UPDATED 9:45 am Tuesday with details of operation & Chinese response WASHINGTON: After five months of hints, declarations, mixed messages, and dithering, the US is reportedly set to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea. But the months of signaling will cost us. What might have been a low-key “freedom of navigation operation” — sailing,… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

WASHINGTON: The chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees made a rare joint appearance today and urged President Obama not to veto their policy bill for 2016. But Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mac Thornberry held out little hope Obama would back off, and if they have a plan for what to do if he… Keep reading →


CAPITOL HILL: Adm. John Richardson sailed through his Senate confirmation hearing this morning. But two ominous issues breached the surface, hinting at growing conflict between the administration and Hill Republicans over how to handle China. Richardson, an experienced submariner nominated for Chief of Naval Operations, deftly dodged the difficult questions from Senate Armed Services Committee: Does US-China… Keep reading →

Army photo

UPDATED: Russia is No. 1 threat, Milley tells Senate; give “defensive” arms to Ukraine CAPITOL HILL: The world has changed, and not for the better. That’s the message Gen. Mark Milley brings to the Senate this morning. The current Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, has often said the Army cannot execute the national… Keep reading →

John McCain

UPDATED with Thornberry response CAPITOL HILL: The $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 passed the Senate by a vote of 71 to 25 today. The final version could emerge from a House-Senate conference in “early July,” Senate Armed Services chairman Jon McCain said boldly at a press conference this afternoon. That would be… Keep reading →


UPDATE: Exclusive McCain Comment; Senate Staffer Chides White House For Inaction WASHINGTON: In a dramatic example of the increasing friction in the Spratly Islands between China, the United States and most of China’s neighbors, the US Navy today released a video of a P-8 surveillance plane crew as the PLA Navy challenges it while the plane… Keep reading →

Army soldier pushups '100729-f-7409f-017

CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration will literally hit Congress where it lives. If implemented, Army officials and a key senator said this morning, the Budget Control Act spending caps will require cutbacks or outright closures at bases across the country. “At the end of the day, as much as we all love our bases, we’ve going to have… Keep reading →

Senate Armed Services Holds Hearing On F-35 Joint Strike Program

WASHINGTON: Nomination hearings are never just about the nominee. But today’s Senate lovefest for Ash Carter was remarkably dominated by two men who weren’t in the room: President Obama — in whose defense Carter was actually pretty tepid — and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Obama White House has simultaneously “micromanag[ed]” the military and… Keep reading →

An M1 Abrams tank.

ARLINGTON: The US Army is trying to reinvent itself, much as it did during the Great Depression. Even if the steep cuts called sequestration return in 2016 — as is current law — the Army would rather get smaller than shortchange innovation, Chief of Staff Ray Odierno said today. The service will hold annual wargames on… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

WASHINGTON: The parlor game of where ‘will the top staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee go’ can be declared over. Peter Levine will be heading over to the Pentagon, where almost all long-time Democratic staff have headed since the Obama administration took power. He may be taking the newly created post of chief management… Keep reading →

Page 1 of 512345