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Aerospace & Defense

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

In this Dec. 20, 2017, file photo, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington. Tillerson huddles Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, with nations that fought on America's side in the Korean War, looking to tighten the economic noose around North Korea over its nuclear weapons even as hopes rise for diplomacy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. allies from Korean War meet on North Korean nuclear threat

By Matthew Pennington - Associated Press

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson huddles Tuesday with nations that fought on America's side in the Korean War, looking to tighten the economic noose around North Korea over its nuclear weapons even as hopes rise for diplomacy. Published January 16, 2018

Recent Stories

Illustration on lowering veterans' suicide rates by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Lowering the suicide rates of those who serve

President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order which seeks to lower suicides rates among our nation's veterans. The order, which would take effect in March, expands mental health services for transitioning veterans upon their return home to civilian life. Mr. Trump hailed the order as a "historic step to make sure that our incredible veterans are taken care of in a proper manner."

This frame from video released by the Chelsea Manning Senate campaign on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 shows Chelsea Manning in a campaign video. Manning on Sunday confirmed via Twitter that she is a candidate for U.S. Senate. (Chelsea Manning For US Senate via AP)

Seeking refuge in the U.S. Senate

Chelsea Manning, who used to think she was Bradley Manning, and who was once a private first class in the U.S. Army before he became a traitor, now thinks he can be a U.S. senator from Maryland. Maryland may not be quite that deep shade of blue, but it's a brave new era in the Democratic Party, where feverish Democrats think Donald Trump is insane and Bradley Manning is a woman because he says he is.

President Trump faces a Jan. 12 deadline to extend waivers of broad oil and energy sanctions against that were critical to getting Iran's commitment to the Obama-era nuclear accord. (Associated Press)

Trump sets deadline to overhaul Iran nuclear deal: 'Last chance'

- The Washington Times

President Trump kept the Iranian nuclear deal in place Friday for another 120 days but warned it's the last time, as the U.S. seeks a tougher agreement against Tehran with European allies, and the administration slapped Iran with fresh sanctions unrelated to the agreement.

Trump looks to slash government red tape on overseas sale of U.S. made weapons

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration is taking aim at another U.S. industry it says it being held back by overregulation and government red tape, moving to reduce federal rules and restrictions governing overseas sales of weapons and armament, in a bid to accelerate American arms deals to a growing international clientele eager to field the latest generation of U.S.-made weaponry.

Illustration on auditing the Pentagon by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Why a Pentagon audit is overdue

At the beginning December 2017, the comptroller of the Department of Defense (DoD) David Norquist announced that DoD would conduct its first ever audit.

Europe's silence

It's tempting to say that Europe's leaders lack the courage of their convictions. But that would imply that they have convictions. The evidence suggests those days are gone.

Illustration on aiding freedom in Iran through discontinuing the JCPOA deal by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Ousting the ayatollahs

The Iranian election of 2009, re-electing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was so obviously fixed that the results ignited a near-revolt that threatened the terror-sponsoring regime of the ayatollahs.

In this April 1972 photo made available by NASA, John Young salutes the U.S. flag at the Descartes landing site on the moon during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity. NASA says the astronaut, who walked on the moon and later commanded the first space shuttle flight, died on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. He was 87. (Charles M. Duke Jr./NASA via AP)

John Young, NASA moonwalker, dies at 87

- The Washington Times

John Young, a retired astronaut and one of only a handful of humans to walk on the moon, has passed away at the age of 87 following complications from pneumonia, NASA said Saturday.

Illustration on Iranian persecution of its Bahai minority by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Congress' Iran moment

Since the outbreak of anti-regime protests in Iran, President Trump has expressed his strong support for the Iranian people through a number of tweets. The U.S. Congress can also use these widespread demonstrations to send a strong and unified message of support to the Iranian people by passing House Resolution 274 with unanimous consent and with as many co-sponsors as possible.

BOOK REVIEW: How Stalin treated his inner circle

What caused Joseph Stalin to become one of history's most notorious mass murders? Unlike Adolph Hitler, whose victims were anonymous Jews and other "undesirables" whom he did not know, Stalin's victims included persons from his inner circle, fellow leaders of the Soviet Communist party.

A South Korean government official communicates with a North Korean officer during a phone call on the dedicated communications hotline at the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reopened a key cross-border communication channel with South Korea on Wednesday, another sign easing animosity between the rivals even as Kim traded combative threats of nuclear war with President Donald Trump. (Yonhap via AP)

North-South hotline reopens on Korean peninsula

- The Washington Times

North Korea said Wednesday it will reopen a telephone hotline with South Korea -- re-establishing a key emergency communications link between the two nations a day after Seoul put forward a proposal for high-level talks with Pyongyang.

Change may come in North Korea

For good or evil, we may see radical changes in North Korea in 2018. The beefed-up United Nations sanctions by midyear could lead to widespread North Korean hunger, as well as the virtual end of the country's industry and transportation.

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.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Rocket Man offers an opening, or a trap

- The Washington Times

Kim Jong-un is entitled to feel pretty good about his skill in playing Washington and the West. There's a history of North Korea getting what it wants and not paying anything for it. A succession of American presidents, Republican and Democrat, have been eager to play the mark.

How Abadi violates Iraq's constitution

In recent times, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi has been mistreating the Kurdish citizens in his country. It is time for this to come to an end.

