January 20th, 2014
02:21 PM ET

Warships part of U.S. contingency plan for Sochi Olympics

By Barbara Starr

The U.S. military will have up to two warships and several transport aircraft on standby under a contingency plan to help evacuate American officials and athletes from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, if ordered, a U.S. official said.

The State Department would take the lead in organizing and evacuating Americans, if necessary, the official with direct knowledge of the plan told CNN.

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January 16th, 2014
08:34 PM ET

Gates on Iran sanctions, Biden and biggest mistakes as defense secretary

By Dana Davidsen

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is defending his criticism of Vice President Joe Biden's record on national security.

Gates writes in his new book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," that Biden was "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

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Filed under: Biden • Gates • Iran
January 15th, 2014
09:29 PM ET

Air Force nuke officers caught up in big cheating scandal

By Tim McCaughan

The U.S. Air Force's nuclear command has been rocked by a cheating scandal involving nearly three dozen officers.

Cheating on a proficiency exam involving intercontinental missile launch officers at the Global Strike Command at Malmstrom Air Force base in Montana apparently was carried out around last August and September by text and appears to be the largest incident of its kind, the Pentagon said.

"This is absolutely unacceptable behavior and it is completely contrary to our core values in the Air Force and as everybody here knows the Number One core value for us is integrity," Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters.

Officials said the nuclear arsenal is secure.

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Filed under: Air Force • Nuclear
Unclassified documents reveal more details about Benghazi attack
January 14th, 2014
03:57 AM ET

Unclassified documents reveal more details about Benghazi attack

(CNN) - The House Armed Services Committee on Monday released hundreds of pages of transcripts of previously classified testimony about the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The testimony focuses primarily on the military posture before, during, and after the attack, which left U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

In the testimony, senior military officials said that despite general warnings about the possibility of terrorist attacks around the world because of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there were no discussions related to any specific threat in Libya. As a result, additional military assets were not deployed. FULL POST

January 12th, 2014
02:00 PM ET

Gates defends controversial book

By Ashley Killough

Bob Gates defended his new book Sunday, after some pundits blasted the former defense secretary for criticizing a sitting president and an administration in which he recently served.

In an interview with CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” Gates said the partisan culture of Washington was quick to focus on the negative statements in the book, but less interested in the positive marks he gave President Barack Obama.

But he stood by everything he wrote.

"The way people are looking at the book reflects the polarization of our political process at this point," he said. "A lot of people – not everybody – (are) going to look at this book in terms of how does it advance (their) particular political agenda, or how does it damage (their) political agenda.”

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Filed under: Gates
Air Force expands illegal drug probe to 10 officers
January 10th, 2014
09:02 PM ET

Air Force expands illegal drug probe to 10 officers

By Barbara Starr

In a spreading military probe into alleged illegal drug possession, the Air Force is now investigating nearly a dozen officers in multiple locations, a spokesman says.

Nine lieutenants and one captain "are being investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for illegal drug possession," said Lt. Col. Brett Ashworth, an Air Force spokesman.

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Fewer sexual assaults reported at military academies in 2012-13, report says
January 9th, 2014
09:42 PM ET

Fewer sexual assaults reported at military academies in 2012-13, report says

By Barbara Starr

Reports of sexual assaults at the three military service academies decreased for the 2012-13 academic year, but the Air Force Academy continued to have significantly more reports than the Army or Navy schools, according to a new report.

According to the report to be released Friday, the total number of sexual assault reports made in that academic year for all the schools was 70, down from 80 the previous year. It comes as several high profile cases of misconduct in the military have come to light.

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U.S., Chinese warships come dangerously close
The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens steams through the Philippine Sea on Nov. 10, 2012.
December 13th, 2013
03:25 PM ET

U.S., Chinese warships come dangerously close

By Barbara Starr

A confrontation between the U.S. and Chinese navies led to a tense moment in the South China Sea, CNN has learned.

The incident last Friday, which was resolved peacefully, was the latest sign of Chinese military aggression in international waters and airspace.

A U.S. Navy warship was forced to come to a sudden stop when a Chinese military ship crossed dangerously close in what sources described as a deliberate maneuver.

No weapons were fired and the incident was resolved.
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Peacekeeping mission steps up in CAR
December 9th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

U.S. military aircraft to aid Central African Republic mission

By CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

American military aircraft will fly African and European peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, which is in the midst of a bloody internal conflict between various proclaimed Christian and Muslim militias and other rebel factions.

The decision announced the Pentagon was followed by a statement from President Barack Obama, who called on the country's citizens to reject violence and urged the transitional government to join "respected leaders" in Muslim and Christian communities in calling for "calm and peace."

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Hagel: Afghan minister says security pact to be signed in 'timely manner'
December 8th, 2013
06:27 AM ET

Hagel: Afghan minister says security pact to be signed in 'timely manner'

By CNN Staff

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says his Afghan counterpart assured him that an important security pact will be reached with Kabul in a "timely manner," despite a failure so far to forge a deal.

Hagel made the remark during a visit to Afghanistan on Saturday. What is known as the bilateral security agreement - ready to be implemented but still unsigned - initially has been front and center in Hagel's visit.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hagel • Karzai • Military
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