republicans

Hagel resignation handshake

WASHINGTON: Beset by a drubbing at the polls, a wildly troubled world, doubts about his strategic abilities, and after one of the weakest and most troubling nomination hearings in post-World War II history, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is now on his way out the door. The White House clearly shoved Hagel toward the door but President… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry at work.

WASHINGTON: The House Armed Services Committee will be led through the shoals of sequestration, military pay, weapons costs and a volatile world by a reform-minded and dynamic legislator. I’ve covered Rep. Mac Thornberry since before the turn of the century (that hurt) and have always found compelling his willingness to delve beneath the surface of what the… Keep reading →

National Archives photo

REAGAN LIBRARY: Just two months ago, prominent pro-defense Republicans were telling me the best outcome for the military budget would be a GOP-controlled Senate. Now they’ve got it — but before the new Congress is even sworn in, several veteran legislators speaking here Saturday discounted the prospect of it doing anything to scrap the automatic budget cuts… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

CAPITOL HILL: This is a story of ifs. If the GOP wins the Senate. If the GOP wins they still have to woo six Democrats to get important legislation passed. If the Obama administration decides to play hardball after the election. It’s a lot of ifs. But as of now, the New York Times electoral… Keep reading →

Capitol Dome 6080048121_00bf30d50e_b

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 →

Rep. Randy Forbes.

WASHINGTON: This afternoon, a congressionally chartered panel of prestigious defense experts denounced sequestration as “self-defeating” and a “serious strategic misstep” that “Congress and the President should repeal…immediately.” But will it preach to anyone not already in the choir? While bipartisan, the National Defense Panel is most heeded by House Republicans. They see it as a valuable… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The chairman of the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee, Rep. Rob Wittman, is strikingly optimistic about the chances for consummating the so-called grand bargain and ending the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. When I buttonholed him after a Tuesday Defense Writers’ Group breakfast, Wittman went so far as to say that “I think there’s… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

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 →

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 →

An Army M2 Bradley trains at the National Training Center in California in January. Since then, budget cuts have forced the Army to cancel most such exercises.

UPDATE: Odierno Clarifies. It May Be Three Brigades WASHINGTON: The Army has had to cancel so much training that only two of its 42 combat brigades are ready for combat, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Association of the US Army conference here today. It’ll take until June to get a… Keep reading →

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