Congress

Gen.Ray Odierno

WASHINGTON: “In the next two years,” Army chief of staff Ray Odierno said today, the service could move out on four new combat vehicles and reboot its aging inventory for a new era of war. They range from a parachute-droppable light truck for Airborne soldiers to a scout car, a light tank, and a new… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The Senate Armed Services Committee has joined the push to give the Army a much larger role in the Pacific. The hard part, ironically, may be getting the Army to go along. Why should soldiers do more in the Pacific, a theater traditionally dominated by pilots, Marines, and, above all, sailors? The Pacific, obviously, is… Keep reading →

Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo

WASHINGTON: As nations like China build up their anti-access/area denial defenses to keep the US out, “the submarine force is the key that unlocks that A2/AD bubble,” Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo once said. “We’re the folks that are expected to get in underneath.” As the two-star director of Undersea Warfare on the Navy’s Pentagon staff… Keep reading →

Ray Mabus

[UPDATED with Congressional reaction] ROSLYN, VA: Ray Mabus likes robots. The Navy Secretary has declared the F-35 will be “the last manned strike fighter” the service ever buys and invested heavily in unmanned aircraft, boats, and submersibles. But Mabus has frustrated drone advocates on one major program: the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft. This morning, Mabus defended… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

TYSON’S CORNER: Dear Senator McCain, we need to talk — sincerely, Frank Kendall. The Pentagon’s top buyer made clear today that he doesn’t know nearly enough about McCain’s ambitious acquisition reform plan, and some of what he does know makes him nervous. In particular, Undersecretary Kendall said, he doesn’t want the four service chiefs — the Army… Keep reading →

Lesser prairie chicken and House NDAA 2016

WASHINGTON: Since everyone is exhausted after the final passage of the House version of the annual defense policy bill, let us offer a note of whimsy, nay, even humor, to help lift everyone’s spirits after the unusually depressing saga of watching Democrats and Republicans largely just stand on the floor and bash each other. Let us… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jack Reed SASC hearing

CAPITOL HILL: In a bold attempt to fix the Pentagon’s creaking system to develop and buy weapons, the Senate Armed Services Committee today introduced broad changes to who controls weapons programs and tried to encourage Silicon Valley and other non-defense industries to help maintain the country’s global technological and military dominance. This is the beginning of… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain

CAPITOL HILL: Two chairmen, two very different personalities, two different approaches to one goal: fixing Pentagon procurement. Now their bills are heading towards what may be a happy marriage or an ugly collision. On the south side of Capitol Hill today, House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry is shepherding his committee’s version of the 2016… Keep reading →

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter responds to questions while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, in Washington, D.C., May 6, 2015. DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

WASHINGTON: The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has been identified as Congress’ soft underbelly in the Pentagon’s battle to win a real solution to the Budget Control Act similar to the compromise secured two years ago. That became clear at the Wednesday hearing of the subcommittee, when Carter went way out of his way to praise SAC-D… Keep reading →

aegis

Tight budgets have a way of encouraging critical thinking and forcing a willingness to make painful but well-grounded tradeoffs. The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, and the Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond Odierno, wrote a November letter about the weaknesses of our current missile defense approach to then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. This letter, recently leaked… Keep reading →

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