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Updated: 28 min 14 sec ago
The heads of key defense panels in Congress announced a preliminary deal on a bill that includes provisions to combat military sexual assault, keep Tricare fees unchanged, and give reservists more notice before a deployment.
The deal looked sketchy from the start. To outfit Afghanistan's security forces with new helicopters, the Pentagon bypassed U.S. companies and turned instead to Moscow for dozens of Russian Mi-17 rotorcraft at a cost of more than $1 billion.
The chairman of the House Seapower and Projection Forces Committee is urging the continued production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet. He warns that stopping its manufacture will limit production capacity for tactical fighter jets in the U.S. and increase prices by reducing competition.
The U.S. could wait until this summer to reach an agreement with Afghanistan on a pact allowing U.S. forces to remain past 2015, but NATO allies could not, Gen. Martin Dempsey said.