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2014 budget

Gen. Grass: Budget Deal Gives Guard, Army Time To Compromise

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


As budgets tighten, will the National Guard and the regular Army go to war? Not if Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, can help it. Peppered with questions about the conflict today at the National Press Club, Grass carefully redirected almost every one. In fact, he said, December’s last-ditch budget deal to delay… Keep reading →

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Pacific Pivot vs. Mideast Crisis: Army Reinforces Korea As Iraq Burns

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Two years ago, the Obama administration announced its “Pacific Pivot” (hastily renamed a “rebalance”), but crises keep yanking US attention back from a rising China to the unstable cradle of civilization (as we predicted at the time): Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic, Syria disintegrated into an increasingly sectarian… Keep reading →

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The Army’s Mission For 2014: Holding Its Ground

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Yesterday’s Senate passage of the budget deal took $20 billion worth of pressure off the Pentagon. But for the Army the deal just dials the pain back down from “agonizing” to “acute.” The largest service has more to lose in the post-war drawdown (which happens to have begun before the war is actually over). In… Keep reading →

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Congress Better ‘Step Up’ On Sequestration: AIA Chief Marion Blakey

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Just hours before the Senate is set to vote on the last-ditch budget deal, the head of the powerful Aerospace Industries Association complimented Congress for coming to its senses – but, said Marion Blakey, this had better be just the beginning. “I personally do not believe the American public likes to have the wool pulled… Keep reading →

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Guam Not Ready For 5,000 More Marines: GAO

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Guam is America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier in the South Pacific, the fulcrum of the fabled Pacific “pivot.” It’s also kind of a mess. With a GDP per capita less than a third the US average, an earthquake-damaged harbor, geriatric generators that black out the entire island roughly twice a year, drinking water periodically contaminated with… Keep reading →

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Congress Targets Littoral Combat Ship Survivability In NDAA

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Buried amidst the hundreds of pages of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2014 is an unusually sharp rebuke to a high-profile program, the Navy’s controversial Littoral Combat Ship. The defense policy bill has yet to pass the Senate, but assuming the current language stands – and there’s tremendous political pressure not to mess… Keep reading →

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Strategy, Not Just Sequester, Drives A-10 Cut: Air Force Chief Gen. Welsh

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Budget cuts won’t make the Air Force give up any of its current missions, the service’s Chief of Staff promised today. But, Gen. Mark Welsh acknowledged, the cuts will force it to do those missions with different and perhaps not optimal aircraft. Yes, the famous A-10 “Warthog” is “the best at close air support” –… Keep reading →

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Budget Deal Proves That Congress CAN Take On Military Pay & Benefits Costs

Posted by Russell Rumbaugh on


As bitter as the budget battle has become, there’s no topic more toxic than pay and benefits for military personnel. Pentagon budgeteers and the top brass warn that increasing compensation costs, especially for health care, are growing at an unsustainable pace that threatens every other priority from weapons procurement to combat training. But personnel advocates… Keep reading →

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Rep. Forbes: Make China Bleed $$$; Budget Deal Stops ‘Hemorrhaging’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Why don’t we make the bad guys bleed money for a change? That’s the strategic insight that helped us win the Cold War, and it seems especially timely today as the nation wobbles back – we hope – from the brink of yet another budget crisis. Delayed by vote calls and overshadowed by the… Keep reading →

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Budget Deal: Does the Pentagon Really Need An Extra $20 Billion?

Posted by William D. Hartung on


Much of official Washington likes the budget deal struck this week by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan, chairs of the two chambers budget committees. No more stupid and debilitating showdowns. No more federal shutdowns. Perhaps Congress can actually do what it is expected to do and pass some spending bills. At least we… Keep reading →

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