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  1. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel prepares to testify at the House Armed Services Committee on Sept. 18 on Capitol Hill. Cliff Owen / AP

    Senate voting on Syrian rebel aid after House backs Obama

    Leaders of both parties expected quick passage Thursday as the Senate neared a vote on President Obama's request for congressional backing to train and arm Syrian rebels battling Islamic State militants.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  2. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, joined by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, right, and Vice President Joe Biden, left, acknowledges lawmakers' applause on Sept. 18 after addressing a joint meeting of Congress. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    Ukraine's pleas for lethal aid from U.S. go unmet

    The United States will provide $46 million in new security assistance to the Ukraine's military but stop short of fulfilling an urgent request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal aid to help his country fight Russian-backed separatists.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  3. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill Tuesday/ Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Dempsey: Syrian rebel training may take 12 months

    Moderate Syrian rebels, once they are made battle-ready by a U.S.-led coalition, may be asked to help restore the border between Syria and Iraq that Islamic State group militants have effectively wiped out, the top American military official said Thursday.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  4.  Jewel Samad / AFP

    Rare 'moment of stability' seen in 2015 budget

    No need for troops to worry about the beginning of the fiscal year approaching Oct. 1.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  5. CFC changes will make donating easier

    Troops who want to donate to a charity through the Combined Federal Campaign this season will see some improvements.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
    • NEWS /
    Pfcs. Katie Gorz, Julia Carroll, Christina Fuentes Montenegro have become the first entry-level enlisted women to complete infantry training as part of the Marine CorpsÕ research effort toward integrating women into previously closed ground-combat assignments. A graduation ceremony Nov. 21, 2013 for the 224 students of Delta Company at the School of Infantry East, Camp Geiger, N.C., marked the occasion. (U. S. Marine Corps photos by Sgt. Tyler L. Main and CWO2 Paul S. Mancuso/Released) CWO2 Mancuso, Paul S.

    Marine essay winner shows why the Corps needs to be clear about women in combat roles

    This month's Marine Corps Gazette touts the essay by Capt. Lauren F. Serrano that won 1st Place in the Maj. Gen. Harold W. Chase Prize Essay Contest. The contest stipulated that entrants '

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  6. Police investigators work in a garage at a home at Guildford in suburban Sydney, Australia, after about 800 federal and state police officers raided more than two dozen properties as part of the operation Sept. 18 Australian police detained 15 people earlier on Thursday in a major counterterrorism operation, saying intelligence indicated a random, violent attack was being planned on Australian soil. Rick Rycroft / AP

    Australian police thwart IS beheading plot

    More than 800 Australian officers raided dozens of properties in the suburbs of Sydney on Thursday, in an operation to thwart an apparent Islamic State terror plot to carry out random attacks on the public, police said.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  7. Mufid Elfgeeh tried to give 'material support' to the Islamic State, a federal indictment handed up Tuesday alleges. Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Rochester Democrat and Chronicl

    Alleged IS recruiter in New York accused of trying to buy weapons to attack U.S. troops

    A Rochester man is expected to appear in a federal courtroom here Thursday morning to answer allegations that he recruited fighters for the Islamic State militant group.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  8. Assistant Inspector General for Healthcare Inspections John Daigh, Jr., from left, with Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin; Retired Medical Director Samuel Foote, of the Diamond Community-Based Outpatient Center, Phoenix VA Health Care System, Veterans Health Administration; and Medical Director Katherine Mitchell of the Iraq and Afghanistan Post-Deployment Center, Phoenix VA Health Care System, Veterans Health Administration, testifies Wednesday during a House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing on 'Scheduling Manipulation and Veteran Deaths in Phoenix: Examination of the OIG's Final Report' on Capitol Hill in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

    Auditor ties Phoenix VA waits to deaths

    The Department of Veterans Affairs' internal watchdog testified Wednesday that delayed treatment for thousands of Arizona veterans may have contributed to some deaths, a strikingly different emphasis than in an August report on the Phoenix VA medical cent

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  9. U.S. to train veterans to install solar panels

    The U.S. will train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years, the White House said Thursday.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  10. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has ruled out cooperating with the United States in helping Iraq fight Islamic State militants and warned that the terrorist group poses a much broader global threat that needs new thinking to eradicate. Ahmed Saad / AP

    Iran rules out cooperating with US in Iraq

    Iran's foreign minister ruled out cooperating with the United States in helping Iraq fight Islamic State militants and warned that the terrorist group poses a much broader global threat that needs new thinking to eradicate.

