Congress

Rep. Mac Thornberry HASC chair

CAPITOL HILL: Tensions within the GOP over the mandatory budget caps set by the Budget Control Act burst into the open today. The chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee repeatedly warned colleagues and the leaders of the Air Force this morning that they had no choice and must live within the Budget Control Act’s spending limits. Then,… Keep reading →

EA-18G Growler

CAPITOL HILL: The Pentagon has launched a wide-ranging study of electronic warfare, looking across the services at major platforms such as the EA-18G Growler and the F-35’s three versions. “We are doing right now in the Department of Defense a study that looks at all electronic attack[:] what is the situation in electromagnetic warfare across… Keep reading →

Chinese artificial island landing strip

WASHINGTON: What began with a tiny artificial island built by China to stake a concrete claim in the South China Sea is fast on its way to becoming 600 acres of at least seven islands spread across the South China Sea. One of the most impressive is so-called Fiery Cross Island, the permanent structure above complete with… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

CAPITOL HILL: It’s a problem the US Navy wants to have, but it’s still a problem. If the service gets enough money both to build its top priority, the Ohio Replacement Program nuclear missile submarine, and to keep producing its vaunted Virginia-class attack subs, then so much new work will be hitting the shipyards so rapidly that they’ll be… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The Republican congressman who oversees the Navy actually likes Barack Obama’s 2016 defense budget — except for one small thing: It isn’t really a budget. “It would be almost a misnomer to call this a budget. It’s [just] numbers,” Rep. Randy Forbes told me this morning, in advance of tomorrow’s budget hearing. “If you… Keep reading →

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Bob Hale regularly demonstrated his better qualities during testimony before Congress, delivering highly complex facts and judgments about the Defense Department’s spending and budgets to the public with a knowing humor delivered with the sort of gravelly voice you’d expect from one of those old country lawyers.  Hale served as DoD comptroller from 2009 to 2014, and, before… Keep reading →

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The Chinese just walked out of Anthem’s enormous data warehouse (though without encrypting their data it might as well have been a troop of Girl Scouts) with personal data on a quarter of America’s population. Assuming that the pro forma outrage and denial is a confirmation of culpability, the People’s Liberation Army and its various subsidiaries will… Keep reading →

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James

UPDATED: Sen. McCain SASC Spox Rejects Air Force Rationale For Retiring A-10 ORLANDO: Sequestration. Base closures. Readiness. Modernization. ISIL. Russia. The list of challenges faced by Air Force leaders is long. But none may be more intractable or politically difficult than retiring the A-10 “Warthog” close air support fleet. The Air Force has never really wanted to… Keep reading →

An A-10 "Warthog" flies low over two ground troops.

ORLANDO: The Air Force, under heavy pressure from Congress to keep the A-10 Warthog in the air, will hold a mini-summit with the Army, Navy and Marines to figure out the best ways to do Close Air Support, the politically sensitive mission of aircraft protecting troops on the ground. Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat… Keep reading →

CENTCOM data analyzed by Breaking Defense

[UPDATED with McCain comment] The war is escalating. But what have six months of airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State actually achieved so far? Last week, Jordan launched its retaliation against the Islamic State for burning a Jordanian pilot alive. Yesterday, we learned ISIL had murdered hostage Kayla Mueller. This morning, President Obama formally proposed a… Keep reading →

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