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Aerospace & Defense

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

House Appropriations committee approves $675 billion in Pentagon spending

By Dan Boylan - The Washington Times

House Appropriations Committee members on Wednesday passed the Pentagon's annual funding bill -- a $675 billion package of requests for fiscal 2019 -- which increases purchases of F-35 joint strike fighters. Published June 13, 2018

Recent Stories

This photo released by Hawar News, the news agency for the semi-autonomous Kurdish areas in Syria, shows the anti-IS U.S. coalition, Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, center, and veteran Middle East diplomat William Roebuck, left, in the town of Manbij, in Aleppo province, Syria, Thursday, June 7, 2018. The US delegation's visit comes days after a delicate U.S-Turkish deal that is expected to see an American-backed Kurdish militia pull out of the area. The sign in Arabic in the background reads, "The Civil Democratic Administration in Manbij." (Hawar News via AP)

Turkish, U.S. military officials agree on plan for Manbij

Associated Press

Turkey's military said Thursday that Turkish and U.S. officials, meeting in Germany, have reached an agreement on a plan for the strategic Syrian town of Manbij that was a source of tension between the NATO allies.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, left, listen to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha during a joint press conference following their meeting at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

U.S. seeks to assuage Asian allies after North Korea summit

- Associated Press

The United States and its Asian allies worked Thursday to paper over any semblance of disagreement over President Donald Trump's concession to Kim Jong-un that the U.S. will halt military exercises with South Korea, with Trump's top diplomat insisting the president hadn't backed down from his firm line on North Korea's nukes.

In this photo provided by the Iraqi government, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, right, and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr hold a press conference in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, May 20, 2018. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's parliamentary elections, says the next government will be "inclusive." The May 12 vote did not produce a single bloc with a majority, raising the prospect of weeks or even months of negotiations to agree on a government. (Iraqi Government via AP) **FILE**

Iran-linked party joins alliance for new Iraqi government

- The Washington Times

A Shiite Iraqi nationalist party and a party with close ties to Iran on Wednesday announced a political alliance that could complicate the Trump administration's efforts to limit Tehran's influence in the next Iraqi government.

Suicidal Thought Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Combating the suicide epidemic

The recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that our nation is in the throes of a massive suicide epidemic did not come as a surprise to those of us who work with troubled veterans. We deal with it every day. We spend countless hours listening to unspeakable pain among those returning from the battlefields, striving to counsel them through their darkness and consoling widows when our efforts are insufficient — all the time wondering if we had been more articulate, more sensitive, more wise, perhaps we could have altered the outcomes.

Ronald Reagan's freedom agenda

Ronald Reagan was tough on totalitarians. On March 8, 1983, and to the chagrin of many of his advisers, he disparaged the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." On June 12, 1987, standing by the barrier designed to prevent East Germans from escaping into West Berlin, and again ignoring top deputies, he called on Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump promises new era of peace after 'complete denuclearization' pledge

- The Washington Times

President Trump declared Tuesday that the U.S. and North Korea are ready for a new era of peace after securing a written pledge from dictator Kim Jong-un for "complete denuclearization" of the divided Korean Peninsula, saying the undisclosed fine print for dismantling Pyongyang's weapons programs will ease concerns that Mr. Kim came away from their historic summit with the better end of the deal.

This March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Military says it's received no guidance about canceling Korean war games

- The Washington Times

Pentagon officials said Tuesday they'll stay out of President Trump's landmark diplomacy with Kim Jong-un -- but they also emphasized that, so far, military leaders have gotten no formal instructions to follow through on the president's words and immediately cancel joint military exercises with close ally South Korea.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump under heavy pressure to build on gains from summit

- The Washington Times

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim Jong-un projected potent images of peace and diplomacy between two leaders who traded nuclear war threats just a year ago, but the output generated a large wave of initial skepticism that the U.S. side got any tangible or permanent concession from the North Korean dictator on Tuesday.

Korea Open Door Policy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

On human rights for North Korea

President Trump needs a "Plan B" to force Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear program. Much like negotiating with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, any direct talks with North Korea are not likely to succeed if American negotiators continue to ignore human rights and focus exclusively on arms control.

