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Friday, Dec 09th

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Military targets handling of misconduct cases

Ash CarterMilitary leaders are trying to fix the lengthy, inconsistent process for investigating senior officers accused of misconduct, The Associated Press has learned. They are seeking to change a hodgepodge system in which investigations can drag on for years while taxpayers pay six-figure salaries to officers relegated to mid-level administrative posts.

Trust in the disciplinary system "is strained," the chiefs of the four military services said in a memo to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The memo was obtained by The Associated Press.

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Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste

Pentagon waste hiddenThe Pentagon on Tuesday played down a study that found $125 billion of waste in its business operations, saying it had “limited value.”

The Washington Post, in an article co-written by Bob Woodward, reported the study had been purposely buried by the Pentagon amid fears that Congress would use it to slash military spending.

Peter Cook, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Ash Carter, told the Associated Press that the report was “well intentioned” but flawed. He said it didn’t take into account existing programs to improve efficiency and didn’t include specific “actionable recommendations appropriate to the department.”

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U.S. to return part of Okinawa military base to Japan

Air Station FutenmaU.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter on Tuesday said the United States will return some land on the Okinawa military base to Japan.

Carter made the announcement during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday said he would visit Pearl Harbor in late December -- making him the first Japanese leader to pay tribute to victims of Japan's Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

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Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial

Bergdahl asks for pardonA former prisoner of war accused of endangering his U.S. comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan is asking President Barack Obama to pardon him before leaving office.

White House and Justice Department officials say U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl submitted the clemency request. If granted, it would allow Bergdahl to avert a court-martial trial scheduled for April. He faces charges carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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Big blunders behind botched U.S.-led strike in Syria in September: inquiry

Syrian air strike under investigationA U.S. military investigation has concluded that a series of "unintentional human errors" led to a coalition air strike on Sept. 17 that killed fighters aligned with the Syrian regime instead of the Islamic State militants they were targeting.

The incident, which Moscow said killed more than 60 Syrian soldiers, sparked a controversy and prompted an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting as tensions between Russia and the United States spiked.

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Navy's new $4.4B Zumwalt destroyer breaks down in Panama Canal

New Navy destroyer breaks downThe U.S. Navy's new destroyer -- the USS Zumwalt -- has been sidelined in the Panama Canal after engineering problems.

"The timeline for repairs is being determined now," US Navy Cmdr. Ryan Perry said in a statement to CNN.

USS Zumwalt, which cost $4.4 billion to build, was on its way Monday to San Diego by the end of the year where it was to join the U.S. Third Fleet in the Pacific Ocean. It was projected to be fully operational in 2018.

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Oldest Remaining Tuskegee Airman Dies

Oldest remainingTuskegee airman diesThe oldest remaining member of the Tuskegee Airmen has died. Willie Rogers of St. Petersburg, Fla., died Friday from complications of a stroke. He was 101. Rogers served in logistics and administration as part of the US Armed Forces' first all-black aviation squadron during World War II, but only revealed that fact to family members in 2012, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

He received a Congressional Gold Medal a year later, some six years after the Tuskegee Airmen were initially honored at the White House. Though Rogers was shot by German soldiers during a military mission in 1943, "he would always say there were many who deserved attention more, but were not here to receive it," says daughter Veronica Williams.

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