Latest U.S. Department of Defense News

Veterans group: Pentagon broke agreement to reopen database

Feb. 18, 2020 4:25 PM EST

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Pentagon has reneged on its agreement to reopen a vast records database that helps service members who are appealing a less-than-honorable discharge, a veterans group said Tuesday. The National Veterans Legal Services Program said the Defense Department has failed to make public...

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, the first panels of levee border wall are seen at a construction site along the U.S.-Mexico border, in Donna, Texas. The Trump administration said Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, that it will waive federal contracting laws to speed construction of the border wall with Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Homeland Security waives contracting laws for border wall

Feb. 18, 2020 4:15 PM EST

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration said Tuesday that it is waiving federal contracting laws to speed construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, moving the president closer to fulfilling a signature campaign promise in an election year but sparking criticism about potential for fraud, waste...

In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, photograph, Theresa Szczurek is shown in her office where she toils as the executive director of the Colorado Office of Information Technology in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Tech-starved government seeks industry's best, brightest

Feb. 17, 2020 1:36 PM EST

Denver (AP) — In this post-impeachment era of divisiveness and deadlock in the nation’s capital, Uncle Sam has a message for top U.S. technologists: I Still Want You. A Washington-based nerd strike force called the U.S. Digital Service is seeking private-sector coders, programmers and software...

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, shakes hands with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, as US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper watches during the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. The 2020 edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) takes place from Feb. 14 to 16. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool photo via AP)

Esper says Taliban deal is promising but not without risk

Feb. 15, 2020 2:20 PM EST

MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday that a truce agreement between the United States and the Taliban that could lead to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is not without risk but “looks very promising." Ahead of a formal announcement of the seven-day...

President Donald Trump displays photos of the border wall under construction as he speaks to members of the National Border Patrol Council at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's wall claim is beyond 'redemption'

Feb. 15, 2020 8:34 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, President Donald Trump told a rally that people who are in the United States illegally are paying for his Mexico border wall. It was the latest iteration of his effort to convince the public that Mexico is covering the cost, just as he promised...

U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks on the second day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

US defense chief slams China as rising threat to world order

Feb. 15, 2020 7:00 AM EST

MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday cast China as a rising threat to world order — saying the world's most populous nation steals Western know-how, intimidates smaller neighbors and seeks an “advantage by any means and at any cost.” A frequent critic of China,...

US service member dies in non-combat incident in Djibouti

Feb. 14, 2020 7:01 PM EST

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Pentagon has released the identity of a U.S. soldier who was killed Thursday in a non-combat-related incident in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. A spokesperson says Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, from Mountainair, New Mexico, died Thursday at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The incident...

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2019, file photo National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. Vindman was escorted out of the White House complex on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, according to his lawyer. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Army: No investigation into Vindman

Feb. 14, 2020 5:01 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday there is no investigation into the Army officer who until last week worked at the White House National Security Council and was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. McCarthy said Lt. Col. Alex Vindman has been moved...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, boards a plane as he departs on a multi-country trip, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)

US secretary of state heads to Africa after long absence

Feb. 14, 2020 9:06 AM EST

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Africa this weekend as the first U.S. cabinet official to visit in more than 18 months, and he is certain to face questions about the U.S. military's future on the continent and new U.S. visa restrictions against millions of Africans. Pompeo...

U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks during a press conference on the first day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)b

Esper defends shifting defense funds for Trump's border wall

Feb. 14, 2020 8:16 AM EST

MUNICH, Germany (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday defended his decision to divert billions of dollars in funding for Navy and Air Force aircraft and other military programs to help pay for President Donald Trump's promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Esper was asked by a reporter about...