That’s what many defense experts are saying about the two-year budget deal that’s being cut by congressional leaders and the White House. Byron Callan, longtime analyst for Capital Alpha Partners, which provides research to financial firms, rates the prospective deal as “defense positive.”Read more
With the new fiscal year for the federal government rapidly approaching, the irresponsible and dangerous game of chicken being played with national defense continues. For most of the year, the White House and Democrats have made it clear that they will block passage of defense authorization and appropriations bills that contain some $38 billion in new defense resources unless the Republican majority in Congress agrees to boost domestic discretionary spending by an equal amount.Read more
“We have already cut defense … about 30 percent over the last 10 years, and we’re still at war. We’re actively involved on multiple continents in real combat operations. We should not be drastically reducing our troop levels.”Read more
Defense Secretary Ash Carter admitted in testimony Capitol Hill this morning that Iran will not be changing its bad behavior as a result of the nuclear deal.
Here's video of Carter's admission:
"Do you, Secretary Carter, believe that Iran will change its behavior as a result if this agreement is finalized? And have you seen any indication of that?" Senator John McCain asked this morning.Read more
In at last announcing in detail that it would reduce the size of its active-duty force, currently 490,000, by 40,000 soldiers over the next two years, the U.S. Army seems finally and for a day to have captured the attention of the political class. In fact this is not news, but the long-anticipated result of the defense budget cuts agreed to under the 2011 Budget Control Act.Read more
A DoD News story, published on Defense.gov, claims that the "Strategy to Defeat ISIL is Working, Military Official Says."
The report reads, "The coalition and Iraqi security forces strategy to defeat and dismantle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group is clear and on track, the chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said today."Read more
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.Read more
A bipartisan group of mmore than eighty influential national security experts, from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Michèle Flournoy to Bill Kristol, have written a letter to congressional leadership to urge increased defense spending.Read more
President Obama's proposed defense budget is well below what former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates proposed.Read more
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham has launched a new political action committee for "testing the waters" for a presidential run in 2016. The Republican, in his third term, has started Security Through Strength, a PAC that bluntly describes itself as a group to "fund the infrastructure and operations allowing Graham to travel the country, listen to Americans, and gauge support for a potential presidential candidacy."Read more
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.Read more
CNN reports that Ashton Carter will be President Obama's pick to be the next defense secretary:
Ashton Carter, the former second-in-command at the Pentagon appears to be the top choice to replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Barring any last minute complications, Ash Carter will be President Barack Obama's choice as the new Secretary of Defense, several U.S. administration officials told CNN.Read more
The resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel creates a golden opportunity for the new Republican majority in the Congress: not only will the hearings on Hagel’s replacement be a natural venue for reviewing the defense reductions and many retreats of the Obama years, but they provide a forum for Republicans to begin to chart a positive alternative.Read more
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).Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
“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.Read more
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."Read more
It's been almost a year since THE WEEKLY STANDARD quoted Philip Larkin’s great 1969 poem, “Homage to a Government." Yesterday the Obama administration released its 2015 defense budget, shrinking the Army to its lowest size since 1940 and reducing base defense spending to less than 3 percent of GDP. It's time once again for Larkin.Read more
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."Read more
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.Read more
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