USS Pueblo still held hostage by North Korea as Trump, Kim meet

- The Washington Times

The USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy, sits in Boston, revered by sailors and history buffs. The second-oldest ship, the USS Pueblo, floats at a river dock in Pyongyang, still a hostage more than 50 years after North Korea seized it in a January 1968 raid in the frigid waters of the East Sea off the Hermit Kingdom's northeastern coast.

Illustration on the ascendancy of al-Sadr by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

An Iraqi threat goes mainstream

Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's rise to power has not yet reached its zenith. The May 18 Iraqi parliamentary election, in which his Sairun political block won a plurality, has elevated him to the position of de facto leader of the Iraqi nation. Mr. al-Sadr won't become prime minister because he didn't run for a parliamentary seat, but he will control the formation of the next Iraqi government.

International Space Station Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Preserving America's supremacy in space

Acquiescing to efforts to end government funding of the International Space Station (ISS) by 2025 would be a historic and costly mistake to the tune of billions, destroying an engineering, science and geopolitical marvel and elevating America's enemies to supremacy in space.

President Donald Trump arrives at Paya Lebar Air Base for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A crossroads at the summit

No politician owns the exclusive rights to "hope and change." As a campaign slogan, it worked well for a moment for Barack Obama, but in hindsight it was little more than an attractive but empty phrase. He wowed the world by signing the Iran Nuclear Deal, but left the terror-friendly regime in Tehran on course to complete a doomsday arsenal. President Trump, girding himself for a nuclear summit with North Korea, promises to deal only in the hard currency of reality.

President Donald Trump arrives at Paya Lebar Air Base for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Singapore. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump, Kim arrive in Singapore: U.S.-North Korea summit is on

- The Washington Times

After weeks of doubts that they would come together for a summit, all the players had taken their places by Sunday on this island and prepared for an unprecedented dialogue about North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons and ending nearly 70 years of confrontation with the U.S.

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Critics fear foreign government favors to Trump businesses have become business as usual. Ethics watchdogs say apparent quid-pro-quo deals are not being stopped by a Republican-led Congress or the courts. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

China moves to cash in after Trump exits Iran nuclear deal

- The Washington Times

China's adeptness at doing business with Iran through state-owned companies not exposed to the American financial systems could make Beijing the big beneficiary of President Trump's move to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on foreign companies doing business with Tehran.

Illustration on pressuring Iran by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Why Trump must keep pressure on Iran

In the weeks since President Trump made global headlines with his announcement that the U.S. would no longer participate in the Iran nuclear deal, international attention has shifted to new priorities. It is easy to miss the fact that the U.S. has started taking key steps to ramp up economic pressure on the Iranian regime, including imposing new sanctions just last week.

A U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Trump outpacing Obama in drone strikes; 80 in first year: Report

- The Washington Times

President Trump is outpacing his predecessor in the number of U.S. drone strikes abroad and has made it easier for the CIA to use the craft to eliminate targets, according to a new study released Thursday -- but specialists warn the use of the unmanned killing machines remains shrouded in secrecy with rules of engagement that haven't been publicly explained.

Defense Secretary James Mattis speaks during a portrait unveiling ceremony for former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, at the Pentagon, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

James Mattis works to preserve defense gains amid NATO tensions

- The Washington Times

The Pentagon is determined to keep tensions over trade and other issues between the U.S. and its allies from jeopardizing President Trump's long-term campaign to get America's NATO allies to contribute their fair share to the alliance's defense coffers, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Wednesday as he arrived here for a summit of NATO defense ministers.

President Obama wanted the Iran nuclear accord so badly that he offered to give Iran access to American banks, an investigation found. (Associated Press)

Obama hid efforts to aid Iran's windfall

- The Washington Times

The Obama administration -- despite repeatedly assuring Congress that Iran would remain barred from the U.S. financial system -- secretly mobilized to give Tehran access to American banks to convert the windfall of cash it received from sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal into dollars, an investigative report by the Senate has revealed.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis will be pressuring NATO members to do more on and off the battlefield. The U.S. pressure for more defense spending and support from key NATO allies is having an impact, analysts say. (Associated Press Photographs)

Mattis meets NATO counterparts

- The Washington Times

Ex-Marine James N. Mattis' experience operating in hostile territory could come in handy this week as the U.S. defense secretary travels to Europe at a time of unusual strain between the U.S. and its allies, over trade, Iran, energy policy, sanctions — and U.S. demands for more defense spending and more help in such crisis spots as Iraq and Afghanistan.

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.