United States Senate Committee on Armed Services

Congress moving to crack down on military sexual assaults

Congress moving to crack down on military sexual assaults

Lawmakers outraged by sexual assaults in the military are moving swiftly to address the problem, tackling legislation that would strip commanders of their authority to overturn convictions in rape and assault cases. The House Armed Services Committee plans to consider a sweeping, $638 billion defense policy bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. Debate […]

Sexual assaults force military justice changes

Sexual assaults force military justice changes

Determined to stop sexual assault in the military, Congress is spelling out for the services how far lawmakers are willing to go in changing the decades-old military justice system. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and officers heading each branch of the military were to testify Tuesday on Capitol Hill, […]

New Pentagon challenge: Where to put women in battle

New Pentagon challenge:  Where to put women in battle

The Pentagon‘s decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat presents a daunting challenge to top military leaders who now will have to decide which, if any, jobs they believe should be open only to men. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Thursday that more than 230,000 battlefront posts — many […]

Blackwater founder worms his way back into mercenary company

Blackwater founder worms his way back into mercenary company

An investment group with ties to the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater announced Friday that it has bought the security firm, which was heavily criticized for its contractors’ actions in Iraq. USTC Holdings said in a statement that the acquisition of the company now called Xe Services includes its training facility in […]

Top military leaders still opposed to open gay service

Top military leaders still opposed to open gay service

The top uniformed officers of the Army and the Marines say letting gays serve openly in the military at a time of war would be divisive and difficult, sharply challenging a new Pentagon study that calculates the risk as low. Their assessment, expected Friday at a Senate hearing, was likely to become political ammunition for […]

U.S. use of mercenaries endanders lives in Afghanistan

U.S. use of mercenaries endanders lives in Afghanistan

U.S. reliance on private security in Afghanistan that is poorly monitored and often results in the hiring of Afghan warlords is profiting the Taliban and could endanger coalition troops, according to a Senate report. Military officials warn, however, that ending the practice of hiring local guards could worsen the security situation. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman […]

Congress ready to vote on gay mililtary bills

Congress ready to vote on gay mililtary bills

Congress is set to vote on proposals to let gays serving in the military out of the closet and allow them to serve openly with an end to the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. A bill by Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy could reach the House floor for a vote today. The legislation is a […]