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Tuesday, Aug 30th

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Politico: America’s secret arsenal

America's secret arsenalTo this day it remains one of the most sophisticated and mysterious offensive operations ever launched: Stuxnet, the computer virus specifically engineered to attack Iran's nuclear reactors. Discovered in 2010 and now widely believed to be a collaboration between the U.S. and Israel, its existence raised an urgent question: Just what is the U.S. government doing to attack its opponents in the cyber-realm?

Stuxnet's origins have never been officially acknowledged, and the extent of American meddling in malware is still unknown. But for the past few years there’s been something new developing within the U.S. military that has taken "cyber" from a theoretical idea to a deliberate—if secretive—part of U.S. policy.

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Pentagon Crew Lived Large in $150 Million Afghan Villas

Money wasted in AfghanistanA Pentagon task force established in 2006 to help lure private businesses first to Iraq and then Afghanistan allegedly blew as much as $150 million on lavish villas in Afghanistan for a few lucky members of its staff—instead of lodging them cheaply, or for free, at the U.S. embassy or any one of numerous large American military bases in the war-torn country.

The alleged waste by the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, first described in a five-page Nov. 25 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter from John Sopko, from the military’s special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, should come as no surprise. TFBSO, as it’s known inside the Pentagon, has long attracted criticism for apparently wasteful spending and other abuses.

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Raytheon moves forward with Multi-Object Kill Vehicle program

Raytheon kill vehicleRaytheon completed the first Program Planning Review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for its Multi-Object Kill Vehicle concept, advancing the program.

The completion marks a milestone for the program's Concept Development Phase, designed to ensure the company is meeting the Missile Defense Agency's expectations. The Concept Review takes place in December.

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Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers

drones a recruitment tool for ISISFour former US air force service members, with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones, have written an open letter to Barack Obama warning that the program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.

The group of servicemen have issued an impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic that they say has “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantánamo Bay”.

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Risk for child abuse increases after return from Army deployment

child abuse increases after army deploymentChildren of U.S. Army soldiers may be at greater risk for abuse during the six months after a parent returns from deployment, and the risk increases for the children of soldiers deployed more than once, according to a new study.

The study was funded by the Defense Health Program to assess the abuse risk in Army families in order to develop support programs to prevent or deal with child maltreatment issues.

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Decades after waging war overseas, veterans fight for a stable home

homeless veteransWhen he first showed up at a residential treatment facility in Sacramento, California, Roger Schultz’s life was a wreck. After serving as a cannoneer sergeant for five years in the early 1980s, three decades later, Schultz was living out of his truck, barely getting by.

In search of a comfortable bed and open to learning from the experiences of fellow veterans, he finally checked into a Veterans Resource Center (VRC) in July 2014.

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Obama nominates openly gay man to lead Army

Eric FanningPresident Barack Obama nominated Eric Fanning to be the next secretary of the Army, the White House said Friday, paving the way for the first openly gay leader of a military branch in U.S. history.

Fanning is currently serving as acting Army undersecretary and previously worked as an Air Force undersecretary and a chief of staff to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. His nomination to the post must be confirmed by the Senate.

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