United States Secretary of Defense

Angered lawmakers demand change in flawed military justice system

Angered lawmakers demand change in flawed military justice system

Outrage over an Air Force officer‘s decision to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict in a sexual assault case has Republicans and Democrats joining forces on ambitious legislation to change the military justice system. On both sides of the Capitol, lawmakers have interpreted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel‘s recent proposal to essentially strip commanding officers of their […]

Hagel claims budget cuts puts Pentagon missions in peril

Hagel claims budget cuts puts Pentagon missions in peril

New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday that budget uncertainty, including $46 billion in new defense cuts, jeopardizes the Pentagon‘s ability to effectively fulfill all its missions. Hagel, appearing at his first Pentagon news conference since he was sworn in on Wednesday, said the cuts mean the U.S. Navy would gradually stand down four […]

Don’t ask, don’t tell repealed by House again

Don’t ask, don’t tell repealed by House again

For the second time this year the House voted to dismantle the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, giving the Senate a final shot in the waning days of this Congress at changing a law requiring thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual identity. The strong 250-175 House vote Wednesday propels the issue to […]

North Korea threatens South with nuclear war

North Korea threatens South with nuclear war

North Korea warned Monday that U.S.-South Korean cooperation could bring a nuclear war to the region, as the South began artillery drills amid lingering tension nearly three weeks after the North’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island. The South’s naval live-fire drills are scheduled to run Monday through Friday at 27 sites. The regularly […]

Gates on gay ban report leak: Who asked? Who told?

Gates on gay ban report leak: Who asked? Who told?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday condemned the leak of a Pentagon study looking at ending a ban on gays in the US military, launching a probe into the disclosure. The Pentagon had planned to announce the results of the internal review in December but the Washington Post published details of the study’s findings on […]

Report: Lifting gay ban won’t hurt military

Report: Lifting gay ban won’t hurt military

A Defense Department study group has found that the United States could lift its ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military with little risk to current war efforts, The Washington Post reported Thursday. “More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said […]

Gates to Congress: Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ before new members are seated

Gates to Congress: Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ before new members are seated

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants a lame duck session of Congress to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military before new, more anti-gay members are sworn in. But he isn’t holding his breath waiting for that to happen. On a trip to Australia for a series of defense and diplomatic confabs, Gates […]

Congressional pork could doom Pentagon cost-cutting

Congressional pork could doom Pentagon cost-cutting

The Pentagon will unveil new rules later on Tuesday aimed at ending years of massive cost overruns on major weapons programs, but congressional efforts to protect home-district jobs may turn Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ cost-cutting drive into his toughest battle yet. Gates and chief weapons buyer Ashton Carter are due to announce the next steps […]

Pentagon is going broke

Pentagon is going broke

The Pentagon said on Wednesday it may be forced to take extreme measures — like not paying salaries — if the Democratic-led Congress fails to pass a $37 billion defense spending bill before lawmakers begin an August recess. A senior Democratic aide said lawmakers would find a way to get it done. “We will pass […]

Dick Cheney hospitalized

Dick Cheney hospitalized

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was admitted to the hospital Friday after experiencing discomfort, the latest health scare for the 69-year-old Republican leader who has a long history of heart disease. Cheney was expected to remain at George Washington University Hospital over the weekend, said spokesman Peter Long. It was not immediately clear whether Cheney’s […]