WURZBURG, Germany - When the 14,000 soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division deploy from Germany in the coming month, they will leave about 25,000 family members in various German cities.
WASHINGTON - A roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers who were part of a convoy between Tikrit and Kirkuk in Iraq today, and a suicide bomber struck an Iraqi police station in Mosul, killing nine people and injuring at least 45 others.
WURZBURG, Germany - For at least 20 years, the Middle East has been "heading down the wrong road," and now the Iraqi people have the chance to change the course of history, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said here.
WASHINGTON - Terror groups from other countries are going out of their way to use Iraqi citizens in pursuing their objectives, a coalition military official said at a Baghdad news conference today.
WASHINGTON - On Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 1, the U.S. military will be hard at work protecting players and fans alike.
WASHINGTON - The military's anthrax and smallpox immunizations are safe to administer to service members, a senior military medical officer told 2004 Tricare conference attendees here Jan. 28.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department will begin accepting nominations Feb. 1 for the 2004 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, which recognizes significant contributions and sacrifices made by employers of National Guard and Reserve members.
WASHINGTON - One detainee was killed and 11 others were injured Jan. 29 when an improvised explosive device blew up near a coalition convoy transporting captured suspects near Mukadiyah, a coalition official said today at a Baghdad news conference.
WASHINGTON - Parents of very young children affected by military deployments may find help by listening to a special radio interview Feb. 4.
WASHINGTON - The Army will grow to 510,000 soldiers over the next four years as a temporary measure, a senior Army official said today.
WASHINGTON - Last week's capture of Hassan Ghul along the Iran- Iraq border proves al Qaeda terrorists actively are seeking a foothold in Iraq "to continue their murderous campaigns," the commander of Combined Joint Task Force 7 said in Baghdad today.
WASHINGTON - The man who spent eight months leading the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq told senators here Jan. 28 that although no such weapons have been found, he believes Iraq may have been "even more dangerous than we thought" before Saddam Hussein was removed from power.
WASHINGTON - Seven U.S. soldiers were killed, one other is missing, and three U.S. soldiers and one interpreter were injured after an explosion today west of Ghazni, Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Soldiers serving in Iraq are not committing suicide in record numbers, a senior DoD military medical officer asserted at the 2004 Tricare conference here Jan. 28.
WASHINGTON - Its list of offerings reads like a who's who of entertainment icons: musical superstars, award-winning actors and professional athletes among them.
WASHINGTON - In this time of crisis, the reserve components are doing exactly what they were designed to do, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said here Jan. 28, and America is grateful for their service.
WASHINGTON - The group charged with putting together a detailed plan to integrate the three military exchange services into one organization has launched a Web site.
WASHINGTON - Turkey's prime minister reinforced his country's commitment to the war on terror today, and he thanked President Bush for adding another alias of a group operating in his country to the U.S. State Department list of foreign terrorist organizations.
WASHINGTON - With 200,000 pounds of chicken wings, meatballs and his signature "Bo Burgers" on the menu, and the biggest game in sports on the tube, it's safe to say that former two-sport star Bo Jackson knows more than football and baseball. Bo knows how to throw a Super Bowl party as well.
WASHINGTON - A "window of opportunity to transform and change our Guard and Reserve forever" exists this year and next, and the Defense Department has several initiatives under way to rebalance Guard and Reserve forces, the department's top reserve affairs official said here this week.
WASHINGTON - If the men and women serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom have it, chances are they got it from the 3rd Corps Support Command.
WASHINGTON - An improvised explosive device killed three soldiers and wounded three others in Iskandariyah, Iraq, south of Baghdad Jan. 27.
WASHINGTON - The Army chief of staff "adamantly opposes" an end-strength increase to the size of his service.
WASHINGTON - Military officials detailed to the House Armed Services Committee just how the troop rotation plan for Iraq will work.
WASHINGTON - Marines are getting ready to deploy again into Iraq, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael Hagee told the House Armed Services Committee today.
WASHINGTON - A new generation of American service members has picked up the gauntlet thrown by terrorists and has accepted new responsibilities in the world, Vice President Dick Cheney said at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Jan. 26.
WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney urged European allies to join with the United States in spreading democracy and the rule of law in the Middle East.
MOSUL, Iraq - More than 2,000 former members of the Baath Party turned out at the Mosul Public Safety Academy to renounce their membership in the party, to denounce violence and to pledge support to a new, free and democratic Iraq.
