Topic A: Defense
Tracking Military Ballots can be 'Complicated and Confusing'

The Washington Post reports that "when Americans vote for president in November, many of the 1.4 million active-duty U.S. military personnel stationed or deployed overseas will not know whether their absentee ballots have reached their home states to be counted. And the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC), charged with monitoring their votes, may not know either."

U.S. Military Worries It Will Lose AI War
Windows 10 Upgrade Treated as Military Operation, US Army Says

Softpedia reports that "the United States Department of Defense (US DoD) announced in February this year that it was moving 4 million devices to Windows 10 as part of a plan to increase the security of its systems, including here laptops, desktops, and smartphones."

"The US Army is one of the agencies that will migrate to Windows 10, and according to Chief Warrant Officer 5 Brian S. Wimmer, Senior Technical Adviser with NETCOM (the body in charge of the Army Cyberspace), the whole process is treated as a genuine military operation."

DoD Approves Israeli Radar for U.S. Iron Curtain Testing: Report

Defense News reports that "the Pentagon has given Herndon, Virginia-based defense solutions company Artis the green light to integrate Israeli radars from Rada Electronic Industries Ltd. into its Iron Curtain close-in active protection system (APS) for evaluation by the US Army."

“'We have received approval from the US government to import two Rada radar units for purposes of testing and evaluating them with our Iron Curtain active protection system,' Artis executive Brian Detter told Defense News."

U.S., India Sign Military Logistics Agreement

Reuters reports that "the United States and India signed an agreement on Monday governing the use of each other's land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply, a step toward building defense ties as they seek to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China."

"The agreement, a relatively mundane one concerning day-to-day military logistics, is nonetheless a milestone in the U.S.-India defense relationship because of the outsized political importance it had taken on in India, where it had touched on domestic sensitivities, experts said."

Rhode Island Lawmaker Calls for State Investment at Military Facilities

The Associated Press reports that "a Democratic Rhode Island lawmaker wants the state to put money into an empty fund created to support its military facilities and defense industry."

"Sen. Louis DiPalma of Middletown said the state needs to invest in improvements at its military facilities but can't because lawmakers never put any money into the fund. He wants funding to be considered as part of the budget process."

North Korea Threatens to Fire at U.S. Military's Lighting Equipment

The Guardian (UK) reports that "North Korea on Saturday threatened to aim fire at lighting equipment used by “provocative” American and South Korean troops at a truce village inside the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas."

"The North’s Korean People’s Army (KPA) accused US and South Korean soldiers of 'deliberate provocations' by aiming their lights at North Korean guard posts at Panmunjom since Friday evening."

More Marines Training to Fight in Jungle

Marine Corps Times reports that "after years of fighting in deserts, more Marines are sharpening their jungle warfare skills — and the training is intensifying."

"As more Marines are tapped for missions in tropical locales like the Philippines, Honduras and Australia, the Corps has boosted the number of leathernecks that move through jungle training." 

Navy Gets Attack Submarine Sponsored by Michelle Obama

Military.com reports that "An attack submarine sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama, to be named for her home state, has been delivered to the U.S. Navy."

"Submarine builder General Dynamics Electric Boat, based in Groton, Conn., delivered the submarine that will become the USS Illinois to the Navy on Aug. 27, after nearly five and a half years of construction."

Disconnect Beneath Praise for U.S. Military

Kori Schake is a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution writes in the Wall Street Journal that "at a time when public opinion of most government institutions slides ever lower, the military represents a rare bright spot: 88% of Americans describe themselves as proud of the men and women who serve in our armed forces."

"But these broad sentiments don’t appear to run particularly deep, which presents issues for effective governance."

Pearl Jam Aims to Help Veterans Through ‘Songbird Sings’

Military.com writes that "Pearl Jam is playing stadiums this summer and they stopped in Boston for two shows at Fenway Park on August 5th & 7th. The band’s Vitalogy Foundation donated $1 from each ticket sold to four non-profit charities in Massachusetts and a quarter of the take when to Songbird Sings Veterans Voices, a charity that works with veterans who suffer from trauma, addiction, and post traumatic stress."

Book: How U.S. Military is Like Walmart

Marketplace writes that "Rosa Brooks did a stint at the Pentagon as well as a civilian counselor of the undersecretary of defense for policy."

"Her experiences there are the foundation for a new book about the way the American military does what it does today — which is a whole lot."

Force of the Future Aims to Increase Military’s Geographic Diversity

The U.S. Department of Defense reports that "Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said many times that the majority of enlisted military recruits come from just six states and that he would like to see a more diverse recruitment pool. Some of his Force of the Future proposals are aimed at this issue."

"Attracting recruits aged 17 to 24 from across the country is an important goal for the secretary, and it’s a challenge in light of the composition of today’s military."

Japan, China, South Korea Unite in Condemning North Korea Missile

The Associated Press writes that "the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea put aside frictions over territorial disputes and wartime history to sharply criticize North Korea's latest submarine missile test on Wednesday in a rare display of unity."

"Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who chaired the meeting with China's Wang Yi and South Korea's Yun Byung-se, said that North Korea's missile launch is a 'provocation that simply cannot be tolerated.'"

Iran Makes 'High Speed Intercept' of U.S. Ship: U.S. Official

Reuters reports that "four of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) vessels 'harassed' a U.S. warship on Tuesday near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said, amid Washington's concerns about Iran's posture in the Gulf and in the Syrian civil war."

"The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an incident that was 'unsafe and unprofessional.'"