Politics New Army office to address sex crimes removed from chain of command
Taiwan War Games Simulate Chinese Biological and Chemical Attack
Taiwan's annual Han Kuang live-fire drills—scaled down due to the pandemic—will last through Friday and include both standing army and reserve mobilization.The 37th Han Kuang war games—already scaled down due to the coronavirus pandemic—will involve the mobilization of both standing and select reserve forces. Drills will take place throughout Taiwan as well as on its outlying islands in the Taiwan Strait.
The Army plans to establish an independent office for handling sex crimes that is removed from the chain of command, according to recently released comments from its top civilian official.
In comments made last week, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth did not mention when such an office will be created or how it will be organized. However, the secretary did make clear that the service intends to take sex crimes out of the hands of commanders after years of pushback.
"It's critical that we respond effectively and sensitively when sexual harassment or assault does happen," Wormuth said Sept. 7 during a discussion hosted at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. "It's our responsibility to make sure our leaders have the resources they need to take care of our Soldiers and their families when something happens."
Boost it or lose it
COVID-19 vaccine booster shots start rolling out next month. And the U.S. is helping thousands flee from Afghanistan. It's Wednesday's news.???? Hey! It's Laura. Here's Wednesday's news, just for you.
The action follows recommendations from the Pentagon's Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military to remove sexual assault charging decisions from the chain of command - a practice long viewed by many as hurtful to the prosecution process of sex crimes.
The recommendations have received widespread support, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin 's findings. The House and Senate are also both looking to insert language in the annual National Defense Authorization Act to make such recommendations law.
Wormuth said the Army branch will focus on three areas including prevention, response to incidents and accountability and targets spurred by last year's Fort Hood Independent Review Committee findings.
How the Army's elite Delta Force pulled off a record-setting mission against the Taliban only weeks after 9/11
In the hours after the September 11 attacks, the US military began planning what remains the longest air assault ever conducted by US forces. See more stories on Insider's business page. Hours after the September 11 attacks, the US military was already planning a response against the masterminds in Al Qaeda and its host in Afghanistan, the Taliban.Policymakers and military planners discussed several courses of action. CIA and Army Special Forces teams would infiltrate from the north and south and work with local anti-Taliban forces.But something more was needed.
The committee found that the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program faltered, stating that it was "structurally weak and under-resourced" and there was a "pervasive lack of confidence" in it.
The following the April 2020 death of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, highlighted a climate of widespread sexual misconduct at the base.
Wormuth pledged to set up the office along with other initiatives "swiftly," saying, "we have to demonstrate the courage to take action."
Biden has 'great confidence' in Milley after secret actions in Trump's final months .
A former official told ABC News that then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper was actually the first official to initiate similar outreach to China."I have great confidence in Gen. Milley," Biden told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega, during an event at the White House.