U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for travel to New Orleans, Louisiana from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., (January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration violated federal law last year by withholding security aid for Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress, a U.S. congressional watchdog said in a report released on Thursday.

"Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law," the U.S. Government Accountability Office said, referring to the Office of Management and Budget.

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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A government official finally put to rest on Tuesday the lazy excuse that if privatized military housing was really that bad, service members would simply move out.

Elizabeth Field, director of the Government Accountability Office Defense Capabilities and Management, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that one of the metrics the Defense Department uses to measure privatized housing success is high occupancy rates.

In a May report, she said, the DoD called occupancy rates indicative of "high level of service member satisfaction and overall success."

That's wrong.

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The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

Two years after a pair of deadly collisions involving Navy ships killed 17 sailors and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, the Navy still can't figure out whether its plan to improve ship-driving training has been effective.

In fact, according to senior Navy officials quoted in a recent Government Accountability Office report on Navy ship-driving, it could take nearly 16 years or more to know if the planned changes will actually have an impact.

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Explosive ordnance disposal units across the Army are struggling to train for combat operations amid both a personnel shortfall and a surge of domestic protection missions, a dangerous combination some EOD techs say has compromised their overall readiness and left their comrades burned out.

"We are burned out and it makes people not want to stay," said an active-duty senior enlisted Army EOD tech who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It makes us want to find other career options."

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Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Pentagon's purchase of $1.69 trillion worth of major weapons systems has been riddled by cost overruns, delays and other problems reflecting poor oversight, the Government Accountability Office said in its annual survey of Defense Department acquisitions.

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What do China, Russia, bubonic plague and global warming have in common? They are among the top threats to U.S. national security, according to the U.S. government.

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