Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stars and Stripes Daily Headlines

Stars and Stripes
February 16, 2017
Defense experts caution lawmakers about US ability to fight and win wars
A panel of defense experts on Thursday raised concern over Russia and China’s ability to match and contest U.S. military power in the next decade, focusing on issues ranging from advanced Russian guided munitions to the Pentagon’s personnel shortfalls.

Lawmakers urge Marines to clear platoon exonerated of killing Afghans
House lawmakers on Thursday urged the Marine Corps to publicly clear the names of 30 special operators dogged by false claims that they indiscriminately killed Afghan civilians a decade ago.

Pentagon mulling combat troops to Syria as option in new anti-Islamic State plan
The Pentagon is considering a recommendation that conventional ground forces be sent to Syria as part of a package of options to be presented this month to President Donald Trump to accelerate operations against the Islamic State group, according to defense officials and media reports.

GAO report: VA remains a ‘high risk’ for waste and mismanagement
The Department of Veterans Affairs health care system was again declared a “high risk” area of government, susceptible to waste and mismanagement and in need of more oversight.

Lawmakers question amount of time VA employees spend on union activities
Some House Republicans blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday for allowing employees to spend what they considered too much time engaging in union activities.

Soldiers master tough job of preparing landing zones in airborne ops
When the U.S. Army needs to put troops behind enemy lines or quickly bring in supplies to a mountainous outpost, its answer is to bring them in from the above.

Mattis leaves vague what he means by saying US may 'moderate' NATO support
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declined to elaborate Thursday on his comment that the U.S. could “moderate” its support for NATO if allies didn’t pay more for their defense, saying he expected members of the 28-nation pact to respond to U.S. concerns about military burden-sharing.

'Incoming missile' test message inadvertently sent out to all airmen at Spangdahlem
A bright-red, mock “incoming missile” message that was mistakenly sent to all wing personnel at Spangdahlem Air Base on Tuesday was recalled in about eight minutes.

NATO seeks to boost Black Sea presence and cyber defenses
NATO agreed on Thursday to bolster its presence in the Black Sea in the latest expansion of alliance forces across a strategic region where allies have steadily added ground forces and air power, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

DODEA Europe student chefs put cooking chops to the test
The annual culinary competition has been a tradition in DODEA Europe for more than a half-dozen years, offering students in Culinary I or Culinary II — the latter being the second year of instruction in kitchen and restaurant operations — a chance to test their kitchen chops in a competition rivaling the intensity of reality cooking shows.

Slain N. Korean begged for mercy after previous assassination attempt, agency says
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother reportedly sent a letter pleading for mercy after an assassination attempt five years before he was killed in a reported poison attack this week in Malaysia.

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