killed by a roadside bomb on Monday, April 8, near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Iran expands support for Taliban, targets U.S. troops in Afghanistan

- The Washington Times

Escalating U.S.-Iran tensions mean Afghanistan, which shares a border with Iran, could be the next proxy battleground between Washington and Tehran, a clash that threatens to undermine the Trump administration’s pursuit of a peace deal with the Taliban and eventual drawdown of American troops.

Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West

- Associated Press

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping have established themselves as the world’s most powerful authoritarian leaders in decades. Now it looks like they want to hang on to those roles indefinitely.