Headlines – July 10, 2020

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Latvia wants U.S. troops, and is ready to pay for them-
The Baltic country is looking to open talks with the U.S. about putting American boots on the ground in Latvia, a move that would surely make Moscow unhappy.
 
U.S. Air Force wants to turn former Soviet base in Romania into NATO Black Sea hub-
A former Soviet airfield in central Romania could become a hub for U.S. Air Force operations in southeastern Europe, where the Pentagon is seeking added fighter plane rotations as part of a mission to deter Russian aggression.
 
 

Business

U.S. gives the green light to Japan’s massive $23B F-35 buy-
The United States on July 9 approved a planned purchase by Japan of 105 F-35 joint strike fighters, moving the country one step closer to becoming the biggest foreign customer of the Lockheed Martin-produced jet.
 
Elbit combines UAV with unmanned naval vessel-
In a first for Israel, Elbit Systems is adding unmanned aerial system capabilities to its Seagull unmanned surface vehicle, according to the company.
 
 

Defense

Military’s top officer is open to renaming Army posts honoring Confederate generals-
Despite clear opposition from President Donald Trump, the Joint Chiefs chairman on July 8 expressed support for the idea of renaming 10 Army posts named for Confederate generals.
 
Esper tells lawmakers he’s not convinced Russia offered Taliban bounties to kill U.S. troops-
The Pentagon’s top civilian and top uniformed official spoke publicly for the first time July 9 about recent reports that Russia’s military intelligence agency had put bounties on U.S. troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and both said that those intelligence reports are uncorroborated.
 
Esper announces leak investigation at Pentagon-
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered an investigation into leaks of both classified and unclassified material to media, he told members of the House Armed Services Committee during a July 9 hearing.
 
U.S. Air Force considers adopting the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program-
The U.S. Air Force is keeping an eye on the Army’s next-generation rotorcraft program, which could fill a gap for agile airlift that might be needed in a fight against Russia and China, an Air Force general said July 9.
 
 

Veterans

VA should already care for veterans with bad-paper discharges, experts say-
Getting out of the military with any type of discharge less than “honorable” has been a black mark on veterans, not least of all because it hampers access to post-service benefits.
 
Top VA executive steered $5 million contract to friend for services the agency ‘could not use,’ IG says-
A former top executive at the Department of Veterans Affairs improperly steered a $5 million contract to a personal friend’s business to provide leadership and development training services that were largely wasted, according to a report released on July 8 from the VA Inspector General.
 
 
 

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