Topic A: Defense
U.S. Military Aids Georgia

Eurasian.net reports that "the United States will devote more military aid towards arming and equipping the Georgian armed forces, direct more training towards building combat skills, and help Georgia build a local training center oriented towards helping it defend itself rather than only deploying to Afghanistan."  

"The broad contours of the policy shift were laid out in a new agreement between the two countries announced during a visit to Tbilisi by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this month. On Monday, a U.S. embassy official in Tbilisi provided more details to The Bug Pit."  

No Changes to EUCOM Accompanied Tours, Says Dunford

Stars and Stripes reports that "U.S. military commanders in Europe are tightening security in the wake of terrorist attacks on the Continent but so far see no reason to change rules allowing families to accompany servicemembers on permanent assignments there, the top U.S. officer said Monday."  

"Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments after a string of attacks across Europe, including three since Friday in Germany. The most recent occurred Sunday when a 27-year-old Syrian exploded a device in Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 15 others."  

Two Female Officers Approved for Army's Green Beret Training Process

Military.com reports that "two female Army officers have been approved for initial Special Forces training, the first step in the long process to earn the coveted Green Beret, an Army spokeswoman said Monday."  

"The women are the first female soldiers to be accepted into the Special Forces Assessment and Selection and could report to the three-week program at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as early as October, said Maj. Melody Faulkenberry, a spokeswoman for the Army's John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center."  

Joint Chiefs Chair: Cooperation with Russia Must Preserve 'Operational Security'

Military Times reports that "the military’s top officer said Monday that any deal for military cooperation with Russia in the fight against extremists in Syria will have to protect the 'operational security' of the ongoing U.S. mission."  

“'We’re not entering into a transaction that is based on trust,' Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said at a press briefing at the Pentagon."  

U.S. Military Pushes for Closer Ties With Chinese Military

The Voice of America reports that "despite Beijing’s rejection of the recent tribunal ruling on the South China Sea issues, the U.S. military keeps pushing for closer ties with the People's Liberation Army."  

"Admiral John Richardson, chief of U.S. naval operations, visited China this past week, while the PLA continues participation in U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific Exercise in Hawaii."  

India, US to Hold Joint Military Exercise in September

The Hindustan Times reports that "The Indian Army and the United States army will participate in a joint military exercise in Uttarakhand in September this year in a bid to share ‘experiences and techniques.'"  

"This year it will be the 12th edition of the exercise in the ‘Yudh Abhyas’ series that started in 2004 as part of US Army Pacific partnership programme, an army official said. It will be held at the Chaubatia Military Station in Ranikhet, where a joint exercise of both the armies was also conducted in 2014."  

U.S. Military to Test New War Vehicles

Jalopnik.com reports that "the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has placed an order for militarized Toyota Land Cruisers, Hiluxes and Ford Rangers to use as low-profile but battle-survivable field vehicles. That’s provided the prototypes pass muster in military evaluations, of course.  

Defense contractor Battelle of Columbus, Ohio has been awarded up to $170 million to build “as many as 556 vehicles—396 armored and 160 unarmored—with most of them consisting of the Toyota Land Cruiser models 76 and 79 ,”  Military Aerospace  reports.  

Former Military Leaders Discuss AG/National Security Connection

The High Plains/Midwest AG Journal reports that "the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing July 7 to examine the on-the-ground experiences of former military leaders and the connection between agricultural policy and national security."  

"This is the fifth hearing in the committee’s hearing series focused on national security."  

No ASEAN Consensus on South China Sea

Army Times reports that "Southeast Asia's main grouping apparently failed to reach a consensus Sunday on how to counter China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, intensifying a diplomatic stalemate despite three rounds of formal and informal talks."  

"The foreign ministers of the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations deliberated for several hours during the three sessions, including over lunch, but remained deadlocked because Cambodia didn't want China criticized, diplomats said."  

Chinese Military Unveils New Weapons after South China Sea Verdict

The Times of India reports that "Chinese military has unveiled a range of new weapons, including long-range missiles, amid calls by its top officials to be combat-ready following a landmark verdict by an UN-backed tribunal that struck down China's 'historical rights' in the South China Sea."  

"The Southern Theatre Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) which looks after the South China Sea front has unveiled a series of new weapons for sea and air combat during a visit by top military officers."  

U.S. Military's Health Program Consolidates Coverage Regions

Military.com reports that "The U.S. military's Tricare health care program for families and veterans will consolidate its regions from three to two under a new pair of contracts, officials announced Thursday."  

"The system is currently administered in three regions -- North, South and West -- by three separate contractors."  

U.S. Doesn't Want New EU Military Headquarters

The Wall Street Journal reports that "the U.S. is all in favor of more European defense spending—but wants that money to go to more drones, precision munitions, new fighter aircraft or additional naval ships."  

"What it doesn’t want to see is a new European Union military headquarters."  

Top US Admiral Says China Exchanges Conditional on Safety

The Associated Press reports that "the top U.S. admiral said Wednesday that friendly exchanges with China's navy are conditional on safe interactions at sea, an indication of Washington's concern over recent fractious encounters with Chinese forces in and over the disputed South China Sea."  

"On a visit to the northern Chinese port of Qingdao, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said he backs more exchanges, but added: 'In this area we must judge each other by our deeds and actions, not just by our words.'"  

Joint Chiefs Chair: Military Pressure, Intelligence Sharing Key to ISIL’s Defeat

The U.S. Department of Defense  reports that "Military pressure and intelligence sharing are two key elements in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a recent interview."   

"'I think the attack in Nice, France, though, just highlights the need to put pressure on ISIL wherever they are,' Dunford told reporters on his plane after concluding a three-day visit to Afghanistan . The U.S. military is targeting ISIL across Iraq, Syria 'and elsewhere, wherever they exist,' he said."