The U.S. military announced today that instead of keeping mulitple aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, only one would be kept there. The reason offered? Uncertainty surrounding budget cuts.
"The secretary of defense has delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and the USS Gettysburg (CG-64), which were scheduled to depart Norfolk, Va., later this week for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility," says the Pentagon in a press release announcing the big move.
Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama's nominee to head the defense department, said in his confirmation hearing Thursday that he doesn't "know much" about military programs and technology. "I've said I don't know enough about it," Hagel said, in a response to Maine senator Angus King. "There are a lot of things I don't know about. I, if confirmed, intend to know a lot more than I do. I will have to." Watch the video below:
Ever since outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a week ago that the U.S. military would lift its ban on women in combat roles, the debate, which has been simmering for decades, boiled up again. Much of the argument has centered on cultural, social, and morale-related effects that such a change would bring about, though other practical issues have been raised as well. However, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released just this week may bring some other considerations to the fore, among them, the financial impact.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ryan Smith, a retired Marine infantryman who fought in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, urges caution about the Pentagon's new directive to allow woment to fight as combat infantry. Smith describes his experience in 2003:
It seems clear that American civil-military relations have been healthiest when there is a high level of trust between civilian and military leaders, i.e. when there is mutual respect and understanding between them that leads to the exchange of candid views and perspectives between the two parties as part of the decision-making process.
ABC’s White House correspondent, Jake Tapper, is known in some circles as a contentious or even difficult reporter. In others, he’s hailed as perhaps the most objective journalist covering the president, more willing than most of his colleagues to push Obama and his aides with questions that are likely to make the administration uncomfortable. His new book is far from the White House, situated in a U.S. military base in a deep valley in Afghanistan close to the Pakistani border where American troops have been dispatched—or as it appears, stranded—to take on the Taliban.