Rep. Randy Forbes

Rep. Mac Thornberry HASC chair

CAPITOL HILL: Tensions within the GOP over the mandatory budget caps set by the Budget Control Act burst into the open today. The chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee repeatedly warned colleagues and the leaders of the Air Force this morning that they had no choice and must live within the Budget Control Act’s spending limits. Then,… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

CAPITOL HILL: It’s a problem the US Navy wants to have, but it’s still a problem. If the service gets enough money both to build its top priority, the Ohio Replacement Program nuclear missile submarine, and to keep producing its vaunted Virginia-class attack subs, then so much new work will be hitting the shipyards so rapidly that they’ll be… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The Republican congressman who oversees the Navy actually likes Barack Obama’s 2016 defense budget — except for one small thing: It isn’t really a budget. “It would be almost a misnomer to call this a budget. It’s [just] numbers,” Rep. Randy Forbes told me this morning, in advance of tomorrow’s budget hearing. “If you… Keep reading →

US Army photo

CAPITOL HILL: Where do ground forces fit in the Pentagon’s new offset strategy? The answer may be an intriguing mix of old-fashioned armored forces, mobile missile launchers, and lasers on trucks. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s remarks formally launching “offset” were frustratingly vague, we’ve heard plenty from other officials and outside thinkers about how the… Keep reading →

UCLASS General Atomics

PENTAGON:  For decades the tech gurus of Silicon Valley have pretty much left Pentagon business alone, letting the military stumble along and try to buy their wares within five years of their coming out. Take the story of former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, hungry for an iPad that could handle classified information. Couldn’t be… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

In an era of partisan bitterness and gloom, Rep. Randy Forbes is feeling good. “Maybe I’m just too optimistic,” the chairman of the House subcommittee on seapower told me over the phone on his drive back to Washington last night. But after some positive feedback from GOP leadership, he said, “I’m incredibly optimistic” that Congress… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: Someone shoots a cruise missile at you. How far away would you like to stop it: over 200 miles out or less than 35? If you answered “over 200,” congratulations, you’re thinking like the US Navy, which has spent billions of dollars over decades to develop ever more sophisticated anti-missile defenses. According to Bryan… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Congressional comment] Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reassured the Army today that its role is not “eroding” or “diminishing,” despite shrinking budgets, the rebalance to the watery Pacific theater, and the Obama administration’s commitment to “no boots on the ground” against self-proclaimed Islamic State. Instead, echoing comments by the Army’s own leaders, Hagel said… Keep reading →

An Air Force test of anti-small-boat weapon.

WASHINGTON: China has an arsenal of long-range ship-killing missiles, based on land but able to hit US warships hundreds of miles offshore. Now the chairman of the House seapower subcommittee suggests we give them a taste of their own “anti-access/area denial” medicine. Why shouldn’t the US Army develop its own land-based anti-ship missile force? Rep.… Keep reading →

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Despite concurrent crises in Ukraine and Iraq, defense issues will hardly decide the November elections — but the outcome of those elections will prove decisive for defense. The top candidates for the chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee both told me that they have their fingers crossed for a GOP takeover of the Senate… Keep reading →

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