Rep. Randy Forbes

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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 →

(FILES) This file photo taken on Septemb

WASHINGTON: The Navy’s in a carrier crunch. US commanders around the world keep asking for carriers to cover trouble spots from Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan to the Western Pacific and the South China Sea, but the Navy doesn’t have enough to go around. And they may well lose another. In recent years, amazingly, the Navy has managed to increase the number of aircraft… Keep reading →

Rep. Buck McKeon HASC chair in office

WASHINGTON: It’s finally official: after three years leading Congress’ largest committee and 22 years in Congress, Rep. Buck McKeon of California has announced he is heading for the door. McKeon, whose departure has been rumored (and denied or deflected by his spokesmen) for more than a year, has been a reliable supporter of the defense… Keep reading →

Falcon Hypersonic

CAPITOL HILL: Sometimes it can seem as if one lives on several different planets at the same time while living here in Washington. This afternoon saw three top GOP lawmakers decrying China after it apparently tested (we don’t know if the test was successful) a hypersonic vehicle. This evening, the Navy announced it is beefing… Keep reading →

csba-range-slide-china

WASHINGTON: Why don’t we make the bad guys bleed money for a change? That’s the strategic insight that helped us win the Cold War, and it seems especially timely today as the nation wobbles back – we hope – from the brink of yet another budget crisis. Delayed by vote calls and overshadowed by the… Keep reading →

The US Capitol seen from the Newseum this morning during a US Naval Institute conference.

THE NEWSEUM: In a glass-walled conference center overlooking the snow-shrouded US Capitol, three legislators expressed guarded optimism that Congress could reach a modest budget deal. [UPDATED: The chairs of the House and Senate budget committees announced a plan late Tuesday night, but it has yet to pass into law]. That’s the good news. The bad news… Keep reading →

A Navy F-35C and the plane it will replace, the F/A-18E Super Hornet, sit together on a runway.

WASHINGTON: The Boeing Super Hornet might have a new best friend in Congress. A year after the Saint Louis-built fighter jet’s biggest backer in Congress, then-Rep. Todd Akin, went down in electoral flames because of controversial remarks about “legitimate rape,” the influential chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on Seapower, Rep. Randy Forbes, has… Keep reading →

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