Topic A: Defense
White House, DOD Salute Companies' Commitment to Hire Military Spouses

The U.S. Air Force reports that "employers who hire military spouses are doing the right thing for their businesses -- and for the country, speakers at a Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership event said this week."

"White House and Defense Department officials, business representatives and military spouses were among those who attended the Oct. 17 induction of 50 employers to the MSEP program -- the largest induction class since the initiative was launched five years ago."

U.S. Reportedly Weighs Deploying B-52s, F-22s to South Korea reports that "Defense Secretary Ashton Carter met with his South Korean counterpart Thursday to discuss 'extended deterrence' against North Korea that could include the permanent stationing of B-52 Stratofortress and B-1B Lancer bombers and F-22 Raptor fighters on the peninsula."

"The two leaders also renewed their commitment to placing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in South Korea but gave no timeline for when it would be activated."

UK Defense Secretary Says Its Military is Hacking Islamic State

U.S. News & World Report writes that "U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Thursday that Britain's military is launching cyberattacks against the Islamic State group in support of the offensive on the Iraqi city of Mosul, a first-of-its kind acknowledgement that British forces are launching attacks across the internet."

"'I can confirm we are using offensive cyber for the first time in this campaign,' Fallon said in response to a question from a journalist at a conference on 'The Transformation of 21st Century Warfare' in central London."

Top Military Doctor Troubled By Overweight Troop Trend

Military Times reports that "the growing ranks of overweight troops is a worrisome trend and the Defense Department should look for ways to help today’s force live a healthier lifestyle, the Pentagon’s top health official said Thursday."

“'I am concerned,' Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency, told reporters on Thursday."

Three Quarters Of American Public Trust Military To Act In The Public Interest

The Daily Caller reports that "most Americans trust the U.S. military to act in the public interest, a feeling that emphatically does not extend to other sectors of American life, such as the media or politicians, a new study finds."

"The amount of support for the military is broken down into two categories: 'great deal' and 'fair amount' of confidence in the military in a new study by Pew Research Center. About 33 percent of Americans place themselves in this first category, while 46 percent adhere to the second, which totals 79 percent, a sizable majority. This figure is consistent with a Pew survey from 2013, which found that 78 percent of Americans believe the military contributes 'a lot' to society, though that figure had declined from 84 percent just four years prior to 2013."

U.S. Army, Tufts Study How People Think, Act Under Stress

The Associated Press reports that "the U.S. Army and Tufts University are working together to learn more about how people think and respond under stress."

"Their new cognitive sciences center officially opened Tuesday in Medford, Massachusetts. The research aims to help soldiers and civilian first responders, such as firefighters."

U.S. Military Provides Initial Critical Aid in Haiti

The U.S. Air Force reports that "since arriving Oct. 5, U.S. service members assigned to Joint Task Force Matthew have been operating around the clock, providing aid to citizens of western Haiti."

"The team has been conducting 24-hour operations at the request of Haiti’s government to support the U.S. Agency for International Development’s disaster relief efforts in the critical early stages of the response."

U.S. Marines Seek Presence in Norway Amid Russian Tensions

CNN reports that "Norway may soon host a rotational force of US Marines -- a move that could send a chill down Russian President Vladimir Putin's spine."

"The American request, confirmed in a statement from the commanding officer of Marine forces in Europe, comes as tensions between the US and Russia are increasing amid the humanitarian disaster in Syria and US assertions of Russian involvement in cyber hacks on American political organizations and individuals."

South Korea Declined U.S.-Japan Fighter Jet Proposal

The UPI reports that "South Korea turned down a U.S. proposal to allow Japanese fighter jets to fly in South Korean airspace in September."

"Seoul did not warm to the idea of aerial bombers of Japan's air self-defense force joining U.S. and South Korean aircraft for a joint drill, Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday."

Retired Military Leaders Decry Trump Over Attitude Toward Women

The Wall Street Journal reports that "more than 50 retired general and flag officers have signed a letter denouncing Republican Donald Trump’s candidacy to be commander in chief, saying he is unfit because of his attitudes toward women and sexual assault."

"A chief concern is that his election could imperil progress in long-running efforts to stem the problem of sexual assault in the U.S. military."

U.S. Troops 'In Harm's Way' as Mosul Battle Launches reports that "Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces backed by U.S. air, artillery and forward air controller support began the battle for Mosul on Monday and gained ground in the drive for the city where the Islamic State declared the creation of a "Caliphate" more than two years ago."

"'The thousands of ground combat forces who will liberate Mosul are all Iraqis,' but they were supported by 'a wide range of coalition capabilities, including air support, artillery, intelligence, advisers and forward air controllers,' said Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve."

State Dept. Official Says Anti-Missile Program Key to Deterring North Korea

National Defense Magazine reports that "the senior State Department official for East Asia said Oct. 12 that anti-missile programs — like the planned terminal high altitude area defense (THAAD) system in South Korea — could prove successful in deterring North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions."

"'Systems like THAAD and other missile defense systems make it harder, not easier, for North Korea to threaten us with missiles,' said Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, during a breakfast meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C."

Obama, Aides To Weigh U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

International Business Times reports that "President Barack Obama and his top foreign policy advisers are expected to meet on Friday to consider their military and other options in Syria as Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to pummel Aleppo and other targets, U.S. officials said."

"Some top officials argue the United States must act more forcefully in Syria or risk losing what influence it still has over moderate rebels and its Arab, Kurdish and Turkish allies in the fight against Islamic State, the officials told Reuters."

U.S. Military Strikes Yemen After Missile Attacks on U.S. Navy Ship

Reuters reports that "the U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said."

"The strikes, authorized by President Barack Obama, represent Washington's first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen's conflict."

U.S. Military Investigates Blockchain for Nukes

TechEye reports that "the US military is considering changing its long outdated system of military codes for its nuclear weapons with technology inspired by blockchain."

"DARPA is currently funding efforts to find out if blockchains could help secure highly sensitive data, with potential applications for everything from nuclear weapons to military satellites."