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Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense

FIGHTING WORDS: It was a “mic-drop” moment like no other. At the top of yesterday’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer ceded the podium to National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, who excoriated Iran for a long list of “malign actions” he accused the Obama administration of ignoring, including recent missile tests, weapons transfers, and support for terrorism, specifically the backing of Yemeni Houthi rebels who attacked a Saudi warship in the Red Sea Monday. “President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama administration, as well as the United Nations, as being weak and ineffective,” said Flynn reading from a statement. “Instead of being thankful to the United States and the agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened. As of today, we are officially putting Iran … Read entire article »

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Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense

DEATH BY HELLFIRE: The Pentagon has disclosed that last Sunday U.S. drones unleashed a furious fusillade of Hellfire missiles at two compounds in a remote area of Afghanistan’s Kunar province. The targets were al-Qaida’s two most-senior leaders Faruq al-Qatani and Bilal al-Utabi. “This is the most significant al-Qaida strike in Afghanistan in several years,” a senior Pentagon official tells us. “Al-Qatani was the number one al-Qaida official in Afghanistan, and al-Utabi was number two or three.” The Pentagon has not pronounced them dead yet, but its overhead imagery indicated both compounds were leveled. Al-Qatani, who at the time was known as Nayf Salam Muhammad Ujaym al-Hababi, figures prominently in declassified files recovered during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. The Treasury Department has a dossier on him here. Meanwhile, … Read entire article »

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Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense

THIS WEEK: The Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia, and based on the list of speakers, it looks like some national security heavy-hitters will be striding to the podium later in the week. On Wednesday, we’ll hear from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and retired Rear Adm. John Hutson. And on Thursday, retired Marine Gen. John Allen will speak. ALSO THIS WEEK: Defense Secretary Ash Carter is hitting the road to focus on three of his top priorities: innovation, defeating the Islamic State and recruiting the best possible troops. The three-day trip, which starts on Tuesday, includes stops at Boston, Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., and Fort Bragg, N.C., where he will meet with Lt. Gen. Steve Townsend, who is deploying soon to take the lead in the fight against … Read entire article »

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Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense

ANTI-ISLAMIC STATE WAR COUNCIL CONVENES: This morning at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 members of the counter-Islamic State coalition meet to plot the next steps in the war on the self-proclaimed caliphate. Defense Secretary Ash Carter hosts the defense ministers, while Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with foreign ministers tomorrow in Washington. Carter will brief reporters at the end of today’s session and can be seen live at www.defense.gov 1:45 p.m. White House Special Presidential Envoy to the Coalition Brett McGurk told reporters on a conference call yesterday that the ministers will be looking ahead to the liberation of Mosul, which now seems much more doable with the capture of the key Qayyarah West airfield in northern Iraq. McGurk called the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Active Duty, Keeping Tabs

Top Military and Vet Stories of 2013

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media There were no shortages of big military and veterans’ stories in 2013 that are sure to reverberate well into 2014 and beyond. From the Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden cases to the continuing fight of veterans to win disability benefits to the boogeyman of sequestration to military sexual assaults to gays and lesbians gaining legal standing in the ranks, it’s been an eventful if not historic year. Here now are my top military and veteran stories of the year: Sequestration or Much Ado About Very Little, Part I. The sky was supposed to fall after a congressional committee failed to agree on spending cuts to defense and domestic programs and thereby allegedly triggered across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. The action was supposed reduce Pentagon funding by $500 billion in … Read entire article »

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Defense and Vet Stories You’ll See More of in 2014

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media Hindsight is 20/20. Predicting the top stories for the coming year is more challenging, but here are the issues you’ll be reading more about in the coming year. If there is a theme here it’s that after more than a decade of fighting overseas, the country takes a closer look at domestic security than last year and what as a nation Americans are willing to give up in the privacy sphere in the name of internal security. So, here in reverse order are my top military and veteran stories for 2014. Iraq fails. This nation was cobbled together by the British after World War I from three regions dominated by the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites who, to put it mildly, don’t get along. The year will see Iraq’s central … Read entire article »

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VA Unveils San Diego Projects for 2014

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media The Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System has announced several new projects for 2014, including the February opening of the 40-bed Aspire Center in Old Town. The first facility of its kind in San Diego County, the Aspire Center will serve veterans from across the area, including 80,000 in North County, with intensive in-patient care. Roughly 265,000 veterans live in the county. The ribbon cutting is set for Feb. 17, with patients expected to arrive at the $30 million domiciliary later that month or early March. The Aspire Center will primarily treat younger veterans suffering mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress who are homeless or are at risk of becoming so. San Diego is home to the largest concentration of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in … Read entire article »

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Petition: Change Medal’s ‘Order of Precedence’

Do you disagree with the Pentagon’s decision to put a new medal honoring drone pilots above some traditional combat valor medals in the military’s “order of precedence”? This is your chance to let the White House know how you feel. A petition posted on the White House website Thursday asks the administration to lower the precedence of the Distinguished Warfare Medal. The medal, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday, will be awarded to pilots of unmanned aircraft, offensive cyberwar experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations, but who are not physically in theater and facing the physical risks that warfare historically entails. The new medal will rank just below the Distinguished Flying Cross. It will have precedence over — and be worn on a uniform ahead of — the Bronze Star with Valor device, … Read entire article »

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Military Headline News: Doolittle’s Raiders, Navy Slims Down, Marines Gear Up

Military Headline News * The end of an era is at hand. The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders – 80 men made famous by their April 1942, bombing run on Japan – are ending their reunions that started in 1946. There are just five raiders left. All are in their 90s. Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led the attack that was a great morale boost during the dark early days of World War II. Their last reunion is set for this spring in Florida. In 2011 the national chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors disbanded. * Responding to long-standing concerns, the Marines will soon issue improved camouflage uniforms that are more durable, comfortable and compatible with body armor. * The Navy now says it needs fewer ships. The service has revised its fleet requirement from 313 to 306 ships. Navy leaders … Read entire article »

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Warrior & Family Support News

COMMUNITIES IN ACTION Army Reserve gives a Texas-sized show of support to soldiers’ family members DVIDS Army Reserve Maj. Montrese Love addresses family members of deployed soldiers Jan. 13 during the Yellow Ribbon Reintegrationprogram at the Houston Hilton NASA Hotel in Clear Lake, Texas. Love, the commander of the 324th Expeditionary Signal Battalion … A Veterans’ Agenda for 2013 – Together We Can Make This Happen BlueOregon Several years ago when I was working for Governor Kulongoski as his senior policy advisor for Emergency Management, Military, and Veterans’ Affairs, I was blessed with the opportunity to play a small role in the development of a comprehensive approach … Fun, games at weekly math night add up for region’s military kids TheNewsTribune.com Military kids often change schools, and issues such as deployments and reintegration can make their lives more complicated, Johnson said. The school has used its portion … Read entire article »

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