Rep. John Boehner and President Obama

Updated with Loren Thompson & Byron Callan comment WASHINGTON: Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s sudden exit from the House Speaker race raises the chance of a fiscal disaster — but it also raises the odds of a desperate budget deal. Both extremes just got more likely. Ironically, this deepening leadership void elevates the role of Rep. John… Keep reading →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

UPDATE with Forbes statement WASHINGTON: At $4.7 billion over budget, Ford-class aircraft carriers have taken a beating in Congress. This morning, though, the House Seapower subcommittee chairman will roll out a report from the conservative Hudson Institute that’s a ringing defense of the carrier — but which also contains a stinging indictment of the aircraft that fly… Keep reading →

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 →

Carly Fiorina at CSIS

We are approaching the presidential primaries, the silliest of the political silly seasons. Magical thinking abounds as candidates appeal to their bases with few constraints on the promises they make or the sentiments they espouse. So it is with defense issues, as the presidential candidates, a group of highly accomplished people (yes, even Donald Trump),… Keep reading →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

CAPITOL HILL: Sen. John McCain says the $4.7 billion overrun on the Navy’s new Ford-class aircraft carriers is “unacceptable.” That’s understandable. But Congress’s own investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, told McCain today it’s also “predictable.” Given our broken acquisition system, huge cost and schedule overruns on new designs are the norm, GAO said, adding… Keep reading →

Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations.

WASHINGTON: The annual defense bill authorizes $411 million to upgun the Army’s Stryker vehicles. The compromise goes with the Senate’s higher funding levels: $314 million for modification work and $97 million for R&D. That’s a heady increase from the $0.00 the president’s budget included for the initiative, which emerged mid-year as a response to Russian aggression… Keep reading →


With the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act completed and headed to the president’s desk likely sometime next week, it’s useful to summarize the biggest policy changes therein. While most Republicans do not take the veto threat seriously, Mr. Obama will surely do just that. Still, when this bill eventually receives his signature later this year… Keep reading →

Page 1 of 7112345...71