3:06 PM, Feb 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Christopher J. Griffin and Robert Zarate of the Foreign Policy Initiative write:
Previewing the latest defense budget on Monday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel quoted Henry L. Stimson’s October 1947 admonition that Americans “must act in the world as it is, and not in the world as we wish it were.” Stimson’s warning first appeared in an essay where the former Secretary of War urged Americans to invest more attention and resources in our national defense—a test that the Pentagon’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request fails.
In the real world, the growing dangers to America’s national security are stunning. In particular:
- Advances by the People’s Republic of China and others mean, according to Secretary Hagel, that “we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted.”
- In Syria, we face a rogue regime that has repeatedly used chemical weapons, a failed state that has yielded safe havens for extremists, and the prospect that terrorists could seize chemical munitions or advanced conventional weapons.
- Al-Qaeda and its affiliates threaten both our allies and the American homeland. As Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper recently warned Congress, “There are some five different [al-Qaeda] franchises at least and 12 countries that this movement has morphed into.”
- North Korea brandishes its nuclear arsenal, which the Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded likely includes missile-deliverable nuclear warheads.
- Iran could likely build a nuclear warhead within weeks, and is within technical reach of missiles that could strike American shores.
This, to quote Stimson, is “the world as it is.”
Whole thing here.
10:24 AM, Feb 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Dick Cheney ripped President Obama's defense drawdown in a phone conversation with Sean Hannity:
"They’re basically making the decision in the Obama administration that they no longer want to be dominant on the seas and in skies and space," says Cheney.
"The fact of the matter is having a huge impact on the ability of future presidents to deal with future crises that are bound to arise."
3:04 PM, Feb 24, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Republican chairman of the House Budget committee criticized the Obama administration's plans to shrink the defense budget in a statement.
“The House Republican budgets have consistently met the needs of our military leadership," said Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican. "It’s disappointing that the President continues to use these vital funds as bargaining chips for higher taxes and more domestic spending."
8:41 AM, Dec 16, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A Request For Information by the defense department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in July 2011 culminated this month in contract awards to seven different companies worth up to $4 billion over the next ten years. The contract awards, posted in a notice entitled Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Research and Technology Development, went to some well known defense contractors including Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.
12:20 PM, Dec 11, 2013 • By ROGER I. ZAKHEIM and THOMAS DONNELLY
A future historian would describe the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) as having a profound effect on the United States. The BCA, he would write, was a critical step toward making America into a social democracy while ensuring its decline as a global military power. He would conclude that the law transformed the U.S. government into an entitlements agency that occasionally paved a road or killed a terrorist.
4:25 PM, Dec 4, 2013 • By ROGER I. ZAKHEIM and THOMAS DONNELLY
House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon doesn’t look like an insurgent. The quintessential Californian – a man of Reaganesque optimism whose congressional district now includes the Gipper’s presidential library – McKeon has been a steadfast supporter of House speaker John Boehner in turbulent times. Yet, to the green-eyeshade editorialists of the Wall Street Journal, McKeon is leading a “rebellion” of defense hawks, an “act of masochism” threatening the Holy of Holies: the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act (BCA). McKeon’s crime is that he’s hoping for a 2014 budget deal that would reduce the amount of defense sequestration by half.
3:08 PM, Oct 22, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It is widely recognized that the effects of the Sequester are felt most emphatically at the Pentagon and in the services. As reported by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. at Breaking Defense, the point was driven home, yesterday, by chief of staff of the Army, General Ray Ordierno, who said:
11:04 AM, Oct 2, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Showing the good sense for which it is famous, the federal government—specifically the Obama Department of Defense—has announced its plans to cancel the nationally televised Air Force-Navy football game on Saturday, thereby jeopardizing millions of dollars (and inconveniencing a great many veterans) to save thousands in travel costs. The Baltimore Sun reports:
12:21 PM, Aug 26, 2013 • By SETH CROPSEY
The British launched the opening attack of the 3rd battle of Ypres on July 31, 1917. The objective was to destroy a rail junction on which the German army depended for Western Front supplies. The plan included British naval as well as amphibious assaults on the nearby Belgian coast. The naval action was to have loosened Germany’s grip on continental ports whose danger to England—in the hands of an enemy—hearkened back to Napoleon and foreshadowed Hitler’s Operation Sea Lion both of which British dominance at sea decisively turned back.
7:04 AM, Aug 26, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Department of Defense is looking at some serious cutbacks in its civilian workforce, as Tony Capaccio of Bloomberg writes:
10:39 AM, Aug 9, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
"When word of a crisis breaks out in Washington, it's no accident that
the first question that comes to everyone's lips is: 'Where's the nearest carrier?'"
(President Bill Clinton, March 12, 1993, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt)
Twenty years later, it appears that the answer to that question will soon be, "The carriers are in mothballs." Rusting away. We can't afford them any longer."