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.
Despite the $4 billion ceiling, the contracts come with a guaranteed minimum of only $100,000 for each of the seven companies as the work will be parceled out on an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) basis, which is typical in these types of projects.
The documents with the original Request For Information provide background on the project:
The mission of the DTRA Research and Development (RD) Enterprise is to reduce national defense and homeland security WMD threats by conducting innovative research and development supporting the nation's WMD-related counterforce, consequence assessment, defeat and arms control objectives. Potential WMD threats include Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Explosive (CBRNE) materials. In support of this mission, the RD Enterprise is seeking a multiple-source capability for performing research, technology development; technical, scientific and program analyses; and systems integration efforts that will provide scientific and technological solutions to meet the Department of Defense’s nonproliferation, counterproliferation, consequence management and warfighter mission objectives.
The process stretched over more than two years and included various briefing, an Industry Day for potential contract recipients, and dozen of revisions and amendments. And the Defense Department is not through. Just a day after the awards were released, the DTRA announced another Industry Day as part of its "market research" entitled "Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Situational Awareness, Intelligence, Operations, and Data Visualization Support" held in December in Arlington, Virginia.
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.
How the “hardline” American position on the Islamic Republic got farmed out to Israel.12:12 PM, Nov 19, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
It’s Congress’s fault if there’s a war with Iran, says the White House. Last week administration officials showed their frustration with lawmakers who seek to impose another round of sanctions on the Iranians. "It is important to understand that if pursuing a resolution diplomatically is disallowed or ruled out, what options, then, do we and our allies have to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?" said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "The American people do not want a march to war."
The pressure is on to sell to China’s military.Nov 18, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 10 • By JOSEPH A. BOSCO
Next month’s meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in China will feature a familiar ritual. American negotiators will face intensified pressure for Washington to lift restrictions on the sale of military and dual-use technology to China. Over time, the perennial drip-drip of Beijing’s complaints against U.S. trade discrimination in this area, bolstered by American business desires to close the trade gap, has proved effective.
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:
5:54 PM, Sep 10, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A few hours before midnight in Iraq as September 11 approached, the U.S.
9:22 AM, Sep 2, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
One of American conservatism's leading thinkers, James Ceaser of the University of Virginia, weighs in on "To authorize or not to authorize:"
Obama isn’t angry at Assad, just disappointed.1:33 PM, Aug 29, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
The week started with the White House seemingly determined to punish Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for his use of chemical weapons, but on Wednesday Obama let the air out of the ball. Last night on the PBS Newshour he explained he may yet choose not to pull the trigger. “I’ve not made a decision,” said Obama. “I have gotten options from our military, had extensive discussions with my national security team.”
9:18 AM, Aug 28, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The man who bears the ultimate responsibility for the gassing of his countrymen in Syria has been told by the White House that the bell does not toll for him. The Americans are coming and people will die. But he will not be one of them. Not this time, anyway.
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.
Yesterday's confrontation between Egypt's army and the Muslim Brotherhood may only be the beginning.4:01 PM, Aug 15, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
This morning President Obama announced that he is cancelling this year’s joint military exercise with Egypt, Operation Bright Star. It’s a symbolic gesture intended to show that, should the army continue to pursue its present course, the White House may eventually decide to suspend military aid. But cancelling Bright Star also underscores American impotence. The administration reportedly warned Egypt’s military regime against a violent crackdown, an admonition to which, with 638 now confirmed dead after yesterday’s nationwide confrontations with Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the army obviously turned a deaf ear.