Rep. Randy Forbes

Forbes & Langevin @ Carnegie IMG_8319

WASHINGTON: “We have the presumption we’re going to have the competitive edge when it comes to technology,” said Rep. Randy Forbes, “[that] just because we’ve had it in the last several decades that somehow or other we’re destined to have it in the future.” That’s a dangerous mistake, Forbes said Thursday at the Carnegie Endowment,… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, GEORGIA: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel came here Wednesday to celebrate the Navy’s nuclear deterrence force. But just 20 minutes in, a petty officer second class stood up in front of almost 200 of his comrades and pointed out the $95 billion elephant in the room: Can the Navy afford to… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine (SSBN).

WASHINGTON: “Unsustainable.” That’s the Navy’s own official assessment of the spending rates required to keep the fleet large and modern enough to do its missions. For the service to state this in writing ratchets up not just the rhetoric but the likelihood of future budget battles in the Pentagon and on the Hill — especially… Keep reading →

The amphibious ship USS San Antonio, LPD-17.

[UPDATED with comment from Seapower Chairman Randy Forbes] “This is not a slam dunk. This is really the first step.” That’s the cautiously optimistic word from retired Navy captain Brian Schires, chairman of the recently formed Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition (AWIBC), on the $800 million the House Armed Services Committee just authorized towards the… Keep reading →

Amendments pile up on desks at HASC #NDAA 2015 IMG_6956

CAPITOL HILL: “Given sequestration, given all the cuts…we can have a larger force or we can have a ready force,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “I’m going to choose the latter.” But the 2015 National Defense Authorization markup that the House Armed Services Committee will pass sometime tonight raids $1.4 billion from operations, maintenance, and training funds.… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes vows to preserve the USS George Washington, seen here at the center of its battlegroup

[UPDATED with details from the subcommittee mark] WASHINGTON: Just hours before the House Armed Services Committee rolls out its mark-up of the 2015 defense policy bill, the chairman of HASC’s seapower subcommittee is vowing to save the USS George Washington from early retirement and to preserve the nation’s fleet of 11 aircraft carriers. [Updated: The seapower subcommittee’s… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: “I think this is a papering-over of their dismantling of the Navy,” House Armed Services seapower subcommittee chairman Randy Forbes told me this afternoon. “They aren’t having the courage or the straightforwardness or transparency to call it what it is.” Between the Pentagon’s proposed reduction in warships currently in the water and its… Keep reading →

The US hospital ship Mercy gets resupplied at sea.

Quantity has a quality all its own. The Navy announced this afternoon that it has changed the arcane rules by which it counts ships, adding 10 coastal patrol craft, two hospital ships, and a high-speed transport to what it calls the “battle force.” The new rules would also keep 11 cruisers the Navy plans to not-quite-mothball… Keep reading →

HASC Seapower chairman Randy Forbes (R-VA), one of the chief architects of the meeting.

WASHINGTON: Rep. Randy Forbes will, for now, deny that he is positioning himself for the coming battle for chairman of the biggest committee in Congress, House Armed Services, fondly known as the HASC. But Forbes, one of three committee members regularly mentioned as having a good shot at the job, is clearly beginning to position… Keep reading →

fireworks

WASHINGTON: The administration has spent the last 48 hours insisting they would not in good conscience submit a Pentagon budget that kept under current spending caps, that national security simply needs more money. This afternoon, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, said more money almost certainly isn’t coming. (Note:… Keep reading →

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