NATO tweaks funding formula, lessens U.S. bill
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes NATO touted increased allied spending and announced a new funding formula that reduces the amount the U.S. pays toward its running costs, days before President Donald Trump was due to arrive in London for a summit to mark the alliance’s 70th anniversary. The moves... Read more
NATO has sent its first drone to Italy, will perform missions over Africa & the Middle East
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes NATO’s first unmanned aircraft has arrived at an alliance base in southern Italy, where reconnaissance missions are expected to begin next year. The first of five Alliance Ground Surveillance drones arrived at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily on Thursday, after completing a 22-hour... Read more
Seven Senators want to investigate Pentagon after DoD money for Ukraine was delayed
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes Seven senators are calling on Defense Department investigators to determine whether Pentagon officials were involved in an alleged scheme by President Donald Trump to use security assistance to Ukraine as leverage for targeting a domestic political rival. The senators, all Democrats, sent a letter... Read more
Russian PM says any U.S. attempt to break through Kaliningrad air defense as “idiotic”
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes A U.S. general’s comments about a plan to break through Russian air defenses in the military exclave of Kaliningrad if necessary were dismissed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as “idiotic,” Russia’s Tass news agency has reported. Medvedev lashed out at statements made last... Read more
Poll: Europeans want to stay out of U.S.-Russian conflict
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes A vast majority of Europeans would want to remain neutral in the event of a conflict between the U.S. and Russia, but two NATO members lean more toward supporting Moscow than their fellow alliance member, a new opinion poll shows. A survey conducted by... Read more
U.S. moving drones to Romania to monitor the Black Sea
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes Air Force unmanned aircraft are flying out of a temporary camp in Romania, a move that puts intelligence-gathering capabilities closer to the Black Sea as tensions between U.S. partners and Russia continue in the region. The shift south for a group of MQ-9 Reapers... Read more
Outgoing AFRICOM leader warns of worsening security conditions in West Africa
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks, who led U.S. special operations troops in Africa during a tumultuous two-year tenure, warned during a change of command Friday that security conditions are deteriorating in Western Africa, a region where four U.S. troops were killed at the start of... Read more
NATO tells Russia to stop new missile system or it will increase counter forces
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes The U.S.-led NATO alliance will consider bolstering its air and missile defense systems in Europe as well as enhancing its conventional forces if Russia doesn’t abolish a new missile system that poses a threat to the Continent, the alliance’s top official said Wednesday. “An... Read more
U.S. allies upping their NATO spending for fifth consecutive year
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes Allies in Europe and Canada boosted defense spending by a combined 3.9% this year, marking the fifth consecutive year defense budgets have increased among non-U.S. NATO allies, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday. “This is a good trend and we expect this to continue,” Stoltenberg... Read more
New acting Defense Sec. first days will be spent talking with NATO leaders
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes Incoming Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper will head to Europe next week, where he is expected to press allies to increase spending while meeting with NATO defense ministers. On Tuesday, Pat Shanahan resigned as acting defense chief amid reports that disclosed episodes of domestic... Read more

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