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Chuck Hagel

Mark Esper, Washington Insider, Will Be Quiet Army Secretary

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Third time’s (hopefully) the charm for the Trump Administration when it comes to candidates for Army Secretary. After the withdrawals of Vincent Viola, a billionaire with no government experience, and Mark Green, a Tennessee politician with a controversial track record, Trump has picked an experienced Washington insider, Mark Esper. Esper probably is unlikely to… Keep reading →

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Carter’s Confirmation Hug: SASC Shows He May Be A Strong SecDef

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Nomination hearings are never just about the nominee. But today’s Senate lovefest for Ash Carter was remarkably dominated by two men who weren’t in the room: President Obama — in whose defense Carter was actually pretty tepid — and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Obama White House has simultaneously “micromanag[ed]” the military and… Keep reading →

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LCS Lives: Hagel Approves Better Armed Upgrade

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: The controversial Littoral Combat Ship dodged a big torpedo today, when outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the Navy’s plan for a larger, better armed and better protected version of the ship. Critics had called for a radical redesign or an entirely new ship. The “modified LCS” simply adds new weapons, electronics, and armor to… Keep reading →

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‘Enormously Energetic’ Carter May Replace A Weary Hagel

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: If confirmed as Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter will be “more energetic” than outgoing Sec. Chuck Hagel, a top Pentagon official said today. The rational and mild-mannered Jamie Morin, the Pentagon’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation (CAPE), of course put it more politely than that in his remarks this afternoon at the… Keep reading →

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DoD To Silicon Valley, VCs: How ‘Bout Some Help!

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON:  For decades the tech gurus of Silicon Valley have pretty much left Pentagon business alone, letting the military stumble along and try to buy their wares within five years of their coming out. Take the story of former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, hungry for an iPad that could handle classified information. Couldn’t be… Keep reading →

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Forbes ‘Incredibly Optimistic’ On NDAA, Sequester — Not SecDef

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


In an era of partisan bitterness and gloom, Rep. Randy Forbes is feeling good. “Maybe I’m just too optimistic,” the chairman of the House subcommittee on seapower told me over the phone on his drive back to Washington last night. But after some positive feedback from GOP leadership, he said, “I’m incredibly optimistic” that Congress… Keep reading →

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Defense Secretary: Does Anyone Want This Job?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is reaping what it sowed. Toss out someone without good cause and few people will want to work for you once word gets around. Former defense policy undersecretary Michele Flournoy ducked out last week. Now Jeh Johnson, head of the Department of Homeland Security and former top lawyer at the Pentagon,… Keep reading →

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Hagel On Way Out; Can White House Listen To Criticism?

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Flournoy Pulls Herself Out Of SecDef Running WASHINGTON: Beset by a drubbing at the polls, a wildly troubled world, doubts about his strategic abilities, and after one of the weakest and most troubling nomination hearings in post-World War II history, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is now on his way out the door. The White House… Keep reading →

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Hagel Lists Key Technologies For US Military; Launches ‘Offset Strategy’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDDATED with Hagel memo & expert comment] REAGAN LIBRARY: After months of build-up, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel formally launched the military’s quest for a combination of new technologies to maintain America’s military supremacy over the next 20 years in the face of Russian and Chinese challenges. In a speech before the second Reagan National Defense Forum here, Hagel divulged… Keep reading →

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Nuclear Woes Drive $7.5B Increase; DepSecDef Work Takes On Nuke Oversight

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: It isn’t official but Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work hinted today that the United States will undertake a fundamental reordering of its national security budget by paying for new nuclear submarines, new nuclear bombers and new ICBMs in new accounts set aside just for them. “This is something we have discussed in the department,” Work… Keep reading →

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