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Pentagon IG says it won't look into delay of military aid to Ukraine
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon Inspector General has declined the request of seven Senate Democrats to open a probe into whether the Defense Department was negligent in delaying congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, according to a letter.
In a letter to senators on Tuesday, Inspector General Glenn Fine said "it is clear that there would be overlap in key witnesses and similar documents to review in any potential DoD IG investigation" with three House committees also investigating the hold on military aid that's at the center of the House's impeachment inquiry.
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and six other lawmakers in September called on Fine to investigate five issues, including whether the Pentagon was "directed to slow or halt its work to spend" funds directed to Ukraine and by whom.
Closed door testimony and the written transcript of a Pentagon official before the impeachment inquiry has answered some of the questions.
Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, told House investigators that she and other Pentagon officials were informed by Office of Management and Budget that President Donald Trump had "concerns" about the nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine a week after a hold was placed on the funds, according to a transcript of her testimony.
Fine said his decision not to investigate "could change, however, as circumstances evolve and the congressional inquiry proceeds." At the conclusion of the impeachment proceeding "we would once again consider investigating such DoD matters that have not been sufficiently addressed and warrant additional scrutiny," Fine wrote.
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SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.
(Reuters Health) - While army suicides have historically decreased during wartime, that trend appears to have reversed in recent decades, a new study of U.S. records finds.
Researchers poring over nearly 200 years of data found that unlike earlier times when there was a decline in suicide rates among U.S. Army soldiers during and just after wars, the rate has risen significantly since 2004, according to the report in JAMA Network Open.
The Navy relieved a decorated explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officer on Thursday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command, the Navy announced on Friday.