Putin and Obama confer

In Washington, and across the globe, many ask if Russian actions represent a new challenge to international order, and, if so, what is the best course of action to respond to it. Defense Secretary Ash Carter cited Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Georgia, and most recently, Syria in his speech at the Reagan Defense Forum… Keep reading →

President Obama vetoes 2016 NDAA

This week Congress should pass the 2016 defense authorization bill –again. It will be virtually identical to the one that President Obama vetoed just weeks ago.  The only change: a $5 billion reduction in costs so it complies with the budget deal reached last week. But passage of the up-dated authorization is no done deal. If Mr.… 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 →

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 →

Fireworks over the US Capitol Dome in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON: The budget deal announced late last night is unmixed good news for the Defense Department, our sources say — for a year, at least, and if it actually passes the ever-more-erratic House of Representatives. “This ‘October Surprise’ is a better deal for defense than I expected,” said one of Washington’s leading budget experts, Todd… Keep reading →

Digital Communications Director

WASHINGTON: The most intriguing assessment of President Obama’s veto yesterday of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act comes from a Republican. While Mackenzie Eaglen, defense expert at the American Enterprise Institute, clearly doesn’t think much of Obama’s move — citing “his intransigence at anything less than is being demanded of him” — she also concludes that he’s… 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

AUSA: If Congress can’t pass proper spending bills for 2016, it will hurt more than 400 Army programs and damage combat readiness, two senior officials said here today. “I have a binder yea-thick of impacts,” Heidi Shyu, the Army’s senior acquisition official, told reporters today, holding her fingers several inches apart. “Over 400 programs are impacted if… Keep reading →

Rep. John Boehner and President Obama

Updated with Loren Thompson & Byron Callan comment WASHINGTON: Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s sudden exit from the House Speaker race raises the chance of a fiscal disaster — but it also raises the odds of a desperate budget deal. Both extremes just got more likely. Ironically, this deepening leadership void elevates the role of Rep. John… 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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