sequestration

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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 →

Heidi Shyu

AUSA: The Honorable Shyu, as everyone in the military calls the head of Army acquisition, is often bright, humorous and insightful. Today, she got passionate in public, clearly frustrated at the painful limits that the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have forced her to adopt. American military power has traditionally rested on technological overmatch. We… Keep reading →

Gen. Daniel Allyn, Army Vice-Chief of Staff

AUSA: Expanding on Chief of Staff Ray Odierno’s concerns, the Army’s new Vice-Chief of Staff detailed how “fragile” the service’s readiness is in the face of a 2016 sequester. “We’re in a much better place than we were… a year ago,” said Gen. Daniel Allyn, who until August headed the Army’s main readiness outfit, Forces… Keep reading →

Army Sec. John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno testify before Congress.

AUSA: 490,000 Army soldiers may not be enough to cope with an increasingly unstable world. Two years ago — before the rise of the Islamic State, before Russia’s stealth invasion of Ukraine, before Ebola erupted in Africa – Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno testified that an army of 490,000 active-duty troops, 350,000 Guard soldiers, and… Keep reading →

AUSA attendance 2001-2013

AUSA HEADQUARTERS: It is time for the tribes to gather. Monday is the opening of the Association of the US Army’s modestly named Annual Meeting. With roughly 30,000 people likely to attend over three days, it is the largest defense conference of the year despite a post-Iraq decline. This mega-event is also a microcosm of… Keep reading →

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After years of Republican Party retreat on the need for a strong defense the tide is shifting again. From senior party leaders like Mitt Romney to prospective presidential candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio to grass roots influencers like radio host Hugh Hewitt, conservative columnist Robert Samuelson and the editors at National Review, a consensus is reemerging. This… Keep reading →

Adm Locklear @ Pentagon 140729-D-ZZ999-612

PENTAGON: Even as the latest Mideast war sucks in more US attention and resources — as well as wannabe jihadis from around the world — the outgoing chief of Pacific Command emphasized the much-derided “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” is still going strong. Despite sequestration budget cuts the US is still strong enough to handle both theaters at… Keep reading →

Gen. Mike Hostage at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013.

“Our industrial base has eroded and we’re reducing our military down to a skeletal size at a time when the world is looking crazier by the day,” Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “[But] there is nothing happening right now that is going to make sequestration go away, so… 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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[UPDATED with Hagel, Shaffer comments] NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The four armed services only submitted their draft 2016 budgets to the Office of the Secretary of Defense “basically yesterday,” Undersecretary Frank Kendall said this morning — and he’s already “concerned.” As the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Kendall sees worrying signs. With the automatic budget cuts known as… Keep reading →

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