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Senators demand transparency in US military justice system

Ashton CarterThree U.S. senators say the military justice system's "cloak of secrecy" needs to be lifted and records from sex crimes cases involving service members should be made readily accessible.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Democrats Barbara Boxer of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii cited an Associated Press investigation that found more inmates are in military prisons for sex crimes against children than for any other offense. Yet the public knows little about these cases.

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Court to hear whether women should register for draft

Selective Service registrationThursday’s historic decision to allow women in all combat roles could require them to register for the draft, depending on the outcome of a federal lawsuit challenging male-only registration.

The case, National Coalition for Men vs. the Selective Service System, will be considered Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, Calif.

The court date comes just days after Secretary of Defense Ash Carter opened combat roles to women, but he says that the outcome of the case won’t stop the Pentagon from moving forward.

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U.S. military opens all combat roles to women

Women to be in all combart rolesThe U.S. military will let women serve in all combat roles, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Thursday in a historic move striking down gender barriers in the armed forces.

"As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," Carter told a Pentagon news conference.

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Pentagon Crew Lived Large in $150 Million Afghan Villas

Money wasted in AfghanistanA Pentagon task force established in 2006 to help lure private businesses first to Iraq and then Afghanistan allegedly blew as much as $150 million on lavish villas in Afghanistan for a few lucky members of its staff—instead of lodging them cheaply, or for free, at the U.S. embassy or any one of numerous large American military bases in the war-torn country.

The alleged waste by the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, first described in a five-page Nov. 25 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter from John Sopko, from the military’s special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, should come as no surprise. TFBSO, as it’s known inside the Pentagon, has long attracted criticism for apparently wasteful spending and other abuses.

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Defense chief: US expanding special operations force in Iraq

Ash CarterDefense Secretary Ash Carter says the U.S. is expanding the U.S. special operations force in Iraq to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces fight Islamic State militants.

Carter told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that over time, these special operators will be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture IS leaders. Carter says that will improve intelligence and generate more targets. He did not offer troop numbers, but said it was being done in cooperation with the Iraqi government.

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Former Military Chief: Iraq War Was A 'Failure' That Helped Create ISIS

Lt. Gen. FlynnRetired Lt. General Michael Flynn, former U.S. special forces commander in Iraq and Afghanistan who was the country's highest ranking military intelligence official, says that the George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

"It was a huge error," Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.

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UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash kills 4 in Fort Hood, Texas

helicopter crash at Fort HoodA UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, similar to the ones pictured, crashed during a routine training mission in Fort Hood, Texas, killing all four crew members Monday afternoon. File Photo by Russell Lee Klika/Department of Defense | License Photo

KILLEEN, Texas, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a routine training mission in Fort Hood, Texas, killing all four crew members, military officials said.

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