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 →

AUSA attendance 2001-2013

AUSA HEADQUARTERS: It is time for the tribes to gather. Monday is the opening of the Association of the US Army’s modestly named Annual Meeting. With roughly 30,000 people likely to attend over three days, it is the largest defense conference of the year despite a post-Iraq decline. This mega-event is also a microcosm of… Keep reading →

US Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) logo.

WASHINGTON: In an Army budget outlook that’s otherwise as grim as television tuned to a dead channel, there is one bright spot: cyberspace. “You know, we say that ‘flat is the new growth’ in DoD,” Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, said at yesterday’s Bloomberg conference. “[Even] special operations forces”… Keep reading →

Gen Gordon Sullivan @ AUSA Winter 2014

The National Guard has lost the budget battle inside the administration. But it has hardly lost the war. “We are disappointed by today’s budget preview, but we are not surprised. Nor are we defeated,” declared retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, president of influential National Guard Association of the United States, in a statement released shortly… Keep reading →

rep. adam smith

Yesterday, Hill staffer Vickie Plunkett made some mid-sized waves at the Association of the US Army’s winter conference when she noted that the military can legally close bases and arsenals without seeking congressional approval — and publicly urged the Army to “take your chances” and try it. This afternoon, we got this remarkably supportive reaction… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster

[UPDATED 6:30 pm] HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: The ever-beleaguered Army has a reputation — not undeserved — for being bland, conformist, and bureaucratic, an organization where brilliant mavericks are forced to retire at colonel and the guys who make general don’t rock the boat. Just ask any of the long-serving and long-suffering officers convening here in Huntsville, home… Keep reading →

Most Apache units, both active-duty and Guard, have spent the last decade operating in two-gunship teams like this one, not the larger formations required for conventional wars.

“To be honest, we feel betrayed.” That’s what one National Guard gunship pilot told me when I asked him about the Army’s plan to strip the Guard of all its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. That plan — still awaiting approval by President Obama before he includes it in his budget request for fiscal year 2015… Keep reading →


The war hasn’t started, yet. But unless the regular Army and the National Guard can resolve their differences behind closed doors before the president’s budget request is publicly submitted sometime in February — and prospects are dim — there will be open, brutal conflict on Capitol Hill on a scale not seen since the 1990s.… Keep reading →


[UPDATED 2:15 pm]WASHINGTON: Between sequestration, shutdown, and the Continuing Resolution, it’s been a brutal year for the federal government, especially the Army. Alongside training, maintenance, and morale, most of the service’s conferences have been hammered: “I’m surprised any of us is here,” Army Secretary John McHugh said this morning in his opening remarks to the… Keep reading →

Adm. James "Sandy" Winnefeld, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, speaking to the Association of the US Army Thursday night.

ARLINGTON: A candid Vice-Chairman of the Joint Staff delivered some tough messages to the Army yesterday and got in a few swipes at Congress and “the political leadership” in general. Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld’s  raised the most hackles among the serving and retired officers gathered at the headquarters of the powerful Association of the US Army… Keep reading →

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