2:40 PM, Mar 23, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A fact sheet on the Defense budget from the Foreign Policy Initiative:
After heated committee debates, the House and Senate will each take up budget resolutions this week that would make minimal changes to the $1 trillion in defense cuts required by the Budget Control Act(BCA). A recent FPI fact sheet explained the key features of the defense budget proposal introduced in the House Budget Committee, as well as options proposed by President Obama, the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and the bipartisan National Defense Panel. This update describes the amended resolutions that will be considered by the House and Senate this week, as well as a proposal from the House Republican Study Committee (RSC).
The budget resolutions that Congress will debate feature a total of $613 billion for defense spending, a marginal increase above the figure requested by President Obama. However, the resolutions reach this target by leaving the BCA cuts to the Defense Department’s base budget in place while providing an extra $39 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), an account normally restricted to paying for war-related costs. This maneuver would require the support of both the appropriations committees and the Obama administration, which may not be forthcoming.
At a Thursday hearing, the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey suggested that OCO dollars are not an acceptable substitute for increased base budget funding, since they only provide a one-year fix. Gen. Dempsey stated, “We submit a one-year budget but in the context of a five-year future defense plan, and we won't have the certainty we need over that period” if sequestration-level caps still apply in FY16 and beyond.
Moreover, an FY16 budget of either $612 or $613 billion would result in significant shortfalls for our military. Gen. Dempsey has said that the President’s budget request would leave the Pentagon at the “lower, ragged edge” of manageable risk, while Secretary Carter has warned that there would be “no margin left for error, nor for a response to a strategic surprise.” This is why the RSC, the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and the bipartisan, congressionally-appointed National Defense Panel have all recommended substantial increases in the defense budget.
The question before Congress is whether it will heed the advice of both military leaders and independent experts, or whether it will remain wedded to defense cuts signed into law before the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the dramatic spread of Iranian influence across the Middle East.
The presidential candidates could learn from Indiana’s governor.4:39 PM, Feb 28, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.
11:33 AM, Feb 4, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspended participation in coalition airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State in December after a Jordanian pilot was shot down and captured, the New York Times reported
6:10 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama's proposed defense budget is well below what former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates proposed.
11:37 AM, Jan 29, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Ever since March 2014 when President Obama referred to Russian aggression against Ukraine as an "invasion," administration officials have avoided that word in conjunction with the ongoing conflict. In fact, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R.
9:45 AM, Jan 26, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Obama administration officials have been effusive in their praise for late Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz who died last week at the age of 90. Now comes word that chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E.
7:01 AM, Jan 14, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The Pentagon called the hacking of the Central Command's (CENTCOM) YouTube and Twitter accounts Monday "
10:10 AM, Jan 7, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, when asked Tuesday about the number of Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS) fighters killed in ongoing coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria, gave a rather colorful response: "[W]e don't have the ability to -
Will spend $336M over 10 years8:05 AM, Dec 10, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In the last five years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has spent over $130 million to store unused satellites from eight different satellite programs, and plans to spend another $206 million on storage over the next five years. Storage costs for individual pieces of equipment range from $40,000 up to an estimated $120 million for one particular satellite. Costs vary depending on the amount of care needed for each satellite.
9:33 AM, Nov 24, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
So Chuck Hagel has been fired as defense secretary. We were critical of his appointment, and opposed his confirmation by the Senate. But let's be clear: Hagel has done what he was asked and what was expected of him at the Pentagon. To the degree he has deviated from the Obama White House line, he's been more right than wrong (e.g., on the threat the Islamic State poses).
9:04 AM, Nov 6, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
During the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, the U.S. military used a new generation of technological weapons that left the rest of the world far behind.
2:17 PM, Oct 10, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The New York Times has a news article today that's ostensibly about concerns the Pentagon is engaged in historical revisionism in a recent attempt to honor Vietnam veterans. Any legitimate concerns, however, are outweighed by the fact the article gives a prominent megaphone to radical liberal activists whose opinions on how Vietnam vets should be honored are dubious at best. Here's how the article begins:
1:02 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss talked today on MSNBC's Morning Joe about the strategy to take out ISIS:
2:19 PM, Aug 4, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
Back in the day when it was fashionable for the press to criticize the president and senior military officials for mismanaging a war--that is, from 2003 to 2009--such stories often focused on the colonels, majors, and captains who saw firsthand the practical problems with their superiors' approach and who pushed hard to change policy based on that hard-fought experience.