Metro-East News

Roger That: Air Force trying to keep housing allowance for dual-military couples

The Air Force is still fighting to stop Congress from cutting Basic Allowance for Housing for dual-military couples, Secretary Deborah Lee James told airmen Tuesday, according to Air Force Times.

“We have been very vocal with members and staff that we oppose this provision as we think it’s unfair to certain airmen. We will keep up our efforts,” she posted on Facebook in answer to questions during a social media town hall. Stopping the proposal is one of her top priorities, she said.

The controversial proposal would limit most dual-military couples to a single BAH for both individuals, which could affect almost 80,000 service members, the Pentagon has said.

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The Pentagon’s inspector general is probing allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress, according to several officials familiar with the inquiry, according to the New York Times.

The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command — the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other efforts against the Islamic State — were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama, the government officials said.

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The Air Force would be forced to postpone dozens of programs and not add 4,000 airmen to its ranks if federal lawmakers fail to pass a defense spending bill and keep funding where it is now for the next year, top-ranked leaders said Monday, according to Military.com.

“If we don”t get a budget, it’s going to affect lots and lots of programs,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lees James said Monday.

Without a spending bill, as many as 50 programs might be impacted, James said. Those cross the spectrum of fighter, bomber and cargo plane modifications to launch dates for satellites, the Air Force said.

The military branch also hoped to add more airmen to bulk up areas such as cyber and nuclear forces. It would argue to avoid cuts to personnel, but James said everything would be on the table if the budget doesn't rise.

Congress has an Oct. 1 deadline to pass a defense spending bill, the date the 2016 fiscal year begins and sequestration, or automatic spending reductions, would return under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

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Only three of the 116 men still detained at Guantánamo Bay were apprehended by US forces, a Guardian review of military documents has uncovered, according to Miltary.com.

The foundations of the guilt of the remaining 113, whom US politicians often refer to as the "worst of the worst" terrorists, involves a degree of faith in the Pakistani and Afghan spies, warlords and security services who initially captured 98 of the remaining Guantánamo population.

According to an analysis of long-neglected US military capture information, 68 of the residual Guantánamo detainees were captured by Pakistani security forces or apparent informants. Another 30 were sent to the notorious wartime facility by forces from Afghanistan -- mostly warlords and affiliates of early US efforts to topple the Taliban after 9/11.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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