It's buried on pages 310 and 311, inside a section on "notifications for sensitive military operations," which is pretty juicy, relatively speaking, in a mundane 600-plus-page congressional document. It says: "Despite the [Defense] Department's guidelines regarding notifications, recent notifications have been both untimely and insufficiently detailed for the committee to conduct necessary oversight."
In plain English, the report states, the Pentagon has apparently been running operations in God-knows-where and hasn't been very upfront with Congress about it. "Therefore," the report adds, "the committee directs the Department to comply with the following requirements for notifications of sensitive military operations going forward."
These sensitive military operations are defined by law as kill or capture missions conducted by the U.S. military outside of declared theaters of war, or operations outside declared theaters in self-defense or in defense of foreign partners. Think the Osama bin Laden raid, or a drone strike against a terrorist training camp in Sudan, for example.
As you can imagine, sensitive military operations are risky — involving plenty of moving parts and downsides, along with a chance of pissing off allies and enemies alike — so Congress is supposed to get a heads up.
Instead, the DoD has been using a loophole to keep lawmakers in the dark — or it's notified them using seemingly intentionally vague language.
According to the report's instructions, the Pentagon now is to notify lawmakers in writing of these operations within 48 hours with sufficient detail so they can actually carry out their constitutional role of, you know, oversight. And if there are opsec issues, Congress says, that's up to the congressional members to decide, not the DoD (emphasis added):
"In the rare case that a notice contains information that the Department believes must be closely held within the committee, the Department should inform the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the need for such handling. The committee, not the Department, will then determine how to handle that specific issue. The committee, not the Department, must make its own determinations about how to conduct the requisite oversight, and under no circumstances should the Department unilaterally exclude appropriately-cleared staff from receiving notifications to Congress that are required by law."
An E-2D Hawkeye assigned to the Bluetails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 lands on the flight deck aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Will Hardy)
Nobody can be told what The Matrix is; you have to see it for yourself.
More than two decades after The Matrix showed the world what the future of the sci-fi action flick could look like, Warner Bros. Pictures plans on producing a fourth installment of the groundbreaking epic saga, Variety first reported on Tuesday.
Sailors from Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 1 conduct category III qualifications on the M2A1 heavy machine gun at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. CRS-1 is qualifying for future mobilization requirements. (U.S. Navy/Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Kenji Shiroma)
The Navy is considering giving Ma Deuce a quiet new update.
A competitor performs push-ups during the physical fitness event at the Minnesota Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition on April 4, 2019, at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. (Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec)
Despite what you may have heard, the Army has not declared war on mustaches.
The Army W.T.F! Moments Facebook page on Monday posted a memo written by a 3rd Infantry Division company commander telling his soldiers that only the fittest among them will be allowed to sprout facial hair under their warrior nostrils.
"During my tenure at Battle Company, I have noticed a direct correlation between mustaches and a lack of physical fitness," the memo says. "In an effort to increase the physical fitness of Battle Company, mustaches will not be authorized for any soldier earning less than a 300 on the APFT [Army Physical Fitness Test]."