Illustration on the positive impact of Russian involvement in negotiations with North Korea by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

How Russia could help broker a North Korea deal

Russia is an influential strategic player in northeast Asia and a major stakeholder in Korea since the late 19th century. The Soviet Union was responsible for the establishment of the DPRK some 70 years ago, and since that time, Russia amassed a wealth of experience and contacts in its relations with the Kim dynasty and provides support — from energy exports to protection against the more extreme sanctions policies sought by Washington — that are vital to the political well-being of the regime. Based on this long-term relationship, Russia is well-positioned to contribute to efforts to restrain Pyongyang's weapons programs.

National Security Strategy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Trump's national security strategy

Decades of "national security strategies" have left us jaded. Required by the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act, they haven't been strategies at all, just statements of principals and goals without plans to achieve them.

This file photo provided by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command shows Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger. (U.S. Army Special Operations Command via AP, File)

Sgt. La David T. Johnson fought to the end after ambush in Niger: Report

- Associated Press

Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson died in a hail of gunfire, hit as many as 18 times as he took cover in thick brush, fighting to the end after fleeing militants who had just killed three comrades in an October ambush in Niger, The Associated Press has learned.

Secure Air Traffic Control Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Privatization with a potential for danger

Relieving the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of its oversight of our nation's air traffic control (ATC) operations would create significant concerns in both military and homeland security air defense mission areas. House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Schuster has advocated relentlessly for ATC privatization, drafting and promoting two separate bills outlining the move to privatized control of the busiest airspace in the world. Endorsed by the Trump administration, this move has repercussions beyond the inherent conflict of interest presented by a commercial airline governing board.

Recent Opinion Columns

FILE -- In this Jan. 16, 2017 file photo, Richard Ratcliffe, husband of imprisoned charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, poses for the media during an Amnesty International led vigil outside the Iranian Embassy in London. The family of Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was detained in Iran while on a trip with her toddler daughter says all efforts to appeal her five-year prison sentence in court have failed. Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency, found out this weekend that her appeal to Iran's supreme court failed. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Addicted to uranium

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.

People watch a TV news program showing a file image of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. North Korea's parliament convened Tuesday amid heightened tensions on the divided peninsula, with the United States and South Korea conducting their biggest-ever military exercises and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier heading to the area in a show of American strength. The signs read "The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier changes route". (AP Photo/Ahn Yooung-joon)

Calculating the threat from North Korea

"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.

Illustration on the situation of the Korean peninsula by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Possibilities for reunifying the Korean Peninsula

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.

File - This Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 file photograph provided by the Israeli Ministry of Defense shows a launch of David's Sling missile defense system. A senior Israeli air force official says a joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor will be operational soon, completing the country's multi-layer defense system. He said Monday that David's Sling, meant to counter medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, will be operational in early April. (Ministry of Defense via AP, File)

The Strategic Defense Initiative at 34

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.

Hospital workers walk by a journalist on a stakeout checking his mobile phone outside the forensic department of Kuala Lumpur Hospital, where the body of Kim Jong Nam, exiled half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Nam, has been kept, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, March 20, 2017. Malaysian police said Sunday that they are hunting for more North Korean suspects over the killing of Kim Jong Nam who was poisoned to death at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

Taming North Korea

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.

President Trump proposes to cut cherished Obama programs such as support for alternative energy and slashes the EPA budget by 31 percent. (Associated Press)

Trump's 'hard power' budget boosts Pentagon spending, slashes foreign aid

- The Washington Times

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

Trump to send 4,000 more U.S. forces to Afghanistan

- The Washington Times

President Trump asked the American people Monday to trust him in sending more troops to Afghanistan, saying that his gut told him to pull out but that careful examination of military options convinced him decisive victory over Islamist militants was the only option.

Illustration on a possible North Korean EMP attack by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The other North Korean threat

After massive intelligence failures grossly underestimating North Korea's long-range missile capabilities, number of nuclear weapons, warhead miniaturization, and proximity to manufacturing a hydrogen bomb, the biggest North Korean threat to the United States remains unacknowledged.

Illustration on Iraq/ Kudistan relations by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Negotiating an amicable split

Iraqi security forces with the support of coalition forces are finally getting close to defeating ISIS in Iraq, which begs an important question: What comes next? More to the point, what governmental structure would best protect the many ethnic groups that live there?

Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, who said the U.S. would not rule out a military response and was preparing a package of punishments for the Security Council to consider. (Associated Press/File)

U.S. suggests military response to North Korea as international community weighs bad options

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration and the international community on Wednesday were weighing a range of bad policy options after North Korea's ballistic missile program cleared a dangerous milestone this week, leaving the White House and its allies scrambling for diplomatic -- and potentially military -- solutions to curb Pyongyang's increasingly potent nuclear capabilities.

This image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea's KRT on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, shows what was said to be North Korea leader Kim Jung Un, center, watching the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, ICBM, in North Korea's northwest. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. North Korea claimed to have tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile in a launch Tuesday, a potential game-changing development in its push to militarily challenge Washington  but a declaration that conflicts with earlier South Korean and U.S. assessments that it had an intermediate range. (KRT via AP Video)

North Korea claims it tested first intercontinental missile

- Associated Press

North Korea on Tuesday claimed it successfully test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, a potential game-changing development in what may be the world's most dangerous nuclear standoff and, if true, a direct rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump's earlier declaration that such a test "won't happen!"