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Friday, Dec 19th

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Gambling nuke commander linked to fake poker chips

Admiral linked to fake poker chipsThe admiral fired last year as No. 2 commander of U.S. nuclear forces may have made his own counterfeit $500 poker chips with paint and stickers to feed a gambling habit that eventually saw him banned from an entire network of casinos, according to a criminal investigative report obtained by The Associated Press.

Although Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina's removal as deputy head of U.S. Strategic Command was announced earlier this year, evidence of his possible role in manufacturing the counterfeit chips has not previously been revealed. Investigators said they found his DNA on the underside of an adhesive sticker used to alter genuine $1 poker chips to make them look like $500 chips.

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U.S. deploying extra troops to Iraq

US troops to IraqThe next wave of 1,500 extra American troops to train and advise Iraqi forces in their continuing battle against the Islamic State will be sent abroad within the next few weeks, says the Pentagon.

They're expected to focus help on volunteers from Iraq's Sunni tribes who have been joining training centers at army bases.,

Pentagon officials said they hoped personnel from other countries would soon be joining the effort, as well.

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Hagel orders top-to-bottom changes in nuke force

Nuke admin changedDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered top-to-bottom changes in the management of the nation's nuclear arsenal Friday, saying a lack of sustained attention and investment in the force caused it to "slowly back downhill."

Speaking to Pentagon reporters, he said the Defense Department will boost spending on the nuclear forces by about 10 percent a year for the next five years -- an increase of nearly $10 billion -- adding there is no problem on this issue the Pentagon can't fix.

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Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games Over National Park and Forest in Washington State

olympic peninsula war gamesOlympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington State are two of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the United States. Majestic glacier-clad peaks rise above temperate rainforest-covered hills. Gorgeous rivers tumble down from the heights and the areas are home to several types of plants and animal species that exist nowhere else on earth.

These protected national commons are also the areas in and near where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program, wherein it will fly 36 of its EA-18G "Growler" supersonic jet warplanes down to 1,200 feet above the ground in some areas in order to conduct war games with 14 mobile towers. Enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted so as to be capable of melting human eye tissue, and causing breast cancer, childhood leukemia and damage to human fetuses, let alone impacting wildlife in the area.

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Southcom again seeking $69M for new terror prison at Guantánamo

Rear Adm. Kyle CozadThe Pentagon’s Southern Command intends to seek $69 million from the Republican-controlled Congress to build a new prison for high-value, former CIA detainees after President Barack Obama leaves office.

Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, commander of the detention center, said Southcom included the proposed appropriation in the fiscal year 2017 portion of its four-your plan for the war-on-terror detention center the president has pledged to close.

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Obama authorizes 1,500 more troops for Iraq

More troops to IraqPresident Barack Obama authorized a broad expansion on Friday of the U.S. military mission in Iraq that will boost the total number of American troops there to about 3,100 and spread advisory teams and trainers to the north and west where fighting with Islamic State militants has been fierce.

The president's decision to escalate the U.S. effort in Iraq comes just three days after a bruising American election and amid persistent arguments that more U.S. troops are needed to bolster the struggling Iraqi forces. In particular, there have been calls to send troops to the western Anbar province, where extremists have been slaughtering men, women and children.

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Pentagon shrugged off troops' chemical exposure in Iraq

chemical use ignored by Pentagon in IraqU.S. troops reported suspicions that they had been exposed to chemical warfare toxins in Iraq, yet the Pentagon failed to adequately treat them or track possible exposures, defense officials have revealed.

Contact with the toxins occurred beginning in 2003 when troops found degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s hidden in underground caches or in makeshift bombs. The information about the large number of potential exposures emerged following an internal review of Pentagon records ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after an investigation by the New York Times initially found that 17 service members were injured by sarin or a sulfur mustard agent.

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