Office of the Spokesperson
The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke today with Peruvian Foreign Minister César Landa about our shared democratic values and opposition to Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. In addition to discussing opportunities to further strengthen Peru-U.S. relations, Deputy Secretary Sherman commended the Peruvian government for its leadership in condemning Russia’s actions, including its support of the February 25 Organization of American States’ joint declaration on Russia’s aggression. Deputy Secretary Sherman and Foreign Minister Landa also discussed how Russia’s violation of international law and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine undermines global stability and contradicts the values that bind our hemisphere. The Deputy Secretary congratulated the Foreign Minister on Peru’s designation as the host of APEC 2024 and welcomed the OECD council’s approval to open accession discussions for Peru.
- Celebrating the Renewed Commitment to U.S. – Ukraine Science and Technology Cooperation
September 1, 2021
- United States Hosts December 2-8 Lead-Up Events in Advance of Summit for Democracy
December 2, 2021
- Chinese National Sentenced for Laundering Millions for Mexican Drug Cartels
September 29, 2020A Chinese national was sentenced today to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $4.2 million for laundering drug proceeds generated by large-scale cocaine trafficking in the United States.
- Supplemental Material For GAO-21-104071: 2020 Census Survey of Area Census Office Managers
July 28, 2021This electronic supplement serves as a companion to GAO-21-104071 2020 Census: Office Managers’ Perspectives on Recent Operations Would Strengthen Planning for 2030 Census. The purpose of this supplement is to provide regional and national summaries of the six waves of our survey of the Census Bureau’s 248 area census office managers on their perspectives during the 2020 Census.
- Russian National Sentenced for Providing Crypting Service for Kelihos Botnet
December 9, 2021A Russian national was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for operating a “crypting” service used to conceal the Kelihos malware from antivirus software, which enabled hackers to systematically infect approximately hundreds of thousands of victim computers around the world with malicious software, including ransomware.
- Condemning Ethiopia’s Plans to Expel UN Officials
September 30, 2021Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Dutch Foreign Minister Blok
February 25, 2021
- 2019 END Wildlife Trafficking Report
September 26, 2020Bureau of Oceans and [Read More…]
- Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin Delivers Remarks on Domestic Terrorism
February 26, 2021Thank you, Marc. Before I begin, I’d like to address an important issue: the reports of horrific attacks on Asian Americans across the country. I want to be clear here: No one in America should fear violence because of who they are of what they believe. Period. These types of attacks have no place in our society. We will not tolerate any form of domestic terrorism or hate-based violent extremism, and we are committed to putting a stop to it.
- U.S. Delegation Meeting with Taliban Representatives
November 30, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gantz
June 3, 2021
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Improved Planning and Acquisition Strategies Can Help Address Operational Challenges
August 25, 2021The current generation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has been in development for defense applications since the 1980’s. As of February 2006, the Department of Defense (DOD) had more than 3,000 unmanned aircraft, about 2,000 of which are supporting ongoing operations in Iraq. DOD’s 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review validates the importance of unmanned systems and establishes plans to significantly expand investment in unmanned systems and their use in military operations over the next several years. The Congress has been particularly interested in DOD’s approach to determining UAS needs and managing the growing number of UAS programs. This testimony addresses GAO’s prior work and preliminary observations on (1) the operational successes and challenges U.S. forces are experiencing with UAS in combat operations, and the extent to which DOD has taken steps to address challenges; (2) DOD’s progress in establishing a strategic plan and oversight framework to guide joint and service-specific UAS development efforts and related investment decisions; and (3) our assessment of the Global Hawk and Predator programs’ business cases and acquisition strategies and the lessons learned that can be applied to the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems program.DOD has experienced a high level of mission successes with UAS, but continues to face challenges in fully maximizing the use of these assets. In operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. forces have used UAS for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and offensive strike missions in support of joint and service-specific operations. As the numbers of UAS operating in the same airspace as manned aircraft grows, DOD continues to face operational challenges related to interoperability, availability of communications bandwidth, and airspace integration. While DOD and the services have taken some positive initial steps to address these challenges, such as issuing guidance and developing initiatives to improve interoperability, limited progress has been made and the effectiveness of these efforts cannot be adequately assessed until they are fully implemented. While DOD continues to request funds to support service plans for acquiring UAS, it still lacks a viable strategic plan to guide UAS development and investment decisions. Since GAO last reported, DOD established new oversight bodies and updated its UAS Roadmap, but it is too early to tell how the new entities will interrelate and whether they will be able to influence service plans. Also, the updated roadmap identifies broad goals, desired capabilities, and service acquisition plans, but lacks critical elements, such as a clear link among goals, capabilities, and plans, opportunities for joint endeavors, and funding priorities and needs. Until DOD develops a strategic plan, it will not be well positioned to validate requirements, evaluate and integrate services plans, and establish program and funding priorities, nor will Congress have all the information it needs to evaluate funding requests. Such a plan would also help DOD anticipate and minimize the types of challenges that are being experienced today. While there have been successes on the battlefield, UAS development programs have shared many of the same problems as other major weapon systems that begin an acquisition program too early, with many uncertainties about requirements, funding, and immature technology, design, and production. Unmanned systems have also experienced similar outcomes–changing requirements, cost growth, delays in delivery, performance shortfalls, and reliability and support problems. Future acquisition programscan learn from past efforts to craft better and less risky acquisition plans. Key steps conducive to success include preparing a comprehensive business case, adopting a knowledge-based and incremental acquisition strategy, and sustaining disciplined leadership and direction. Frequent changes to the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems technology demonstration program and recent budget actions raise some questions about the Department’s priorities and future directions for UAS. Concerns have also been raised about possible duplication of systems as the services look to expand individual fleets. Ongoing Army and Air Force efforts to coordinate the Warrior and Predator programs are encouraging and could be a model for limiting duplication and fostering jointness and interoperability.
