sequestration

Observer, Mentor, Liaison Team members, Maj. Jim Hickman and Latvian army Maj. Juris Abolins, patrols through the village of Nishagam, in Konar province, Afghanistan alongside members of the Afghan national army, March 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Moeller) http://www.nationalguard.mil/news/archives/2009/03/033009-Afghanistan.aspx

After more than two months of escalating conflict, the powerful National Guard Association of the US downshifted today and took a markedly more conciliatory tone towards the Army leaders it had been savaging just last week. As Army Sec. John McHugh and Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno testified before the House Armed Services Committee,… Keep reading →

A US soldier sits on the top of M109A6 P

Sometimes dark clouds really do have silver linings. The winding down of two wars and the automatic spending cuts called sequestration have been brutal for the Army budget. The service recently had to cancel its top-priority weapons program, the tank-like Ground Combat Vehicle. But even if sequestration continues, said one leading analyst, ground vehicle spending… Keep reading →

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

After two weeks of covering the 2015 defense budget, I can assure you it is confusing. Every budget includes fudges, silliness and an enormous amount of information. They are hard to make sense of and often their import doesn’t become clear for a year or two. But this budget may be the most complex one… 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 →

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PENTAGON: “Sydney, I don’t know how to squeeze it much thinner than we have,” the Chief of Naval Operations said. Adm. Jonathan Greenert was talking about the aircraft carrier fleet, but he could have meant almost any aspect of the Navy’s 2015 budget . “It’s a confusing budget,” the admiral admitted within minutes of sitting… Keep reading →

Christine Wormuth, nominated to be the Pentagon's top policy official.

WASHINGTON: “Being a global leader does not come cheap.” “At a certain point, we’re going to have to ask ourselves what kind of nation we want to be and what role we want to play,”  Christine Wormuth, soon to be the Pentagon’s top policy official, said this afternoon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.… Keep reading →

Military Leaders Testify On Future Of U.S. Armed Services

CAPITOL HILL: Despair, distrust, and sequestration dominated yesterday’s House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Pentagon’s 2015 budget request. Almost everyone on HASC hates the automatic budget cuts, and the president has proposed a way to bypass them, but comments from committee leaders and backbenchers alike showed how political gridlock makes any solution look far… Keep reading →

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Even if Congress somehow rolls back sequestration, the Navy’s fiscal situation will be uncomfortably tight, like trying to steer a battleship through the Panama Canal. Under the president’s five-year budget plan — which assumes sequester away — the “real buying power” for the Navy and the Marine Corps declines after fiscal year 2016, the Navy… Keep reading →

Operation Iraqi Freedom

UPDATED 2:00 pm Tuesday with detailed 2015 budget figures WASHINGTON: The 2015 budget effectively kills the Army’s top priority weapons program, the 60-plus-ton Ground Combat Vehicle — as we’ve been predicting since November — but GCV did not die in vain, the Army’s acquisition chief insists. “We sacrificed the GCV” to save programs upgrading electronics… 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 →

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