Congress

Rep. Mac Thornberry HASC chair

WASHINGTON: The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee sounded pretty sympathetic today to the Navy’s plan for a separate budget line to fund a new generation of nuclear missile submarines. But Rep. Mac Thornberry, known for his close attention to detail, also said he understood it was very important to use the right… Keep reading →

The US Capitol seen from the Newseum this morning during a US Naval Institute conference.

  In 1796 Thomas Jefferson said there were two types of American political parties, “One which fears the people most, the other fears the government.” In domestic politics the contemporary American political divide is equally wide and Americans should not expect their elected leaders to change course one iota. National defense is different. There is a… Keep reading →

This picture taken December 26, 2011 sho

WASHINGTON: There’s no one thing that keeps the Pentagon’s chief of intelligence up at night. There’s half-a-dozen things — terrorism, cybersecurity, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China — but Mike Vickers has a six-point plan to counter them. “The big challenge we face is really in the aggregation of challenges,” the under secretary for intelligence… Keep reading →

New HASC chairman Mac Thornberry is mobbed by questioners at AEI this morning.

WASHINGTON: Mac Thornberry won’t save the world. The soft-spoken Texan faces high expectations as the new head of the House Armed Services Committee, but he spent his first DC speech as chairman lowering them on what’s become his signature issue, reforming how the Pentagon buys weapons. After more than a year working quietly on acquisition… Keep reading →

Maj. Gen Gus Hargett

The regular Army and the National Guard are increasingly at loggerheads — not because they don’t respect each other, but because both want to protect their funding, their mission, and their people from zero-sum budget cuts. We asked the chiefs of the two leading advocacy groups involved to present their very different views for the way… Keep reading →

Gen. Gordon Sullivan

The regular Army and the National Guard are increasingly at loggerheads — not because they don’t respect each other, but because both want to protect their funding, their mission, and their people from zero-sum budget cuts. We asked the chiefs of the two leading advocacy groups involved to present their very different views for the way… Keep reading →

Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

CRYSTAL CITY: “If it floats, it fights,” Rear Adm. Peter Fanta says. “That’s ‘distributed lethality'[:] Make every cruiser, destroyer, amphib, LCS [Littoral Combat Ship], a thorn in somebody else’s side.” “It just takes arming everything,” says Fanta, the director of surface warfare (section N96) on the Navy staff. “Lethality” simply means more and better weapons. “Distributed” means… Keep reading →

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Imagine a business that’s restructuring costs. The idea is to restrain employee compensation and free up money for operations and investment, thus allowing the company to grow. Everyone’s familiar with the surrounding debate: leaders spotlight the need for efficiency, and workers insist that the company not break faith with them.  It’s a classic dispute between… Keep reading →

Tom Cotton

WASHINGTON: The youngest senator on Capitol Hill, and one of the very few lawmakers who can wear a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab, has stepped right from his one-term House seat to chairmanship of one of the most important subcommittees on Capitol Hill. That would be Tom Cotton of Arkansas, the new chair of… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

WASHINGTON: One of the Pentagon procurement system’s top officials and one of its harshest critics sounded optimistic today that the military can improve how it buys weapons. The key, both said, is for Congress to repeal old laws that now get in the way before it writes anything new — an idea to which the… Keep reading →

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