An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)
With Adm. Bill Moran's abdication three weeks before he was due to become chief of naval operations, the Pentagon has yet another vacancy to fill with precious few days left before Congress goes on summer break.
As of Monday, a total of 20 top positions across the U.S. military are vacant, including defense secretary, Air Force secretary, and inspector general, said Heather Babb, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
Two officials have been confirmed by the Senate but have yet to assume their official duties: Christopher Scolese as director of the National Reconnaissance Office and Veronica Daigle as Assistant Defense Secretary for readiness, Babb said.
An MQ-1 Predator drone fires a Hellfire missile in this undated photo (U.S. Air Force)
In a joint effort to reduce the potential for civilian casualties resulting from U.S. air strikes, the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency have reportedly developed a specialized variant of the ubiquitous Hellfire missile that can best be described a 100-pound flying switchblade.
A 70-minute video of Afghanistan Taliban training exercises released in 2017 appears to show a fighter with a FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) 7.62mm rifle. Other fighters are recorded carrying M4 and M16 assault rifles. (Screenshot via Al Emarah Studio)
Pentagon officials could be responsible for up to 50,000 publicly accessible websites, according to Stars & Stripes, which is both hilarious and extremely disturbing when you consider that this is the same Pentagon that once claimed it could keep track of every rifle fielded to partner forces in Syria.
The Senate Armed Services Committee hears from military leaders. (Adrian Cadiz/U.S. Air Force.
Several senators have signed onto new legislation which would give the Defense Department more responsibility and oversight of privatized housing companies, as well as more rights regarding clean and safe housing environment for tenants.
The Military Housing Oversight and Service Member Protection Act, embedded below, was proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-Hawaii), both on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. Other co-sponsors include SASC members Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
"Our service members make sacrifices to protect our country, and they and their families deserve safe, affordable housing that isn't falling apart around them," Warren said. "This bill will eliminate the kind of corner-cutting and neglect the Defense Department should never have let these private housing providers get away with in the first place."
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan promised to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee with a complete list of construction projects at risk of being defunded to pay for the wall after several lawmakers pressed him on the issue, including Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)