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After four months, we still know precious little about how sequestration — or automatic budget cuts in the name of debt reduction — is being implemented or what Pentagon priorities are most affected. But one important detail has become clear after the Pentagon recently released two reports. Leaders are trying to navigate near-term fiscal uncertainty,… Keep reading →

The following commentary appeared in our sister publication, Breaking Energy. While we don’t usually write about the Defense Department’s energy use (except when it’s a casus belli or a major budget item in aggregate) this piece addresses a fundamental issue of American foreign and domestic policy: climate change and foreign sources of energy. The Editor.… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

NASA outgoing Administrator Sean O'Keefe

The House of Representatives will vote on the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act later this week. Sequestration will be the giant hiding behind the door as the House Armed Services Committee has marked its bill to the Obama budget request, which means that the effects of sequestration are ignored by the bill (as they are… Keep reading →

The House Armed Services Committee has announced subcommittee membership for this session. Since the information isn’t up on the website yet, we’re posting it here for our readers use.

The following is the release as we received it from the HASC spokesman: Keep reading →


PENTAGON: Once upon a time there was the Packard Commission, convened during the Reagan Administration to find fixes for the Pentagon’s terrible record in buying weapons. They took too long, cost too much and often didn’t do what they were supposed to do. Since then, things have only gotten worse: weapons continue to cost too much, take too long and often don’t do what they are supposed to do.

The Packard Commission, which produced its report in 1986, called for creation of an acquisition czar and recommended an array of other changes to what it then said was not a “rational system” for buying and building America’s weapons. Frank Kendall, who occupies the position of czar (known formally as the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics) today announced the Obama Administration’s second iteration of a rash of reforms he hopes and expects will begin to fix things. Keep reading →


Borrowing insights gleaned from the FBI and the National Science Foundation, six U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation today to revamp NASA’s leadership structure, using the FBI and the National Science Foundation as models.

This is is priceless — if true! See the costs of depending on Russia for access to space: broken bottles and heads! t.co/GlHIAW99 colinclarkaol

Good insight on Senate fm Inouye’s earmark remarks: Earmarks leave Senators “open to unseemly bargaining with Executive branch.” Unseemly! colinclarkaol

Think Hill doesn’t know what vermin Americans think they r? Sen. Inouye sez “trust in Congress is at all time low” in extending earmark ban colinclarkaol