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The Pentagon Doesn't Seem To Have A Clue What Trump And Putin's 'Security Agreement' Is
Russia's Ministry of Defense has said it's ready to pursue an "international security" agreement that was discussed between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, but so far the Pentagon doesn't seem to have a clue of what that means.
A Defense Department spokesman told me "we don't currently have anything" when asked about Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konsashenkov’s declaration Wednesday that there were "agreements reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in the sphere of international security achieved at the Helsinki summit."
What agreements? What “sphere of international security”? DoD doesn't seem to know, won't say, or more than likely, is waiting on the White House to tell them what is going on — something the Pentagon has already had to do with transgender policy, joint exercises with South Korea, the "Space Force," and parades.
A Pentagon spokesperson gave the same answer to Defense One on Wednesday. But a National Security Council spokesperson told Defense One the Helsinki summit was the "beginning of a process" between both countries "to reduce tensions and advance areas of cooperation in our mutual interest." Still pretty vague, to say the least.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
For now, all we seem to have is Moscow's side of the story regarding the summit. Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the U.S., said Putin and Trump reached "important verbal agreements" that included preservation of the New START and INF arms control treaties. He also added that Putin made "specific and interesting proposals" on how Russia and the U.S. could cooperate in Syria — where both countries have fought via proxies amid the seven-year-old civil war.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly "open to the possibility" of talking with his Russian counterpart, according to Reuters.
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
We salute the Marine scout sniper who snuck up on an enemy completely naked except for a pair of boots
An expert sniper can sneak up on an enemy naked as the day he was born. It's not particularly advised, but one top sharpshooter did exactly that just to prove a point, Marine snipers told Insider.