Pentagon cools North Korea, China rhetoric to avoid warmongering label

At the same time, the Pentagon is trying to lower its public profile regarding Navy ship transits through the South China Sea, which have provoked Chinese ire, as part of an overall administration effort to improve relations with Beijing so that it pressures Pyongyang to curb its nuclear weapons program.

The strategy comes in the wake of contradictory statements by President Donald Trump on his policy toward North Korea and growing tensions in the region over its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.

White House, Pentagon miscommunicated on aircraft carrier's location

A senior administration official blamed a miscommunication between the Pentagon and the White House over reports that the aircraft carrier has not made its way to the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, as an expected show of force to North Korea.

The official blamed the mixup on a lack of follow-up with commanders overseeing the movements of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.

US investigates possible Russia role in Syria chemical attack

The Pentagon is looking for any evidence that the Russian government knew about or was complicit in the attack in Idlib province that killed at least 80 people and injured dozens more, a senior US defense official said.

Pentagon: 3 ISIS leaders killed in airstrike

Two of the targets, Salah Gourmat and Sammy Djedou, were directly involved in plotting the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. The third, Walid Hamman, was a suicide attack planner who was convicted in absentia in Belgium for a terror plot disrupted in 2015.

The leaders were working to plot and carry out attacks on on the West, the Pentagon said, and were a part of a terror network run by Boubaker Al-Hakim, who was killed in an earlier coalition airstrike on November 16.

Why hasn't Trump's team called Pentagon?

Election Day was eight days ago, but Donald Trump's transition team has yet to contact the Pentagon, State Department or other federal agencies. And a move to purge some transition advisers and employees has further slowed the process of getting the incoming administration off the blocks.

So-called landing teams, which President Barack Obama installed at federal agencies within days of the election for his own transition, had been expected to arrive in DC Monday. But Vice President-elect Pence's takeover of the team caused a cascade of delays.

US nuclear force 'still uses floppy disks'

The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon was one of several departments where "legacy systems" urgently needed to be replaced.

The report said taxpayers spent $61bn (£41bn) a year on maintaining ageing technologies.

It said that was three times more than the investment on modern IT systems.

Wife of killed Islamic State leader now in Iraq custody

Umm Sayyaf, wife of the Islamic State's head of oil operations Abu Sayyaf, was in U.S. custody since May 15. 

There have been suggestions that she and her husband were the captors of American hostage Kayla Mueller. Mueller was killed while being held prisoner. Islamic State militants have claimed she died in a Jordanian airstrike.

U.S. officials have said Umm Sayyaf was cooperative and provided a "trove" of intelligence about Islamic State operations.