3:35 PM, Oct 22, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
During his visit to Washington this week, Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya'alon has spent part of his time criticizing Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, warning about the dangers of a bad nuclear deal with Iran—and highlighting the problems with Turkey.
As Haaretz reports today, Ya’alon has been complaining about the negative role Turkey and its now president and former prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have played the last several years.
“It’s unbelievable – how can you ignore it?” Ya'alon exclaimed during an interview with journalist Charlie Rose, broadcast on PBS and Bloomberg TV. He maintained his onslaught on Ankara in a Washington meeting with his U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel, telling his American colleague, according to a statement issued by his office: “Turkey is playing a cynical game. Hamas moved its terror headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul, despite the fact that Turkey is a NATO member.” Ya'alon said that Turkey’s policies often contradict the interests of the United States.
Daniel Pipes made many of the same points in THE WEEKLY STANDARD earlier this month. “Since mid-2011,” Pipes writes, “Erdogan’s government began breaking laws, turned autocratic, and allied with the enemies of the United States.”
Pipes argues that it’s in the American interest to correct Turkey’s course. “The Obama administration can signal that the bullying tactics that have won Erdogan votes at home have won him only animosity in the rest of the world,” Pipes writes. “If Erdogan insists on acting the rogue, then that’s how its former ally [the United States] should treat him.”
We’re not quite at the point where Ankara is a “former” ally, but as Moshe Ya’alon has indicated this week, it would be best for Israel, the United States, and likely Turkey, too, if the White House learned to manage a valuable, but far too volatile, NATO partner more closely.
1:32 PM, Sep 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
As the military prepares to take on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering a review ... of the military's ties to the National Football League. This comes "in the wake of the scandal over how the league is handling domestic-abuse allegations against players," reports CNN.
1:45 PM, Jul 16, 2014 • By ROGER ZAKHEIM
This week senior officials from the Pentagon will testify before Congress on their request for emergency appropriations, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations funding (OCO in military speak). A decision to maintain troop presence in Afghanistan, a resurgence of radical Sunni terrorism across the Middle east, and Russian expansionism in Europe all seem like good reasons for the administration to request the emergency funding. These events, however, haven’t prevented some proponents of defense cuts to question the validity of the request.
7:07 AM, Apr 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is "looking" at banning the sale of tobacco at military installations. According to one military publication, Hagel appears to support it.
2:45 PM, Mar 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
“I think that cutting the defense budget in significant ways right now is a serious mistake. When we’ve cut the budget before at the end of the Cold War, at the end of Vietnam and other times, it’s been because we thought the world was going to be safer place. No one can make that case right now."
That's former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
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: