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Budget Deal Shows Obama Hypocrisy On NDAA Veto

Posted by Justin Johnson on


This week Congress should pass the 2016 defense authorization bill –again. It will be virtually identical to the one that President Obama vetoed just weeks ago.  The only change: a $5 billion reduction in costs so it complies with the budget deal reached last week. But passage of the up-dated authorization is no done deal. If Mr.… Keep reading →

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Hey Pentagon, Don’t Stop Reforming Now

Posted by Justin Johnson on


Defense reform has gotten a lot of attention around Washington—from members of Congress and senior Pentagon leaders as well as the usual policy mavens and influencers. Lately, though, whispers wafting from the Pentagon have suggested that perhaps defense reform has peaked, that Congress won’t support meaningful reform. Bushwah! Defense reform is far from dead in… Keep reading →

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The Hare And The Tortoise: Slowing The Growth in Military Pay, Benefits

Posted by Robert Hale on


Robert Hale, former budget god (comptroller) at the Pentagon, is good with numbers, especially defense budget numbers. And he speaks about them in clear, simply structured and well expressed English. Here he tackles one of the two or three thorniest issues facing the leadership of the US military: how to rein in the enormous growth… Keep reading →

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Congress Must Scrap Generous DoD Benefits For Future Forces: Rep. Hunter

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Career soldiers can retire at 42, get a great deal on Tricare health insurance, take home a pension, and get paid a good private-sector salary on top of that. That can’t continue to be the norm for the military and Congress must create a two-tier pay system, says Rep. Duncan Hunter, Marine Corps reservist… Keep reading →

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Hagel, Dempsey Beg Appropriators For Sequestration Wiggle Room

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Even amidst the furor over sexual assault and NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the budget cuts known as the sequester dominated this morning’s discussion before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Testifying before SAC’s subcommittee on defense, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey both pleaded for, in Hagel’s words, “time and flexibility.” The… Keep reading →

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HASC Rejects Base Closure, F-35 Restrictions During NDAA Markup

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[updated with final results] CAPITOL HILL: Bipartisan majorities in the House Armed Services Committee have steamrollered proposals to slow down the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and to permit the Pentagon to plan for base closures, but reformers at least made a respectable run at the windmill during markup of fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization… Keep reading →

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BRAC Is Back & Sequester’s Here To Stay: Understanding Hagel & HASC

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Congress seems increasingly resigned to sequestration cuts and base closures, ideas which once met fierce rejection on Capitol Hill. That’s the counterintuitive takeaway from Chuck Hagel’s first hearing as Defense Secretary on the 2014 budget request, one largely overtaken by events. The weary notes that legislators struck on the budget probably had something to… Keep reading →

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Sec. Chuck Hagel Lays Groundwork For Cooperation With China, Reducing Military Pay & Benefits Growth

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: In his first major address as Secretary of Defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel paid homage to the usual pieties — but he also, very cautiously, laid the groundwork for two unpopular policies: seeking greater cooperation with China, including controversial “mil-to-mil” exchanges of military officers; and controlling the costs of pay and benefits for military… Keep reading →

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Cut Defense Spending? Good Idea – But Sequestration’s Not The Way

Posted by Pete Hegseth on


Pete Hegseth, an Army National Guard infantry officer who has served tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, is a member of Concerned Veterans for America. Is it time for major cuts in U.S. defense spending? According to at least one recent poll, a staggering 76 percent of Americans surveyed believe the answer is “yes.”… Keep reading →

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Ex-DUSD Flournoy & Ex-Comptroller Zakheim Debate Budget, US Role In World

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The United States is still the world’s indispensable nation and we’ll probably avoid sequestration, albeit by the skin of our teeth. That’s the modestly reassuring message from the unlikely duo of Michèle Flournoy, who recently left her job as under secretary of defense for policy, and Dov Zakheim, Pentagon comptroller under George W. Bush.… Keep reading →

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