WASHINGTON - To Los Angeles businessman Jim Hake, winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi and Afghan people requires personal not just governmental intervention.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department's Tricare Management Activity presented its annual customer satisfaction awards Jan. 26 at the 2004 Tricare conference here.
WASHINGTON - Three American soldiers were killed and another was critically wounded in Iraq today by an improvised explosive device in Khalidiyah, just east of Ramadi.
WASHINGTON - Coalition officials in Baghdad expressed strong support today for a United Nations plan to send a team to evaluate the feasibility of holding direct elections before June 30.
WASHINGTON - If al Qaeda and other terrorists were given even "half an opening," they would use weapons of mass destructions within the United States, said DoD's official responsible for homeland defense.
WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney called on all democratic nations to support the war on terror during a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24.
WASHINGTON - One accident appears to have spawned another and three American soldiers are missing near Mosul.
KARSHI-KHANABAD, Uzbekistan - Soldiers can't take peace and quiet for granted.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Slovakian troops here received the best wishes of their countrymen Jan. 23, as the country's prime minister and defense minister visited to offer them encouragement in their mission for freedom.
WASHINGTON - Coalition officials reported seven Americans killed in operations in Iraq overnight and today.
WASHINGTON - People covered by the Tricare Standard military health care plan no longer need approval from their military treatment facility to seek inpatient care at civilian hospitals.
WASHINGTON - Though the Army National Guard and Army Reserve specifically and the reserve components in general have been meeting their recruiting and retention goals, DoD officials still are concerned and are looking for ways to address retention.
LAJES FIELD, Azores - Lajes Field's capabilities to save a downed space shuttle crew will be put to the test during a daylong exercise here Jan. 30.
WASHINGTON - Americans must remain watchful against another terrorist attack on the homeland, President Bush reminded the nation's mayors here today.
WASHINGTON - In a break from past practice, the Defense Department announced that President Bush will request a $401.7 billion defense budget for fiscal 2005.
WASHINGTON - Shortly after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black was on his way into his college dormitory when he overheard some students talking about King's murder.
WASHINGTON - The Coalition Provisional Authority has asked the United Nations to send a team of advisors to take a look at the viability of direct elections in Iraq.
WASHINGTON - Former regime elements have been "brought to their knees" in the 4th Infantry Division area of Iraq, the division commander said in a news conference today.
WASHINGTON - "I remember Martin. I remember sitting in the audience and listening to the power of his rhetoric," said U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black as he stepped to the podium.
WASHINGTON - The nation has made important strides forward in achieving the color-blind society Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told the Pentagon breakfast audience today.
MOSUL, Iraq - The 1st Brigade, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) handed over control of the Tigris River Valley area of northern Iraq today to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade (Stryker) 2nd Infantry Division in a ceremony at the Qayarrah West Airfield.
WASHINGTON - To win hearts and minds during 21st-century military operations, it will be essential for U.S. service members to have options other than the use of deadly force, a senior Defense Department official asserted.
WASHINGTON - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and another was injured in a Jan. 21 mortar and rocket attack on a 4th Infantry Division base near Baqubah, Iraq.
WASHINGTON - Although significant victories have been achieved against global terrorists and their enablers in Afghanistan and Iraq, the war isn't over, the commander in chief noted today.
WASHINGTON - Anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi elements are moving away from attacking coalition forces as their primary targets and more toward attacks against Iraqi civilians, security forces and government officials, a military spokesman said in Baghdad press conference today.
WASHINGTON - Lessons learned from U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are greatly assisting Defense Department transformation efforts, the chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command said here today.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - The more than 200 Republic of Korea soldiers serving at the air base here welcomed their president's top military adviser for a Jan. 19 visit.
WASHINGTON - The military's logistics system needs to be further modernized to better serve today's war fighters, a senior Defense Department transformation official asserted here today.
WASHINGTON - Human rights organizations will closely monitor every step they take. Judicial activists will analyze everything that takes place in the courtroom. And both U.S. and international news organizations will report the day-to-day proceedings they will be a part of.
WASHINGTON - The first of nine brigades planned for the new Iraqi army nearly is complete, the officer responsible for helping to rebuild the country's military reported in a Baghdad briefing today.
WASHINGTON - Defense Department officials remain confident that beef products in operational rations, served in military mess halls or sold in commissaries are safe.
CAMP VICTORY, Kuwait - One of the first tasks for soldiers crossing into Kuwait on their way home is to turn over all equipment that won't be going with them.
