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Rebels take US hostages in Yemen; ISIS comes to Saudi Arabia; NSA powers in limbo; SecDef joins social media; And just a bit more.

June 1, 2015 We “can still catch terrorists using the Constitution,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said last night in a bout of temporary triumph after again delaying a renewal of the NSA’s bulk phone data collection, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Ellen Nakashima reported. This time the delay lasts until at least...

New violence threatens Baghdad; China puts big guns on fake islands; Odierno’s shopping list; ‘Bug drones’ for SOF; And a bit more.

May 29, 2015 Iraq’s Anbar offensive brings death to Baghdad. The number of Iraqis killed in a dual car bombing late last night at upscale hotels in Baghdad rose this morning to 15 (with more than three dozen wounded), though the toll would have been higher had a third car bomb detonated as...

The Once—and Future?—USS Samuel B. Roberts

May 23, 2015 With yesterday's decommissioning of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), the end of the Perry-class frigate draws one step nearer. The fleet won't be long without a class of ships it calls frigates; in January, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus declared that future littoral combat ships will henceforth be known...

Dempsey’s acid Iraq quip; Rand Paul stands against NSA; SOF take DNA testing to the hot zone; And a bit more.

May 21, 2015 Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul just stood (*irony alert*) for a measly 10-plus hours last night in his attempt to filibuster an extension of the NSA’s stateside bulk metadata collection. Almost immediately afterward, the Senate adjourned—making a procedural vote on the decision unlikely until at least Saturday, The Hill’s Jordain...

Shiite militias surge to Ramadi; Air Force UAV operators get a break; Lifting the veil on drones for 2016; Americans rescued from Ukraine; And a bit more.

May 19, 2015 Bring on the Shi’a militias. At least 3,000 Iranian-aligned Shiite militia fighters descended on Iraq’s Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi yesterday, reportedly launching assaults on the Islamic State militants who seized the Sunni-majority city over the weekend and threatened to take Baghdad next. The decision to send the militias illustrates...

Yemen heats up again; New tack in ISIS war as Ramadi falls; China unveils new weapons; Kerry presses North Korea; Marines’ tragedy in Hawaii; And a bit more.

May 18, 2015 Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered Shiite militias to the deeply troubled Anbar province after some 500 troops and civilians were killed and 8,000 residents displaced when Islamic State fighters took Ramadi and Iraqi troops fled, Reuters reports this morning. This was less than a day after a U.S....

from govexec

Navy Looks to Make Changes to Cold-War Personnel System

May 13, 2015 Almost nothing in the U.S. military is older, and in more dire need of replacement, than the way it promotes its young officers and enlisted people. Codified in 1947, recertified in 1980, the system advances the vast majority not for performance or even potential, but for time served. “This is...

Navy Opens Fire on Cold-War Personnel System

May 13, 2015 Almost nothing in the U.S. military is older, and in more dire need of replacement, than the way it promotes its young officers and enlisted people. Codified in 1947, recertified in 1980, the system advances the vast majority not for performance or even potential, but for time served. “This is...

All 8 Women Fail To Advance To Next Phase of Ranger School

May 8, 2015 All eight of the women trying to move into the second phase of the Army’s elite Ranger school failed to move ahead to the school’s second, or mountain, phase. However, all qualified to restart the initial, or Darby, phase, Army officials said Friday. Just under half of the soldiers vying...

What’s the Difference Between ‘Accompanying’ and ‘Escorting’ a Ship?

May 1, 2015 U.S. Navy sailors know what it means to escort another vessel. Generally speaking, a warship meets up with another ship, or even a group of them, and together they set out on a voyage, matching courses and speeds for most of the way. That’s what happens when an aircraft carrier...