Navy photo

CAPITOL HILL: The Navy and Marines are deploying at a pace they can’t sustain, says a report released today.And no feasible defense budget can build a big enough force to solve the problem, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says. Even the Navy’s famously optimistic 30-year shipbuilding plan — denounced by House seapower chairman Randy… Keep reading →

Todd Harrison (CSIS)

WASHINGTON: The budget deal setting spending levels for 2016 and 2017 is less than a month old, but pro-defense legislators already want to revisit. A top aide to Sen. John McCain said the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and his allies will “absolutely” try to revise the 2017 Pentagon topline upward. But our sources —… Keep reading →

Army photo

WASHINGTON: The Army has another 40,000 troops to cut, but how many of the civilians who support them will have to go? The answer to that is actually getting more uncertain. In July, the service reported to Congress that “total Army-wide civilian reductions through FY19 are expected to be ~17,000.” The more the service wrestles… Keep reading →


As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a proponent of the JSTARS radar plane since arriving in Congress, I am alarmed by the undercurrent of discussion within Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) considering delaying the Next Generation JSTARS acquisition program. This is in stark contrast to the support for JSTARS… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

UPDATED Deal passed, Forbes voted “no” WASHINGTON: With hours to go before the House vote on the budget deal — assuming it doesn’t get derailed — the Republican caucus is deeply divided. A central selling point is the deal ups the defense budget, but one leading legislator on national security issues, House seapower subcommittee chairman Rep.… Keep reading →

Mackenzie Eaglen, defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

The newly negotiated budget deal for the next two years is very good news, particularly for the US military and Pentagon planners. The defense budget will be funded close to the President’s request this year, there is no threat of a havoc-wreaking long-term continuing resolution, and there is predictability in funding levels for next year.… Keep reading →

Fireworks over the US Capitol Dome in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON: The budget deal announced late last night is unmixed good news for the Defense Department, our sources say — for a year, at least, and if it actually passes the ever-more-erratic House of Representatives. “This ‘October Surprise’ is a better deal for defense than I expected,” said one of Washington’s leading budget experts, Todd… Keep reading →

F-35As at Nellis.

CAPITOL HILL: While Congress and the media focus on immediate issues with the F-35’s ejection seat, the program has begun working on a long-range modernization plan to upgrade the Joint Strike Fighter’s combat power. This modernization package, with the so-called Block 4 software upgrade at its core, is essential to the aircraft reaching its “full warfighting capability,” Maj. Gen.… Keep reading →

Rep. Paul Ryan

WASHINGTON: What will happen if President Obama vetoes the National Defense Authorization Act? No one really knows. We’ve pinged a number of experienced staff and other experts and no one really knows the likely consequences of a veto. It looks likely that troops will get paid, weapons bought, and operations paid for, albeit at lower… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. graphic

WASHINGTON: Congress hates base closures, known as BRAC. But it turns out you don’t need a Base Realignment And Closure round to hurt homestate economies. If you cut the Army by 120,000 (from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000), and prohibit the Pentagon from closing bases, what you get — instead of wholesale shutdowns… Keep reading →

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