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John Vandiver

Trump: NATO members short on defense spending to be 'dealt with'

President Donald Trump has issued a new warning to Germany and other NATO allies that they would be “dealt with” if they fail to comply with an alliance agreement to boost defense spending for their militaries.

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‘Why was I arrested at all?’: Reservists investigated for using Army-provided housing allowance fight to clear names

Reservists who have been snared in a dispute with the Army over their right to certain living allowances say they are victims of an investigative process in Europe that has run amok.


Stuttgart sandwich eatery boosts migrant community

For years, it was a cafe. Then it was a pasta bar. Now it’s Red — Enjoy Refugees Best Kitchen. In January, the restaurant near Killesberg Park in Stuttgart’s north side opened for business with members of the local migrant community helping to staff the kitchen.


ANALYSIS

As Germany prepares for NATO crisis-response role, its military readiness is ‘abysmal’

Security experts say Germany's military is too weak to meet its obligations to its allies as it prepares to assume command of NATO’s crisis response force next year. None of its submarines are operational, only four of its 128 Eurofighter jets are combat-ready and the army is short on tanks and armored vehicles needed for NATO missions.


Reservists say Army denied housing benefits, garnished wages and launched unfair criminal probes. Now they're suing.

Army reservists deployed to Europe were wrongly denied housing allowance payments, subjected to humiliating criminal investigations and forced into debt by the service after the Army “willfully disregarded” its own policies to refuse benefits owed, according to a federal court complaint.


Pentagon: Systemic problems led to deadly Niger ambush

No single failure was to blame for a botched Special Forces mission in Niger that led to the deaths of four U.S. troops at the hands of Islamic State-aligned militants, according to a Pentagon investigation.


US lodges complaint after pilots in Djibouti are targeted with lasers near Chinese base

On Thursday, the FAA issued a warning advising military aircraft to exercise “extreme caution” when transiting the area. The FAA has issued repeated warnings since April 14 to pilots in the area.


General retires 6 months after IG chastised his behavior toward congressional staffer

The IG determined that Maj. Gen. Ryan Gonsalves, during meetings at his headquarters in Fort Carson, Colo., was dismissive of a female congressional aide, calling the staffer “sweetheart” at one point during the Oct. 2016 meeting.


China, Iran military spending up; Russian spending down for first time since 1998

Russia’s military spending fell for the first time since 1998, dropping by $13.9 billion. The drop comes after four years of economic sanctions in response to Moscow’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine.


Report: Russian jet passes within 20 feet of Navy plane over the Baltic Sea

A Russian fighter flew within 20 feet of a Navy reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea in a maneuver deemed safe but unprofessional by the U.S. military, CNN reported Wednesday.


Ukrainian troops to train on US anti-tank weapons for fight against separatists

Ukrainian troops will begin training this week on advanced U.S. anti-tank weaponry aimed at boosting Kiev’s long-running fight against Russian-backed separatists, officials said Tuesday.


Pompeo expected to call on Germany to hike defense budget at his first NATO meeting

Newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Friday at NATO headquarters in Brussels on his first foreign visit to deliver a tough message to key ally Germany over its failure to boost defense spending.


Report: Culture of risk-taking, complacency were factors in Niger ambush deaths

A culture of excessive risk-taking, poor training and complacency were factors in the deaths of four U.S. soldiers killed in an October ambush in the West African country of Niger, a Pentagon investigation has determined.


Army, German town strike long-awaited deal on weapons range noise near Stuttgart

U.S. Special Operations Forces will scale back some of their high-intensity training here as part of a deal with local government officials to reduce the crackle of gunfire in an area where locals have grown frustrated with the noise.


Special operators say African terror groups a future threat to US, if not right now

The runway under construction in Agadez, Niger, stretching more than a mile in the southern Sahara Desert, is both the Air Force’s biggest building project ever and the newest sign of a growing American military campaign against extremists in West Africa.


‘Building a base from nothing’: $110 million U.S. project in Niger will house drones

The U.S. Air Force is nearing completion of a $110 million project in the Saharan desert town of Agadez, Niger, known as Air Base 201. And even the locals seem to think the Americans are going to be around for some time to come.


Special operations soldiers shift training emphasis to help Africans fight terror groups

The Nigerien troops, 250 miles from their higher headquarters in Agadez, were at first reluctant at first to call their commanders with information about the unfolding battle simulation.


