Colin Clark

Posts by Colin Clark

Senate side of the capitol

WASHINGTON: The House couldn’t do it, but the Senate passed a veto-proof vote today for the annual defense policy bill. The final Senate vote, 70-27, included two no votes from GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, both of whom are trying to run for president. The House voted 270-156, with 37 Democrats joining Republicans… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

WASHINGTON: If the National Defense Authorization Act really is vetoed by President Obama, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official thinks slicing out the Overseas Contingency Funding and leaving the rest of the bills as is might work. Frank Kendall, undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, also said that another Continuing Resolution in December covering the all… Keep reading →

Pentagon & beyond - view of DC over river - 032113-Pentagon-full

WASHINGTON: Costs of the Pentagon’s major weapons programs — which make up a relatively small percentage of the military’s overall spending but attract enormous political and strategic attention — continue to improve. But a big question mark hovers over them. Are costs coming down only because the Pentagon has started very few programs in recent years and isn’t… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: The Defense Department has told its big industry partners for most of the last 15 years that there’s no need for consolidation at the top. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman are big enough, they said. Mergers of prime contractors would limit competition, Ash Carter, Frank Kendall and other… Keep reading →

Presdient Obama calls Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON: One day after House and Senate conferees finally came to agreement on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, President Obama appeared ready to make good on half a decade of threats to veto the annual defense policy bill. Hours after that bad news hit, Congress cleared a Continuing Resolution this evening, allowing everyone to breath for a… Keep reading →


CAPITOL HILL: The balance of power between the Office of Secretary of Defense and the four service chiefs shifted to the uniformed leaders today as details began to seep out about the annual defense policy bill. The House-Senate conference on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act largely enshrined what Sen. John McCain wanted as part of… Keep reading →

Rep. John Boehner and Pope Francis

WASHINGTON: Speaker John Boehner, that always-tanned, often crying fellow who has led House Republicans since 2010, appears to have given up after new challenges from fiscal radicals in the Republican Party and announced his resignation this morning. Boehner, a Catholic, campaigned for 20 years to bring a Pope to Congress. Yesterday he got his wish and… Keep reading →

DNI JAmes Clapper at NSS 2014

WASHINGTON: Hacks are hard to do damage assessments on. Just ask Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper about the Chinese theft of data from the Office of Personnel Management. “We don’t actually know what was actually exfiltrated,” Clapper told several hundred people at Georgetown University’s Healy Hall today. Why don’t we really know if 5.6 million fingerprints — or… Keep reading →

Chinese JH-7

WASHINGTON: Timing matters in war and diplomacy. A Chinese JH-7 pilot performed an “unsafe” maneuver in close proximity to an RC-135 Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft on Sept. 15, the Pentagon confirmed today. With Chinese President Xi Jinping arriving in Seattle tomorrow, one wonders whether the pilot is being praised as a champion of Chinese sovereignty… Keep reading →

President Barack Obama talks with Pope Francis following his private audience at the Vatican, March 27, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON: The Vatican remains one of the world’s great powers. Pope Francis can’t deploy divisions, so Stalin might dismiss him and his organization. However, I’ve never forgotten a comment by Doug Simon, one of my Drew University political science professors at a semester I spent studying the United Nations. “Who do you think has the best intelligence organization in… Keep reading →

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