    • Sep. 18, 2014
  11. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, is flanked by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., right, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the ranking member, left, as he arrives Sept. 17 on Capitol Hill to shore up President Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels

    The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday as President Obama emphasized anew that American forces 'do not and will not have a combat mission' in the struggle against I

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    Airmen lift their right hand as they repeat the oath of enlistment at the Air Force Basic Training graduation ceremony, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with 'so help me God,' the service announced Wednesday. Staff Sgt Vernon Young Jr. / Air Force

    Air Force nixes 'so help me God' requirement in oaths

    The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with 'so help me God,' the service announced Wednesday.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    Sgt. Charles C. Strong was killed Sept. 15 in Herat province. Marine Corps

    MARSOC Marine killed in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan

    A MARSOC Marine was killed in Afghanistan this week in an apparent insider attack.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  12. Marines from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing listen to a brief in 2006 as they begin training as part of the Lioness Team on Camp Korean Village, Iraq. An essay arguing against women in infantry units is stirring up debate. Sgt Jennifer L. Jones/Marine Corps

    Selfish? Officer's take on women in combat raises outcry

    The Marine Corps is about to launch one of its most comprehensive experiments to test the mettle of women in combat, but an active-duty female officer has a message for the Corps: Don't bother.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  13. A U.S. special operations forces soldier leads a group of soldiers from Iraqi Special Operations Force's 8th Regional Commando Battalion in July 2011. Department of Defense

    Analysis: U.S. officials parse term 'ground troops' when describing Iraq mission

    The question of whether the U.S. will send combat troops into Iraq has become a tortured debate over what terms such as 'ground troops' actually mean.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  14. Defense attorney Birney Bervar speaks to a reporter outside federal court on Sept. 17 in Honolulu. Benjamin Bishop, a former civilian defense contractor working at the U.S. military's Pacific headquarters, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison for divulging military secrets to his Chinese girlfriend and keeping classified documents at his Honolulu home. Audrey McAvoy / AP

    Defense contractor gets 7 years in military secrets case

    A former civilian defense contractor working at the U.S.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  15. Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi listens to a question during a Sept. 17 with The Associated Press in Baghdad. Iraq's new prime minister says foreign ground troops are neither necessary nor wanted in his country's fight against the Islamic State group. Hadi Mizban / AP

    Iraq premier nixes U.S. ground troops

    Iraq's new prime minister ruled out stationing U.S. ground troops in his country, chiding the international community Wednesday for inaction in Syria and lamenting the '

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  16. President Barack Obama on Sept. 17 speaks to the US Central Command (CENTCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

    White House: U.S. troops in Iraq could call in airstrikes

    American troops on the ground in Iraq 'could be in a position to even call in air strikes' on ISIL targets White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday afternoon.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  17. US Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Congress is moving in a positive direction toward adopting a continuing resolution. Mark Makela / Getty Images

    Senior senator: Both chambers should pass CR, Syrian rebels authorities before weekend

    A senior Senate Democrat is hopeful both chambers can pass a stopgap spending measure and approve presidential authorities to train and equip Syrian rebels by this weekend.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  18. The dome of the US Capitol is seen March 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. As work continues on the dome restoration, the last chance for ?scaffold-free? views of the Capitol is approaching, with the best opportunity within the next two weeks. AFP PHOTO/ Karen BLEIER KAREN BLEIER / AFP

    House passes bill to oversee VA hospital building

    The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  19. President Obama, with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander of the US Central Command, before the start of a briefing at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., on Wednesday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press

    Obama reaffirms opposition to U.S. combat in Iraq

    President Obama reaffirmed Wednesday that he does not intend to send U.S. troops into combat against the Islamic State group, despite doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels to carry out the ground fight on their own.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  20. NATO and Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan. Relatives of a U.S. Naval reservist from Ohio say he was among the three troops killed in the attack. Rahmat Gul / AP

    Family: Navy reservist killed in Afghan suicide bombing

    Relatives of a U.S. Navy reservist from Ohio say he was among the three troops killed when a suicide car bomber struck in Afghanistan.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  21. Iraqi soldiers brandish their weapons during a military training exercise Sunday in the mainly Shiite southern city of Basra. About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday. Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP

    Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as U.S. partners

    About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  22. About one-quarter of Americans ages 17 to 24 are considered too fat to serve in the military. A group of 450 retired generals and admirals see nutritional requirements as key to reversing that trend. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Stay the course on school lunches, retired brass say

    About seven in 10 young adults are ineligible for military service, according to a new report from a group that is pushing school nutrition standards as a way to improve that situation.

    • Sep. 17, 2014

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