News Briefs – April 7, 2017

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Top general on Congress’ failure on budget: Malpractice

The Army’s chief of staff says Congress is committing professional malpractice by failing to pass a defense spending bill for the current fiscal year.
Gen. Mark Milley and the chiefs of the other military services are testifying April 5 before the House Armed Services Committee.
The four-star officers are telling the committee they would have to significantly curtail combat operations and training if Republicans and Democrats fail to end their bickering over the federal budget and approve only a stopgap spending measure.
The stopgap bills lock the Pentagon’s budget in at last year’s level. That bars military services from starting new programs or ending old ones. The measures are called “continuing resolutions.”
Milley bristled when Rep. Susan Davis of California suggested continuing resolutions have become the new normal.
Milley responded sternly, “Pass the budget.” AP
 

Germany launches new military unit to combat cyberattacks

Germany has launched a new military unit dedicated to thwarting cyberattacks and responding if necessary.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said April 5 the unit, which will be fully operational by 2021, will bring together information technology experts from other branches of the military, and also include new specialists. In all, it’s envisioned to have some 13,500 soldiers and civilians by summer.
The unit is being put under command of a lieutenant general with an initial 260 troops under his command.
The Defense Ministry says the military experiences thousands of cyberattacks of varying degrees of severity on its servers every day.
Von der Leyen told troops at the official launch in Bonn when “an attack endangers the functioning and operational capacity of the armed forces, we can defend ourselves offensively.” AP

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