John Vandiver

NATO troubled by plan for Kosovo army, which US backs

NATO will reconsider the support it gives Kosovo’s security forces after the country’s decision Friday to take a step toward forming an army, laying bare a disagreement between the military alliance and the United States.

Click photo for caption and to enlarge


Hundreds of soldiers thought they had holiday leave. Now the Army’s trying to help them cancel their tickets.

Scores of soldiers deployed to Europe could be on the hook after purchasing airline tickets home for the holidays, only to learn that their leave was never fully approved.

Very good, but not great, food at Stuttgart’s swanky Zeppelino’s

After a quick glance at the menu, I knew just what I wanted — the roasted venison served in a lingonberry sauce, with a side of brussels sprouts and hazelnut spaetzle.

New White House strategy in Africa focuses on countering Chinese, Russian influences

Africa is a strategic battleground where countering China and Russia’s growing influence will be the top U.S. priority, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Thursday as he unveiled the Trump administration’s new approach on the continent.

Special operations boss calls for change amid troop misconduct allegations

The head of U.S. special operations forces has issued a call to action after a series of high-profile instances of misconduct revealed a damaged culture of discipline in the ranks.

US troops in Europe told to check in after deadly Christmas market attack

So far there is no sign that any members of the American military community were among those killed or injured in the attack that killed three and injured at least 12 in Strasbourg, France.

EUCOM commander holds talks with Russian defense chief

Uncertainty about Russia’s next moves in Ukraine are likely to loom over the talks, which come after Russia’s recent attack on Ukrainian ships and a threat from the U.S. to quit a key nuclear treaty with Moscow.

One French servicemember dead, one American injured in Niger accident

The U.S. military is investigating a deadly accident involving U.S. and French troops in Niger that left one French servicemember dead and an American injured, U.S. Africa Command said Tuesday.

Army rescinds reprimand for Niger ambush that left four dead, report says

The Army has rescinded the reprimand of Capt. Michael Perozeni, a Green Beret who led troops during the deadly October 2017 ambush in Niger that left four U.S. soldiers dead, the New York Times reported.

US military conducts Open Skies observation flight over Ukraine

The U.S. military conducted an “extraordinary” surveillance flight over Ukraine on Thursday in response to Russia’s recent attack on Ukrainian ships, the Pentagon said.

Brace for more Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, NATO chief says

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that security conditions could worsen in Afghanistan, where casualty rates have increased in a war that is now in its 18th year.

US threatens to quit nuclear accord if Russia doesn't comply with terms within 60 days

Russia has 60 days to come into compliance with a key nuclear treaty or else Washington will begin the process of quitting the landmark accord, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.

US asks Europe to ‘show leadership’ following Russian sea attack

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will urge NATO allies during talks in Brussels on Tuesday to take a tougher stance against Russia after last week’s attack on Ukrainian vessels and Moscow’s alleged violation of a key nuclear weapons treaty.

Despite calls from Ukraine no signs of US, allied ships heading to Sea of Azov

Ukraine’s president urged NATO on Thursday to send warships into the Sea of Azov, as President Donald Trump announced he was canceling a planned meeting with Russia's president over the seizure of Ukrainian ships and crews this week.

AFRICOM boss travels to Somalia for high-level talks

America’s top commander for Africa made a rare visit to war-torn Somalia, meeting with local leaders to discuss security in a country where U.S. forces quietly serve in a fight against militants.

Ukraine says Russian jet fired missiles during clash at sea

A Russian fighter-bomber fired two missiles at Ukrainian ships during Sunday’s naval clash, causing serious injuries to an officer aboard one of the vessels, Ukraine’s security services said Tuesday.

Ukraine orders martial law as fears of Black Sea ‘Iron Curtain’ grow

Ukraine's president declared martial law and NATO leaders gathered for emergency talks Monday, a day after a naval clash with Russian warships sparked one of the most serious military threats in the region in recent years.

The pirates are mostly gone, but Japan sticks around in Djibouti

Japan plans to step up training efforts with east African nations, as Tokyo aims to work more closely with the U.S. in a region where China’s influence is on the rise.

