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Breaking Defense

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John Mchugh

As Russia Rises, Army Is On ‘Ragged Edge’: McHugh

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


AUSA: As John McHugh wraps up seven years as Army Secretary, one of his greatest frustrations is that he’s still making the same basic arguments for why a large land force matters. Even Russian aggression in Ukraine hasn’t shifted the debate. “The thing that is most frustrating for me…if the last 18 to 20 months… Keep reading →

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Give Us Sequester? Bases Will Get Cut: McHugh, Graham

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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 →

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Army To Congress: We Are Fixing Acquisition

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The top question on defense lawmakers’ minds right now is: “Can we trust you with the people’s money?” And no large military organization has a worse record in that respect than the US Army, with its unhappy track record of canceled programs and wasted billions dating to before 9/11. It’s such a sensitive and high-stakes question that, when I started to ask Army… Keep reading →

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490K Soldiers May Not Be Enough: Odierno

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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 →

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Guard Association Says Compromise With Army Possible

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


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 →

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Can Dems, Pro-Defense GOP & Tea Party Come Together At Reagan’s Tomb?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Less than three weeks from today, a four-star-studded convoy of Obama administration appointees will head west to the modern GOP’s most hallowed ground, the Ronald Reagan Library – and burial site – in Simi Valley, Calif. The one-day conference is a rare attempt to build a national consensus on defense both between the parties and,… Keep reading →

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AUSA, Biggest Defense Conference, Thrives Despite Shutdown, Sequester & CR

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED 2:15 pm]WASHINGTON: Between sequestration, shutdown, and the Continuing Resolution, it’s been a brutal year for the federal government, especially the Army. Alongside training, maintenance, and morale, most of the service’s conferences have been hammered: “I’m surprised any of us is here,” Army Secretary John McHugh said this morning in his opening remarks to the… Keep reading →

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Sec Army McHugh Says No Choice But Accept Apache Transmission Swaps; Line Would Have Shut Down

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Secretary of the Army defended today what he admitted was “an unconventional approach” to fielding the service’s cutting-edge AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter, saying the only alternative to the current complex workaround would have been to “shut the line down” for a time. “I will grant the unconventionality of it,” John McHugh said.… Keep reading →

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Army To Congress: If You Can’t Stop Sequester, At Least Slow It Down

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: “Speed kills.” It looks as if the Pentagon may well adopt that old highway-safety slogan as its new strategy to combat the so-called sequester, which will cut $500 billion from the defense budget over the next decade unless the White House and Congress can reach the ever-elusive “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit… Keep reading →

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Shrinking Army, Trying To Handle Everything, Spreads Itself Thin

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


AUSA: What will the Army do after it gets out of Afghanistan? A little of everything, said senior leaders — with equal emphasis on both “little” and “everything.” The Marines talk of returning to their expeditionary, seaborne roots; the Air Force and Navy tout AirSea Battle against dense Iranian or Chinese “anti-access/area denial” defenses; but… Keep reading →

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