- Laredo residents admit to weapons violations
In Justice NewsSeptember 1, 2021Two men who resided in [Read More…]
- Military Equipment: Observations on the Transfer of Excess Humvees to Foreign Governments
August 24, 2021What GAO Found Excess High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)—commonly pronounced Humvees—are among thousands of items that the Department of Defense (DOD) can transfer to foreign governments at their request through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. Twenty-three countries, primarily from the Middle East and Africa, requested 16,005 Humvees for the 7-year period GAO reviewed. DOD approves such requests if it determines: excess U.S. inventory is available at the time of the request, the request aligns with U.S. foreign policy objectives, such as using the vehicles to help combat terrorism, and the U.S. industrial base will not be adversely affected by the transfer. For example, DOD approved a country’s request for excess Humvees for border security, counter-smuggling, and counter-terrorism efforts. DOD approved nearly half of the total Humvees requested for fiscal years 2012 through 2018 (see figure). However, DOD has halted further approvals since the start of fiscal year 2017 due to concerns expressed by the Humvee manufacturer and language in the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (2018 NDAA) and conference report that generally says Humvees must be modernized at no cost to DOD. Humvees Approved as Grants through the Foreign Assistance Act, Compared to Total Requested (by fiscal year transfer was requested) Note: The Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act generally requires Humvees be modernized prior to transfer. GAO found that DOD considered the Humvee manufacturer’s perspectives on proposed transfers and generally took steps to mitigate concerns about transfers that could siphon potential business from the manufacturer or compete with its sales efforts. Further, GAO found that generally, when the manufacturer objected to a transfer, the manufacturer withdrew its objection after receiving business opportunities to repair or upgrade vehicles for DOD or a requesting government’s fleet. DOD officials also noted that most of the countries requesting Humvees through the EDA program find it cost-prohibitive to purchase new Humvees directly from the manufacturer. As a result, these countries rely on EDA Humvees to sustain their military fleets. Why GAO Did This Study DOD can declare defense equipment as excess to U.S. military needs and make it available for transfer as a grant or sale to foreign governments. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 authorizes these transfers as grants provided that they do not adversely affect the U.S. national technology and industrial base, among other things. In this regard, transfers pursuant to the Act must not limit U.S. companies’ ability to sell new or used defense equipment to countries requesting the transfer. The 2018 NDAA generally requires that Humvee transfers be modernized with a new powertrain and armor prior to being transferred. The Act also generally requires GAO to report on proposed and completed Humvee transfers and the process to determine if transfers will adversely affect the industrial base. This report provides information on (1) excess Humvees requested and approved during fiscal years 2012 through 2018 and (2) how the Humvee manufacturer’s perspectives on the proposed transfers have been addressed by DOD as part of the determination of any adverse industrial base effects. GAO analyzed the latest DOD data on EDA Humvee transfers from fiscal years 2012 through 2018; reviewed DOD policies, guidance, and documents to gain insight into the process for determining industrial base effects of proposed transfers; and interviewed agency officials and Humvee manufacturer representatives. For more information, contact Marie A. Mak at (202) 512-4841 or email@example.com.
- Blue Bell Creameries Ordered To Pay $17.25 Million In Criminal Penalties In Connection With 2015 Listeria Contamination
September 17, 2020A federal court in Texas sentenced ice cream manufacturer Blue Bell Creameries L.P. to pay $17.25 million in criminal penalties for shipments of contaminated products linked to a 2015 listeriosis outbreak, the Justice Department announced today.
- New U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia Achieves LEED® Gold
July 9, 2021
- ISIS Militants Charged With Deaths Of Americans In Syria
October 7, 2020Two militant fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization, are expected to arrive in the United States today in FBI custody on charges related to their participation in a brutal hostage-taking scheme that resulted in the deaths of four American citizens, as well as the deaths of British and Japanese nationals, in Syria.
- Project Monitor and Abatement Supervisor Plead Guilty To Conspiring to Violate Asbestos Regulations
June 8, 2021Two individuals pleaded guilty today to conspiring to violate federal and New York State regulations intended to prevent human exposure to asbestos.
- Maryland Nuclear Engineer and Spouse Arrested on Espionage-Related Charges
October 10, 2021Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, both of Annapolis, Maryland, were arrested in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) on Saturday, Oct. 9.
- Secretary Pompeo Travels to India to Advance U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership
October 25, 2020