The aircraft is intended to serve the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines for decades to come. But delays and cost overruns keep pushing up the price. Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, says the cost will come down as production ramps up.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the newest fighter plane set to enter the U.S. arsenal. The versatile, high-tech jet is supposed to help three military branches modernize their aging fleet of aircraft. It's in the skies now, but is still dogged with technical problems and questions about its high price tag.
The U.S. military plans to send an Army brigade to Africa next year. Some 4,000 soldiers would deploy — in small units and at different times — to help train and advise African troops. It's part of an Obama administration plan to address the growing challenge posed by terrorism in Africa.
President Obama may nominate former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary. The Vietnam veteran could bring a bipartisan presence to Obama's Cabinet, but only if he survives opposition from some in his own party.
President Obama is nominating Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Already a seasoned diplomat, he has been chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has frequently jetted off to Afghanistan and Pakistan whenever the Obama administration needed him.
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