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NEWS IN BRIEF – USA

05 Jan 17. Deployments Bolster U.S. Presence in Western Pacific, Europe. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook announced operational deployments that will boost U.S. presence in the western Pacific and in Europe.
“Ships and units from the Carl Vinson strike group will depart San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment to the western Pacific,” Cook told Pentagon reporters today.
Approximately 7,500 sailors will deploy and focus on maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and bilateral exercises, he said.
Armored Brigade Combat Team Headed to Europe
Separately, Cook said, the United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
“Tanks, trucks and other equipment are scheduled to arrive in Europe this weekend, beginning a nine-month rotation of U.S. Army forces supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve,” the press secretary said.
The arrival of troops and equipment from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, out of Fort Carson, Colorado, marks the beginning of the continuous presence of an ABCT and back-to-back rotations of U.S. troops and equipment in Europe, he added.
After the equipment arrives at Bremerhaven, Germany, it will move by rail, commercial line haul and military convoy to Poland, Cook said. Troops and equipment will later be relocated throughout the region for training and exercises with European allies.
“This effort is part of our European Reassurance Initiative to maintain persistent, rotational presence of air, land, and sea forces in Central and Eastern Europe,” he said. (Follow Karen Parrish on Twitter: @dodnewskparrish)

04 Jan 17. US intelligence chiefs reject Trump doubts on Russian hacking
Clapper and McCain echo claims that Moscow interfered in November’s election. Leaders of the US intelligence community have forcefully rejected Donald Trump’s dismissal of their findings that Russia interfered in the presidential election, setting up a showdown between America’s top spies and the President-elect two weeks before his inauguration.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told a Senate committee hearing Thursday that US intelligence agencies were more “resolute” in their conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered pre-election hacks of Democratic party servers than they had been in October when they first indicated Russian involvement.
Senator John McCain, the armed services committee’s Republican chairman, joined Mr Clapper and two other leading US intelligence officials in blaming the Kremlin for the pre-election cyber attacks, which he described as an “unprecedented attack on our democracy”.
“Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attack on our nation,” Mr McCain said, as he called for a new US strategy to deter future cyber attacks.
Mr Trump has scoffed at the intelligence community’s finding that the Russian government directed last year’s attacks on Democratic Party computers and this week embraced WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange’s statement the hacks could have been carried out by a “14-year-old.” The president-elect’s stance has left him at odds with senior members of his party, including Mr McCain.
“I simply state what [Mr Assange] states, it is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday.
Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attack on our nation
John McCain, chairman of Senate armed services committee
The release of internal Democratic emails by WikiLeaks, a radical transparency group, hamstrung Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in its final weeks.
Mr Clapper and Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, suggested Mr Trump was making a mistake listening to Mr Assange. Mr Clapper said earlier

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