An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

WASHINGTON: Paying for the Navy’s new nuclear missile subs through a special fund with special authorities “could potentially save several hundred million dollars per submarine,” according to a recent Congressional Budget Office study. House Armed Services seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes, father of the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund, is unsurprisingly touting this little noticed conclusion… 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 →

Rep. Mac Thornberry

UPDATED 4:40 pm with Bob Work comments WASHINGTON: The budget deal saved the day for defense. Now let’s never do that again. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 bought two precious years of stability, House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said today at the Defense One summit, but it hurt like… 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 →

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. 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 →

Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations. http://www.army.mil/article/145053/Army_Europe_expands_Operation_Atlantic_Resolve_training_to_Romania__Bulgaria/

WASHINGTON: The annual defense bill authorizes $411 million to upgun the Army’s Stryker vehicles. The compromise goes with the Senate’s higher funding levels: $314 million for modification work and $97 million for R&D. That’s a heady increase from the $0.00 the president’s budget included for the initiative, which emerged mid-year as a response to Russian aggression… 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 →

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