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Aerospace & Defense

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

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Silver Elephant Gala at the Columbia Convention Center, Friday, July 30, 2021  in Columbia, S.C. The Silver Elephant dinner, an annual fundraiser in its 54th year, has played host to Republicans looking for a political boost from the early-voting state. (Tracy Glantz/The State via AP) **FILE**

Pompeo backs new missile defense push

- The Washington Times

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for a new Reagan-era Strategic Defense Initiative to counter growing nuclear and conventional strategic threats posed by China.

In this photo taken during Dec. 27 - Dec. 31, 2021 and provided on Jan. 1, 2022 by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea fires projectile into sea in the fourth launch this month, South Korea says on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Seoul: North Korea fires projectile in 4th launch this month

Associated Press

North Korea fired at least one projectile into the sea on Monday, South Korea’s military said, in a fourth weapons launch this month as it demonstrates its military might amid pandemic border closures and paused diplomacy with the United States.

Tourists visit Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Thailand is prized by China partly because this rapidly modernizing Southeast Asian nation enjoys access near Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand, which opens onto the South China Sea. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

U.S.-China rivalry plays out in remote Thai town

A new arrival can easily spot China’s inexorable southern thrust along the Mekong River, where tall, fanciful Chinese buildings sprout nearby on the Laos side of this sleepy northern frontier town, sparking both hopes and fears about Beijing’s influence and intent in Thailand.

In this file photo, security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan in China's Hubei province on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. A Marine Corps officer working with DARPA disclosed in a memorandum in August 2021 that his study of the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic concluded that it was produced as part of vaccine research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to documents made public by a conservative investigative group. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  **FILE**

COVID virus made in Chinese lab as bat vaccine, Marine researcher says

- The Washington Times

A Marine Corps officer working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency disclosed in a memorandum last August that his study of the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic concluded that it was produced as part of vaccine research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to documents made public by a conservative investigative group.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg leaves after speaking during a media conference after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at NATO headquarters, in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

NATO leader eyes more talks with Russia after lengthy session

- The Washington Times

Russian and NATO officials held a “serious and direct exchange” over soaring tensions in Ukraine and eastern Europe, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday, asserting that the Western military alliance still has deep concerns about the Kremlin’s policy but hopes for more talks to ease the crisis.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, presidential aide Yury Ushakov, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu wait for the beginning of the Russia-Turkey talks in the Kremlin iin Moscow, Russia, Jan. 23, 2019. While demanding a halt to NATO's eastward expansion, Moscow has also urged the U.S. and its allies not to deploy weapons or conduct any military activities in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP) **FILE**

Little sign of progress on Ukraine standoff after first U.S.-Russia talks

- The Washington Times

A nearly six-hour “businesslike” conversation between American and Russian diplomats on Monday outwardly did little to resolve the dangerous military standoff along the Russia-Ukraine border and rising tensions across Eastern Europe, with top officials from both nations publicly downplaying the talks and insisting that the other side had to make the first move.

A tow truck transports a bus, which was burned during clashes in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Kazakhstan's health ministry says 164 people have been killed in protests that have rocked the country over the past week. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's office said Sunday that order has stabilized in the country and that authorities have regained control of administrative buildings that were occupied by protesters, some of which were set on fire. (Vladimir Tretyakov/NUR.KZ via AP)

Putin sees win for Russia in Kazakhstan crackdown

- The Washington Times

Russian President Vladimir Putin is crediting his troops with helping restore order and preserve the authoritarian regime in Kazakhstan following a week’s worth of unrest from what he described as a terrorist uprising backed by foreign powers.

Sailors and Marines line the deck of aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) as it deploys from San Diego on Monday, Jan. 3, 2021. The USS Abraham Lincoln deployed Monday from Naval Air Station North Island as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, under the command of Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt, the first woman to lead a nuclear carrier in U.S. Navy history. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP) ** FILE **

Navy adds two weeks to boot camp

- The Washington Times

Starting this month, new enlistees in the Navy will have an extra two weeks added to their basic training to better help them adjust to life in the military.

Russian soldiers take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. (AP Photo) ** FILE **

NATO to hold discussions with Russia this week

- The Washington Times

The buildup of Russian forces along Ukraine’s border and the Russian military’s role in putting down protests in Kazakhstan will be the main topics of discussion this week during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.

In this June 5, 2018 photo, reviewed by U.S. military officials, troops stand guard outside Camp Delta at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, in Cuba. The 20th anniversary of the first prisoners' arrival at the Guantanamo Bay detention center is on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. There are now 39 prisoners left. At its peak, in 2003, the detention center held nearly 680 prisoners. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

Biden’s low profile on Guantanamo rankles as prison turns 20

- Associated Press

Advocates for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center were optimistic when President Joe Biden took office. And they were relieved this summer after the U.S. released a prisoner for the first time in years. Many are now increasingly impatient.

In this file photo, U.S President Joe Biden, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin enter the 'Villa la Grange' during their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File)  **FILE**

Biden faces key test, major opportunity ahead of Russia talks on Ukraine

- The Washington Times

The slow-burning military standoff along the Russia-Ukraine border could reach a tipping point next week as the Biden administration enters a series of high-stakes diplomatic meetings with Moscow, and analysts say the U.S. and its NATO allies must seize a golden opportunity to turn the tables and extract their own concessions from the Kremlin.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro speaks at a news conference at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

Navy bans work with attache group over China coercion

- The Washington Times

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro has banned the Navy from taking part in activities of the semi-official Naval Attache Association over concerns China is manipulating the group in a bid to block Taiwanese military officers from taking part in its activities.

Parts of the wreckage of a drone are laid out on the ground near the Ain al-Asad airbase, in the western Anbar province of Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Two explosives-laden drones targeting the base housing U.S. troops were engaged and destroyed by defensive capabilities at the base on Tuesday, a coalition official said. (International Coalition via AP)

Bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria come under attack

Associated Press

A Katyusha rocket struck an Iraqi military base hosting U.S. troops at Baghdad’s international airport Wednesday while in Syria, eight rounds of indirect fire hit a base with members of the U.S.-led coalition, the Iraqi and U.S. militaries said.

Military guard posts of North Korea, rear, and South Korea, bottom, are seen in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into the sea on Wednesday, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said, its first public weapons launch in about two months and a signal that Pyongyang isn't interested in rejoining denuclearization talks anytime soon and would rather focus on boosting its weapons arsenal. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

North Korea fires ballistic missile into the sea in first test in two months

- Associated Press

North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea on Wednesday, the U.S. military said, its first such launch in about two months and a signal it isn’t interested in rejoining denuclearization talks anytime soon and would rather focus on boosting its weapons arsenal.

In this Dec. 11, 2021 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One performs inspection and sampling of a water well near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. U.S. Navy divers are trying to remove fuel from a water water shaft at Red Hill near Hawaii's Pearl Harbor. Divers are beginning to make progress and are now able to start "skimming" contaminants that have floated to the surface. The water supply serves about 93,000 people. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aja Bleu Jackson via AP)

Hawaii orders Navy to shut down WWII-era leaking fuel tanks

- The Washington Times

Thousands of military families in Hawaii were sent fleeing from their homes after jet fuel from an aging storage tank tainted their water supply. Now the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to gauge the potential health impact on the state’s civilian population as well.