sequestration

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This week, the Republican Congress is expected to unveil its fiscal year 2016 budget resolution just as House defense authorizers start marking up their annual bill. What will that mean for the US military? Bottom line, the Pentagon should realistically expect no more than $569 billion from Congress in the final, enacted 2016 budget between base… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry at work.

CAPITOL HILL: House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry is hurtling cautiously ahead on the annual defense policy bill. He’s hurtling, because this week’s subcommittee mark-ups of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act are the earliest HASC has starting marking the bill in living memory. But he’s also characteristically cautious, promising little in public and consulting… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration will literally hit Congress where it lives. If implemented, Army officials and a key senator said this morning, the Budget Control Act spending caps will require cutbacks or outright closures at bases across the country. “At the end of the day, as much as we all love our bases, we’ve going to have… Keep reading →

The Navy's new EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft during sea trials.

CAPITOL HILL: Pentagon leaders are pushing hard to keep up the momentum of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Many in the Navy, though, still look longingly back at the Boeing-built F-18 Hornet, whose St. Louis production line faces closure in 2017. There are two independent trends that together could save the St. Louis line and the Navy’s favorite plane. The first… Keep reading →

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 →

Amphibious operation  Exercise Cobra Gold 97

WASHINGTON: The conservative Heritage Foundation has published an ambitious Index of Military Strength, which — not surprisingly — finds that the United States military is not beefy enough to manage the many threats it faces around the world. The core finding of the well-written analysis is that the US military could handle two major theater wars… 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 →

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Bob Hale regularly demonstrated his better qualities during testimony before Congress, delivering highly complex facts and judgments about the Defense Department’s spending and budgets to the public with a knowing humor delivered with the sort of gravelly voice you’d expect from one of those old country lawyers.  Hale served as DoD comptroller from 2009 to 2014, and, before… Keep reading →

Dyson LTG Karen Army budget IMG_1870

ARLINGTON: No one knows what the 2016 budget is really going to be. In fact, no one can even plan properly for what it might be, the highest-ranking budgeteer in Army uniform made clear this morning. The uncertainty is coming at the Pentagon from two sides at the same time. On the demand side, there’s… Keep reading →

Airmen provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance

PENTAGON: We won’t know much about it, but protecting America’s military satellites and the data they gather and share is a key target of the 2016 service budget. Several senior Pentagon budget wallahs declined in the top-level budget briefings today to answer specific questions about the spending levels of what is known as Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and… Keep reading →

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