HABBANIYAH, Iraq - Having better intelligence than your enemy is vital to the success of a military operation, and the current situation in Iraq is no exception.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - On Jan. 6, a series of explosions ripped through the east side of the city of Kandahar, and 11 days later the effects of those explosions were still evident on the children in the 452nd Combat Support Hospital here.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department plans to stand up more National Guard-staffed civil support teams trained to assist local authorities in the event of a weapons of mass destruction attack on the American homeland, a senior DoD official said Jan. 16.
WASHINGTON - The coalition military command in Afghanistan today denied reports that a weekend air strike in the country's Oruzgan province killed children and other innocent civilians.
WASHINGTON - A former Iraqi general turned himself in to coalition forces Jan. 19, reported Combined Joint Task Force 7 today.
WASHINGTON - Soldiers equipped with the Stryker - a transformational, multi-wheeled armored vehicle - are soon slated to take up duty in the Mosul, Iraq, area of operations, according to a Combined Joint Task Force 7 news release today.
WASHINGTON - President Bush praised service members around the world for their sacrifices to defend America during his State of the Union address tonight.
WASHINGTON - The United States has not come through tragedy, trial and war to falter. Americans are proving the state of the union is strong, and they are "are rising to the tasks of history," President George W. Bush said in the State of the Union address tonight.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - "The strong will stand, the weak will fall by the wayside." For Air Force tactical air control party airmen, these words are more than just a motto; they also serve as a battle cry.
WASHINGTON - Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers' trip to Japan, Mongolia, China and Australia reemphasized to leaders in the region that the United States is interested and committed to progress in the region, said senior defense officials.
TOWNSVILLE, Australia - The war on terrorism seems light years away from this beautiful tropical city on the Coral Sea, but what happens in New York, Riyadh, Bali or Istanbul has a direct affect on the people here.
WASHINGTON - A senior Coalition Provisional Authority official today announced an $18 billion jobs and reconstruction program for Iraq that aims to create 50,000 jobs by the June 30 handover of sovereignty.
WASHINGTON - Today's bombing outside coalition headquarters in Baghdad will not deter U.S. and coalition forces from their mission in Iraq, a military spokesman said in a briefing from the Iraqi capital.
SYDNEY - The United States is not even thinking about basing American troops in Australia, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said here today.
WASHINGTON - America will continue to fight the war on terror, President Bush said today in his weekly radio address, noting that he will report to Congress and the American people this week.
WASHINGTON - Three 4th Infantry Division soldiers and two Iraqi Civil Defense Corps personnel died and two Americans were wounded this morning when a Bradley fighting vehicle struck an improvised explosive device near Taji, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, Combined Joint Task Force 7 officials reported.
WASHINGTON - The Coalition Provisional Authority administrator today said he thinks the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people ought to occur on schedule.
WASHINGTON - Possibly the largest rotation of military forces in United States history is about to take place, as thousands of troops prepare to relieve units that have been in Iraq and Afghanistan for as long as a year, the director of operations for the Joint Staff said here today.
WASHINGTON - Anti-coalition forces and former regime elements should "lay down their arms and embrace the future," the commander of U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq said in a briefing from Baghdad today.
MEYAN SHAKH, Afghanistan - The $72,000 cost to rebuild Meanshakh High School was worth a million dollars if the looks of excitement and gratitude on students' faces factored in.
CANBERRA, Australia - The top American uniformed officer delivered the American military's thanks to one of its most steadfast allies here today.
CAMP DOHA, Kuwait - The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), which landed in Kuwait in February 2003 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, is beginning its 10,500-mile, three-month odyssey back home to Fort Campbell, Ky., with a massive transfer of troops and equipment by air and land.
WASHINGTON - In a speech that often evoked the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney emphasized Jan. 14 that the global war against terrorism is a long-term struggle.
WASHINGTON - Within 10 years, U.S. forces around the world will enjoy greater combat effectiveness as a result of network-centric operations. That's a vision John Stenbit has pursued for the past two years, and it is already bad news for America's enemies.
WASHINGTON - Billions of dollars worth of new, hard-to- counterfeit Iraqi dinar bank notes are now officially in circulation throughout the country, the Coalition Provisional Authority reported today.
WASHINGTON - Task Force All-American soldiers nabbed two more senior anti-coalition leaders during combat operations in western Iraq, according to a Combined Joint Task Force 7 news release.
BEIJING - The United States and China are making progress on security issues, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said today following meetings with senior Chinese leaders.
