republicans

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WASHINGTON: This afternoon, a congressionally chartered panel of prestigious defense experts denounced sequestration as “self-defeating” and a “serious strategic misstep” that “Congress and the President should repeal…immediately.” But will it preach to anyone not already in the choir? While bipartisan, the National Defense Panel is most heeded by House Republicans. They see it as a valuable… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee, Rep. Rob Wittman, is strikingly optimistic about the chances for consummating the so-called grand bargain and ending the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. When I buttonholed him after a Tuesday Defense Writers’ Group breakfast, Wittman went so far as to say that “I think there’s… 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 →

Rep Randy Forbes R-VA 1461062_10152780561020021_352801155_n

WASHINGTON: Rep. Randy Forbes will, for now, deny that he is positioning himself for the coming battle for chairman of the biggest committee in Congress, House Armed Services, fondly known as the HASC. But Forbes, one of three committee members regularly mentioned as having a good shot at the job, is clearly beginning to position… Keep reading →

Rep. Buck McKeon HASC chair in office

WASHINGTON: It’s finally official: after three years leading Congress’ largest committee and 22 years in Congress, Rep. Buck McKeon of California has announced he is heading for the door. McKeon, whose departure has been rumored (and denied or deflected by his spokesmen) for more than a year, has been a reliable supporter of the defense… Keep reading →

An Army M2 Bradley trains at the National Training Center in California in January. Since then, budget cuts have forced the Army to cancel most such exercises.

UPDATE: Odierno Clarifies. It May Be Three Brigades WASHINGTON: The Army has had to cancel so much training that only two of its 42 combat brigades are ready for combat, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Association of the US Army conference here today. It’ll take until June to get a… Keep reading →

Tomahawk

WASHINGTON: If “this potential operation” against Syria continues into October, when the new fiscal year begins, the Navy’s going to need more money. That, in turn, means Congress has to act. Ideally, legislators would pass a supplemental spending bill, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said this morning. Failing a supplemental, though, Greenert said… Keep reading →

uscapitolhouse

CAPITOL HILL: The House Armed Services Committee has scheduled its first hearing on what is arguably the Pentagon’s most important shift since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the strategic shift of US forces and focus to the Pacific. So far the witness list for the Wednesday morning hearing doesn’t boast a list of… Keep reading →

[updated Wednesday with remarks from Sen. Ayotte, Sen. Kyl, and James Carafano] Tomorrow morning, one of the Republican Party’s rising stars, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, will kick off a new project co-sponsored by two of its long-established institutions, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. The official agenda of the “Project for the Common Defense”… Keep reading →

Senate Deals Setback To Immigration Bill

CAPITOL HILL: On issues from nuclear weapons to the spending cuts known as sequestration, political common ground has turned into a war-torn no-man’s-land where both sides fear to tread. That intractable divide between the parties was on full display this morning at One Constitution Avenue, across the street from the US Capitol, where Alabama Senator… Keep reading →

An Air Force Special Operations tanker refuels a helicopter searching for survivors of 2005's Hurricane Rita.

WASHINGTON: The Defense Department is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. It consumes 1 percent of America’s massive demand, burning billions of gallons of fuel a year. Indeed, as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a recent speech, DoD is “the largest single consumer of fossil fuels on the face of the earth.” … Keep reading →

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