US Special Operations soldiers, African partners wrap up Flintlock exercise

U.S. special operations troops ended their largest training mission in West Africa on Friday, as part of a bid to better train local soldiers for the fight against terror groups.


US special operators train with partner nations in West Africa amid terror threats

Flintlock 2018, Special Operations Command Africa’s largest military exercise, is focused on the fight against a wide range of terrorist groups operating in the region.


Senate leader wants a new Army advisory brigade for Africa

A key U.S. senator is pressing the Army to set aside one of its new Security Forces Assistant Brigades for missions in Africa, which are now being carried out by a mix of rotating units.


US special operations troops launch war games in Niger with partner forces

The focus of the two-week Flintlock 2018, which involves eight African and 12 western countries, is the day-to-day threats faced by local forces on the ground, according to the top U.S. commander of special operations troops in Africa.


US military flights still suspended in Djibouti, but operations in Africa continue

U.S. air operations in Djibouti remain suspended Friday after two Marine Corps aircraft were involved in crashes earlier this week, but the pause hasn’t put a stop to air strikes in neighboring Somalia, U.S. Africa Command said.


US military flights grounded in Djibouti, exercise canceled following crashes

All U.S. military flights in Djibouti have been grounded and a major military exercise canceled after two recent accidents in the east African country, the U.S. military said Thursday.


Army picks new commander for Africa mission

The U.S. Army has tapped Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier Jr. to serve as the next head of U.S. Army Africa, where he will oversee efforts to train indigenous forces for counterterrorism fights on the continent. Cloutier will arrive after a period of tumult for U.S. Army Africa headquarters.


Army expects to keep Mannheim barracks to back expanded Europe mission

The U.S. Army will probably hold on to Mannheim’s Coleman Barracks until at least 2021 because of the base’s key role in stockpiling equipment for the military’s beefed-up Europe mission.


Baltic leaders to push Trump for more military aid

The leaders of the three Baltic states are expected to press President Donald Trump on Tuesday for more U.S. military support to defend NATO’s borders with Russia, where some allies are concerned about Moscow’s military advantage.


Army air defense brigade back in Europe in a post-Cold War first

A U.S.-based air defense artillery brigade has formally begun its mission in Germany, marking the first deployment of such a unit to Europe since the post-Cold War drawdown.


Deer friends await at the Wildlife Park in Tripsdrill, Germany

If you arrive before the horde, the deer will greet you like friendly neighborhood pooches. At the Wildlife Park in Tripsdrill, Germany, there are about 40 types of animals. There are caged wolves, lynx and bears, whose daily feedings are a top attraction.


NATO expels Russian diplomats in response to UK attack

NATO will expel seven Russian diplomats and reduce the maximum size of Moscow’s permanent mission to the alliance in response to the nerve agent attack this month in the United Kingdom, the alliance announced Tuesday.


Pentagon: Reports of US leaving Incirlik, Al-Udeid false

The U.S. military denied news reports that it was preparing to abandon bases in Qatar and Turkey after issuing a flurry of Twitter posts from multiple commands Sunday.


In a first, AFRICOM strikes al-Qaida in Libya as fight expands beyond ISIS

The U.S. military has launched its first airstrike against al-Qaida in Libya as operations expand beyond targeting the Islamic State group.


US Army Europe civilians face new restrictions on housing allowances

U.S. Army Europe has quietly introduced rules that put tighter restrictions on how its civilian workforce can use housing allowances for personally owned homes, reducing the amounts of some payments and imposing a new commuting distance limit.


US seeks expanded military agreement with Ghana, quashes talk of a new AFRICOM base

The U.S. is seeking an agreement that will allow more visiting troops as training programs and missions in the country expand, according to the U.S. embassy in Ghana.


NATO expresses support for UK after suspected Russian nerve gas attack

NATO’s top official said Thursday that "there has to be consequences" for a nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom. But, for now, NATO’s support of its ally is largely political and symbolic.


Russian submarine activity at post-Cold War high

Russia submarine activity is at its highest levels since the 1980s as Moscow continues to invest heavily in its maritime capabilities, the top military commander in Europe said Thursday.


US, Nigerien troops kill 11 ISIS militants in previously undisclosed mission

U.S. Africa Command confirmed Thursday that U.S. troops and Niger government forces were on a Dec. 6 mission when they came under fire from “a formation of violent extremists.”