WASHINGTON - For troops patrolling the dusty and often dangerous roads in Iraq, anything from home is a welcome sight. Since setting up a mobile store at Tallil Air Base, near the town of Nasiryah, in April, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service continues to provide "a little bit of home" to deployed troops.
WASHINGTON - Millions of dollars dispensed through a U.S. civil affairs fund have fueled myriad reconstruction projects across Iraq, improving the lives of Iraqis in the post-Saddam Hussein era, according to a senior U.S. military civil affairs officer.
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. - It would be hard to pick out pilots David Morales or John Moring III in a crowd most days when they are flying for the District of Columbia Air National Guard. That's just the way they like it. They wear civilian shirts, ties and slacks so they will not draw attention to themselves as United States military officers in potentially dangerous parts of the world.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - If U.S. and coalition forces here are going to be successful in their quest to kill, capture and deny sanctuary to al Qaeda and Taliban militants, they must first be able to see their nemesis.
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The new home of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute officially opened here today.
SPACE CITY, China - The scene at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center here would be familiar to any visitor to the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston.
WASHINGTON - A combined operation by members of the 82nd Airborne Division and special operations forces resulted in the capture of number 54 of Iraq's 55 most-wanted fugitives Jan. 11 near Ramadi, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7, announced during a briefing from Baghdad today.
WASHINGTON - Despite attacks against U.S. and coalition troops and innocent Iraqis, an encouraging trend since Saddam Hussein's capture has been the increasing number of Iraqis who are coming forward with information, Marine Corps General Peter Pace told reporters Jan. 13 during a Pentagon briefing with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
WASHINGTON - Soldiers have captured four relatives believed to have harbored Izzit Ibrahim al-Douri, the most wanted fugitive in Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force 7 announced today.
WASHINGTON - Hiring of military veterans across the federal civilian work force increased in fiscal 2002, the government's director of personnel recently reported.
WASHINGTON - An Apache helicopter went down near Fallujah, Iraq, today according to U.S. Central Command officials. There were no injuries and the incident is under investigation.
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia - Mongolia is a small country with a powerful warrior tradition. But today, the country consciously is tying its reputation to peacekeeping, and Mongolia's latest area of operations is Iraq.
KIRKUK AIR BASE, Iraq - While overwhelming force brought a quick end to major combat operations in Iraq, it's the coalition's ability to win over it's the country's people that ultimately will lead to a free Iraq, U.S. Central Command's deputy commander said here Jan. 12.
WASHINGTION - Despite what he called a "spike" in the operational tempo in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here today he hopes stress from increased operations will not lead to increased troop strength in the country.
WASHINGTON - In keeping with the Defense Logistics Agency's commitment to be responsive and close to the warfighter, the agency plans to open four new supply depots this year.
WASHINGTON - The Iraqi Governing Council's announcement of its new "de-Baathification" policies and procedures Jan. 11 was welcomed by the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, coalition spokesman Dan Senor said at a briefing in Baghdad today.
TOKYO - American service men and women are stepping forward to re-enlist, "as I would expect," said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers. "We are a nation at war. This is the time for our military to rise to the occasion and serve the nation at a time like no other."
WASHINGTON - When John Jester addresses military and civilian law enforcement agencies throughout the country, he offers two key pieces of advice: first, don't think it can't happen on your watch, and second, think about the unexpected.
TOKYO - Japan's decision to send forces to Iraq is a "historic move," said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers during a press conference here today.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi letters and packages soon will feature updated postage stamps without the face of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.
TOKYO - Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers arrived in Japan today on the first leg of a nine-day, four-country trip.
WASHINGTON - The United States now considers former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to be a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions, a senior U.S. official said today in Baghdad.
WASHINGTON - The third group of National Guard artillerymen is slated to begin retraining as military police at the Army's Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Jan. 12 to support the war on terror.
FARYAB PROVINCE, Afghanistan - The Afghan National Army took a step closer to building its strength with a reconnaissance mission here Jan. 4.
WASHINGTON - Although the nation's terrorist threat indicator level was lowered from Code Orange to Yellow, America remains on guard, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said here today.
WASHINGTON - In its ongoing effort to improve support to troops in the field, the Defense Department is testing radio-frequency identification technology, Alan Estevez, assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for supply chain integration, said here today.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - For Jamshid, a scholarly Afghan 7th grade student, Jan. 6 was a big day Americans were coming along with the provincial police chief and other government officials.
