Rep. John Boehner and President Obama

Updated with Loren Thompson & Byron Callan comment WASHINGTON: Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s sudden exit from the House Speaker race raises the chance of a fiscal disaster — but it also raises the odds of a desperate budget deal. Both extremes just got more likely. Ironically, this deepening leadership void elevates the role of Rep. John… Keep reading →

Presdient Obama calls Vladimir Putin

WASHINGTON: One day after House and Senate conferees finally came to agreement on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, President Obama appeared ready to make good on half a decade of threats to veto the annual defense policy bill. Hours after that bad news hit, Congress cleared a Continuing Resolution this evening, allowing everyone to breath for a… Keep reading →

Rep. John Boehner and Pope Francis

WASHINGTON: Speaker John Boehner, that always-tanned, often crying fellow who has led House Republicans since 2010, appears to have given up after new challenges from fiscal radicals in the Republican Party and announced his resignation this morning. Boehner, a Catholic, campaigned for 20 years to bring a Pope to Congress. Yesterday he got his wish and… Keep reading →

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000)

WASHINGTON: Under intense budget pressure, a Pentagon cost-cutting team is pushing the Navy to cancel its third and last Zumwalt-class destroyer, the Lyndon Johnson (DDG-1002). But two sources familiar with the program say this cost-cutting measure just doesn’t add up. The DDG-1000 Zumwalts are expensive; three ships will cost almost $13 billion. About $9 billion of that… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

As the Pentagon prepares to announce the winner of one of its most significant  contracts since the F-35 contract award in 2001 — the Long Range Strike Bomber — it faces a myriad of challenges and very high expectations. A Boeing-Lockheed Martin team is competing against Northrop Grumman, builder of the B-2 bomber, for the $25 billion prize.… Keep reading →

Ash Carter Defense Secretary

Updated with Pacific Air Forces comment AFA CONFERENCE: Just as the White House confirmed Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit at the end of this month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued a clear call for “an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants” in the South China Sea. China, of course, has done the vast majority of the… Keep reading →

James Clapper

WASHINGTON: No one really knows what they’re doing in cyberspace: It’s all too new and it changes too fast. So it was refreshing — if unnerving — for two top intelligence officials to admit this morning that the US government’s lack of clarity makes it more difficult both to deter adversaries’ cyber operations and to conduct… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: Yesterday, Sen. John McCain erupted over a proposed Pentagon regulation that would, the senator said, hamstring efforts to buy commercial items without excessive bureaucracy. This morning, the Pentagon’s procurement chief, Frank Kendall, replied to the Senate Armed Services chairman’s concerns. Kendall’s answer in a nutshell: It’s just a draft rule which we’re… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain at US Capitol

WASHINGTON: The day before Defense Secretary Ash Carter heads to St. Louis to promote outreach to the high tech communities, Sen. John Mccain blasted a proposed new DoD rule that “would have the unfortunate effect of undermining many of the key objectives” of Carter’s efforts to entice Silicon Valley to do much more business with the Pentagon.… Keep reading →

Robert Hale

WASHINGTON: The former top budgeteer at the Pentagon says he’s clinging to hope for a sequestration deal this fall — but he admitted the signs so far aren’t looking good. “I’ve got my fingers crossed for when Congress come backs next week,” Bob Hale told me this morning. Yesterday, the former Pentagon comptroller starred at… Keep reading →

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