military

The U.S. Navy is looking north.

As climate change melts ice that has long blocked the region off from transit and industry, the military is figuring out how to expand its presence in the waters of the high north, primarily off the coast of Alaska.

Driving the push is that much of the commercial activity and development interest in the region is coming from nations that the Pentagon considers rivals, such as Russia and China.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

The U.S. Navy says "unsafe and unprofessional" maneuvers by a Russian destroyer nearly caused it to collide with a U.S. missile cruiser in the Philippine Sea on Friday. The Russian warship came within 50 to 100 feet of the USS Chancellorsville, which was busy recovering a helicopter, and the American ship had to take drastic action to avoid the other vessel, the Navy says.

Russia's military, however, provided a different version of events and said the U.S. ship was at fault.

Why did Bob Neller join the Marines?

"I needed a job," the top Marine officer says nonchalantly.

He went to Officer Candidate School the summer before his senior year at the University of Virginia with the intention of then going to law school.

"The law school thing didn't work out," he recalls, "and I wanted to get married, and my parents were getting divorced, and I didn't have any money. And the Marine Corps said, 'Hey come do this for 2 1/2 years.' And I said, 'Sure.' "

It stretched to 44 years.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

The U.S. Army issued a tweet ahead of Memorial Day weekend with a question for service members and veterans: "How has serving impacted you?"

Among the thousands of responses: harrowing tales of trauma, depression and sexual assault.

In a thread, an Army tweet that preceded the question featured a video by Pfc. Nathan Spencer, a scout with the Army's First Infantry Division.

President Trump has granted a full pardon to former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted by a military court in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner suspected of being part of al-Qaida. Behenna was initially sentenced to 25 years; he was released on parole in 2014.

Global military spending is continuing to increase, growing for the second year in a row and reaching the highest levels since reliable global figures became available in 1988. That's the finding of a new report out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Total spending is up 76% from the post-Cold War low in 1998.

The United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France led the world in military spending, accounting for 60% of the total expenditure in 2018. And U.S. military spending is up for the first time in seven years, by 4.6%, reaching $649 billion.

WikiLeaks was already established as an online outlet for posting secret documents from anonymous leakers well before its massive disclosure of U.S. government and military information in 2010. That was the year WikiLeaks' Australian founder, Julian Assange, faced allegations that led to his seeking asylum in Ecuador's London embassy.

Here is a timeline of WikiLeaks' key disclosures and related developments.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, one of the largest retailers in the United States which serves millions of active-duty military members and their families, is clarifying a memo sent this week which recommended that stores stop displaying the news on their televisions.

The message, obtained by NPR, told managers, "News channels should not be shown on common area TVs due to their divisive political nature."

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Oklahoma City Public School Board voting unanimously to approve the Pathway to Greatness to reconfigure the district, Republicans come to an agreement on bills to give more power to the governor over five state agencies and a Senate committee approves a measure allowing eye doctors in big box stores like Walmart.

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., said Wednesday that while in the Air Force, she was raped by a superior officer.

The dramatic revelation came as she testified before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on sexual assault in the military.

"I was preyed upon and raped by a superior officer," McSally told the hearing in her opening statement.

She testified that she blamed herself, adding, "I was ashamed and confused." She said she did not report her assault, saying, "I didn't trust the system at the time."

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