Top NATO leader warns against competition amid talk of a European army

The U.S.-led NATO alliance warned Tuesday that the European Union should avoid competing with NATO as the key security pact on the Continent, after leaders in Germany and France raised the possibility of setting up a European army.

Pentagon to cut scores of US troops in Africa as mission changes

The U.S. has about 7,200 troops operating in Africa. The coming reductions, about 700 in all, will happen over the course of the “next several years” the Pentagon said.

US base in Poland gets serious look as talks advance, Mattis says

Discussions are moving forward on Poland's offer of $2 billion to help fund an American base where troops and their families could be stationed on a permanent basis.

Microdrones and 3D printers help, but NATO wants more money to remain high-tech

Members of the 29-nation alliance will be expected to submit by the end of the year plans on how to boost military expenditures that fall short of NATO requirements, said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

For talks with Germany’s elite, US ambassador calls in enlisted Marines

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell's relationship with about 15 Marines who help secure the diplomatic compound has become a focal point for the 52-year-old ambassador, who attracted attention early in his tenure as President Donald Trump’s lightning rod in Germany.

NATO to continue training Afghan forces despite ‘challenges,’ alliance chief says

NATO’s reinforced mission will continue training Afghan forces, the alliance’s top official said Tuesday, even as government troops sustain higher numbers of casualties in a war now in its 18th year.

Islamic militant attacks up overall, but ISIS incidents down in Africa

Attacks by Islamic militants in Africa increased slightly in 2017, with violent incidents from groups in western Africa spiking and Islamic State actions waning, according to a new report.

CENTCOM apologizes for training manual with phrase ‘Negro blood’

The 69-page “Welcome Booklet,” which includes information ranging from base services to religious and cultural life in Saudi Arabia, delved into the country’s history with arcane language now regarded as offensive.

Air Force receives its largest ordnance shipment in Europe since Cold War

The Air Force has delivered its largest shipment of ordnance to Europe since NATO’s 1999 bombing campaign in the Balkans, a move that is part of a broader rearmament on the continent.

Mattis says killing of Saudi journalist threatens 'regional stability'

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday that the killing of a Saudi journalist in Turkey threatens “regional stability” and those responsible will be held accountable, but he stopped short of delivering a direct rebuke of Saudi Arabian leaders.

Snap mobilizations in store as Army readies troops for major conflict

A new U.S. Army strategy calls for more unpredictable deployments and emergency drills to ensure the service can quickly mobilize large combat formations for a major war.

Allies to meet over US plan to leave nuclear missile treaty

NATO ambassadors will meet later this week to discuss the U.S. plan to leave a key nuclear treaty with Russia, a move that has met with mixed reactions from members of the 29-nation military pact.

50,000 troops to drill for invasion in largest Europe exercise since Cold War

The U.S.-led NATO alliance will launch its largest war games since the end of the Cold War on Thursday, pulling together 50,000 troops, 65 warships and 250 planes for a mission that will test the ability of allies to free a member state.

Russia warns Sea of Azov off limits to US, NATO ship drills

Russia says it will block any attempt by Ukraine to host military drills in the Sea of Azov, a strategic waterway where Kiev could soon be operating two newly acquired American warships.

AFRICOM revamps strategy to empower Africa’s NCOs

U.S. Africa Command is pursuing a new strategy to empower the enlisted ranks across the continent as it concentrates efforts on developing regional training hubs where local forces, not American mentors, will be in the lead.

US soldiers under investigation after late-night brawl in Poland

The U.S. Army said it is cooperating with a Polish investigation into allegations that soldiers on Friday beat up a local dentist and two of his sons in the western Poland city of Skwierzyna.

Add Greece to the list of countries pressing for more US troops

Greece has invited the U.S. to set up new bases in the country, offering up coastal northeastern cities that would place American forces at the gateway to the Black Sea and in close proximity to the Balkans.

Largest NATO drill in 16 years brings carrier, US forces to Norway

The USS Harry S. Truman Strike Group and its 6,000 servicemembers will join NATO’s largest military drill since 2002 later this month as allies test their ability to defend a member state, the U.S. Navy’s top admiral in Europe said.