WASHINGTON - The Veterans Affairs Department wants to send veterans with service-connected medical problems to the front of the line when it comes to receiving medical treatment at VA facilities.
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - The Army's 3rd Personnel Command has issued guidance to redeploying troops about redirecting their mail for a smooth, timely transition to their home-bound addresses.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Bitter cold and pre-dawn exhaustion did not deter a crowd of enthusiastic families, friends and fellow soldiers waiting with signs, flags and smiles here Jan. 7.
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell today defended his Feb. 5 assertions before the United Nations Security Council that Saddam Hussein's Iraq possessed and was hiding weapons of mass destruction in defiance of numerous council resolutions.
MOSUL, Iraq - On a remote mountaintop in northern Iraq, 10 miles east of the town of Tallafar, soldiers are getting ready to leave their outpost and join fellow soldiers here, and they're doing it the way soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) have been doing it for years: by air.
WASHINGTON - An Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed southeast of Fallujah, Iraq, today, killing all nine aboard, coalition officials said during a press conference in Baghdad.
WASHINGTON - A federal judge ruled Jan. 7 that the Defense Department could again legally administer anthrax immunizations to troops.
KABUL, Afghanistan - National Guard Soldiers with the 124th Regional Training Institute from Colchester, Vt., are here to "train the trainers" and teach Afghan National Army members how to become better soldiers.
WASHINGTON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the work the British armed forces are carrying out in Iraq during a Jan. 4 visit to the region, thanking them for their role in "a noble and a good cause."
WASHINGTON - Hundreds of Iraqis detained by the coalition will be released as part of a reconciliation effort, the coalition's administrator announced today in Baghdad.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - New Year's Day was a memorable holiday for soldiers at Baghdad International Airport, especially for a married couple reunited for their joint promotion.
WASHINGTON - A new law replacing the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 will provide military personnel -- especially those deployed or called to active duty -- greater protections to handle their personal financial and legal obligations, Defense Department officials said here.
WASHINGTON - Defense leaders told Pentagon reporters today that recent milestones show solid evidence the coalition is making headway in rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq and making progress in the war on terror.
WASHINGTON - Bechtel National Inc. has been selected as contractor for Iraq Infrastructure II, a program to rehabilitate and repair Iraq's infrastructure, an official with the Agency for International Development said here today.
WASHINGTON - The global war on terrorism will remain the Defense Department's top priority in the new year, as DoD continues to focus on improving and modernizing its programs, systems and forces to make them more responsive to 21st century requirements.
WASHINGTON - Stopping terrorist networks from acquiring weapons of mass destruction is at the top of U.S. goals for 2004, Joint Chiefs Chairman Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said today.
KABUL, Afghanistan - The coalition-led provincial reconstruction team at Konduz transferred authority to NATO today in a ceremony at the PRT headquarters.
WASHINGTON - Base commanders in the United States and its territories and possessions have been asked to gather data on their installations in preparation for the 2005 round of base realignments and closures, Defense Department officials said here today.
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces have "turned the corner" in western Iraq, said Army Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., 82nd Airborne Division commander, during a Baghdad press conference today.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department's Office of Force Transformation has produced a new publication explaining the importance of network-centric warfare.
WASHINGTON - The Army's expansion of the stop loss/stop movement program is expected to affect about 7,000 active-duty soldiers deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
WASHINGTON - Dillon's Bar in Loganville, Ga., erupted into cheers and applause when the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve float flashed across the television screen shortly before 10 a.m. during the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1.
WASHINGTON - Delegates to Afghanistan's Loya Jirga agreed on a new, democratic constitution for the nation Jan. 4.
WASHINGTON - The new year brings new hope for families of the more than 88,000 Americans who are still missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War.
WASHINGTON - Coalition Provisional Authority and military officials in Baghdad, Iraq, today showed reporters a video as proof that coalition and Iraqi security forces took extra care not to desecrate the holy site during a raid of a mosque Jan. 1.
BETHESDA, Md. - What's in a name? The director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency said his organization's new name more accurately reflects its mission than its old name did, but he's quick to add that doesn't mean the agency itself has changed much.
WASHINGTON - Army officials are expected to expand the stop-loss/stop-movement program soon to include more soldiers deployed in support of the war on terror.
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces led by Iraqi Civil Defense Corps personnel and Iraqi police seized a weapons cache and detained 32 people at the Umm al Tabul Mosque Jan. 1, said the deputy director of operations for Combined Joint Task Force 7 today.
Hagel Meets Israeli Defense Minister