In a joint press conference and signing ceremony, Secretary Panetta and Gen. Dempsey announce the decision to rescind the ban on women serving in direct combat roles. The Secretary directs the process to be completed by Jan 1, 2016.
Today we are acting to expand the opportunities for women to serve in the United States armed forces and to better align our policies with the experiences we have had over the past decade of war. Ultimately, we’re acting to strengthen the joint force.
A Pentagon report about how anthrax was sent accidentally sent to labs in the U.S. and foreign countries says no root cause is identified. The report blames:
…insufficient technical information in the broader scientific community about how to make sure the potentially deadly substance was no longer live before it was disseminated to 86 labs in 20 states, the District of Columbia and seven foreign countries over the last several years.
The report does say that potential causes might include possible contamination of the samples, how much radiation was used to render the samples inactive, and the quality of the testing procedure. The Pentagon says there are no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infections as a result of the mistakenly shipped samples.
Despite Clinton saying she had provided all work emails from her time as secretary of state, the Department of Defense uncovers a chain of emails between Clinton and General Petraeus. The exchange of ten emails, which mainly covers personnel issues, starts shortly before Clinton enters office and continues during her first days as the top U.S. diplomat in January and February of 2009. The Petraeus exchange also shows she started using the clintonemail.com account by January 2009, contradiciting her campaign’s claim that she used a private BlackBerry email account for her first two months at the department before setting up her clintonemail.com account in March 2009. The campaign gave her use of the Blackberry as the reason for not handing over any emails from those two months to the State Department.
After months of internal debate, the White House permits the Defense Department to sail one ship near a reef in the South China Sea that China claims. Carter says the U.S. has the right to operate near the Chinese structures.
What you read in the newspaper is accurate, but I don’t want to say when, whether or how we operate anywhere in the world. These are operations that we should be conducting normally.
The Pentagon says fifteen Guantanamo Bay detainees have been transferred to the UAE, the largest such release in years. The latest transfers bring the remaining population of the detention center down to 61. Twelve of the prisoners released on Monday were from Yemen; the other three were from Afghanistan. The UAE has taken in a total of 20 prisoners for resettlement. Two of the Afghan prisoners — Mohammed Kamin and Obaidallah, who only has one name — had been briefly charged in a military commission. The war crimes prosecutor dropped those charges. The other 13 prisoners had never been charged with a crime.
The US Army seeks proposals for biodegradable ammunition to replace the existing rounds used in training — including grenade and tank rounds – citing environmental concerns. The DoD stipulates that the new ammunition should contain seeds that produce food for animals. Brief:
Components of current training rounds require hundreds of years or more to biodegrade. Some of these rounds might have the potential to corrode and pollute the soil and nearby water. Some of these rounds might have the potential to corrode and pollute the soil and nearby water….This effort will make use of seeds to grow environmentally friendly plants that remove soil contaminants and consume the biodegradable components developed under this project. Animals should be able to consume the plants without any ill effects.
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