The Pentagon’s top generals continue sending mixed messages about the impacts of pending military spending cuts.
The latest instance of the service chiefs’ uneven talking points came during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last Thursday. The chiefs at times said changing the schedule of the cuts would make them mostly manageable. At other times, they warned more cuts will automatically lead to more dead and injured American troops.
The seeming disconnect, however, went unnoticed by members of the so-called oversight committee sitting just a few feet away. More
If you deal with defense spending, you’ve probably had someone tell you that the budgets of the military services are roughly split evenly. Well it’s not true.
Todd Harrison, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, busted that often repeated myth Thursday when presenting his latest report called: “Chaos and Uncertainty: The FY 14 Defense Budget and Beyond.”
“The services have never gotten equal shares of the budget,” Harrison said. “Never! It’s the myth! Never happened!” More
Later today, former Army Capt. William Swenson will head over to the White House where president Obama will drape the Medal of Honor around his neck.
Swenson earned the nation’s highest military honor for actions undertaken during a bloody and controversial 7-hour gunfight between about 60 Taliban fighters and a group of Afghan soldiers and Border Police, who were backed up by a handful of US Army and Marine Corps advisers in the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009.
Five Americans and at least ten Afghan troops were killed, with dozens more wounded. More
The history of fielding, supplying, and repairing the thousands of ground vehicles given to the Afghan Army and Police hasn’t always been a happy one, and as NATO heads for the exits in a little over a year, western forces are scrambling to leave behind as much capacity as possible.
That’s why the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) recently convened a summit at Camp Eggers in Kabul that brought together dozens of Afghan military leaders for what it called an “Afghan-led working group” that pushed the process of working though how the Afghan National Army keeps its wheeled vehicle fleet humming. More
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called sequestration a “doomsday” device. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., once said, before it was triggered, sequestration was a “sword of Damocles” hanging over Washington.
Marine Corps Commandant James Amos said in February its effects would be, for U.S. national security, “ruinous.” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Wednesday additional sequester cuts would bring “insidious” effects. Army Chief Gen. Raymond Odierno called a second round of across-the-board cuts “devastating.”
The rhetoric surrounding sequestration has been one part gloom and one part doom. But one lawmaker found a way to take it to a new level. More
Back in the bloody Iraqi spring of 2006, a group of retired Army and Marine Corps generals including former Central Command chief Gen. Anthony Zinni and several two-star generals who had left the service after commanding troops in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, created a huge stir when they publicly demanded the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Dubbed the “Revolt of the Generals,” the episode sparked furious debate over the long-held tradition of former officers declining to publicly criticize their former civilian bosses—especially during wartime.
This morning, highly respected retired US Army Maj. Gen. Bob Scales wrote a sharp opinion piece in the Washington Post that exposes similar explosive issues within the Pentagon with regard to the possible war with Syria. More
A day after the Washington Post published selected parts of the—until now—secret National Intelligence Program budget summary from fiscal 2013, the Web site Cryptome.org did the paper on better, posting the entire 43 pages from Vol. 1 of the document, as opposed to the 17 pages the Post released.
Aside from the $52 billion top line number that we learned funds the intelligence community, probably the most interesting number in the document is the $4.9 billion earmarked for in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), otherwise known as the money that funds the war in Afghanistan, and operations elsewhere around the globe. More
A day after chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey met with his counterparts from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada at a high-level meeting in Jordan, a top Jordanian spokesman insisted that “Jordan will not be a launching pad for any military action against Syria.”
Speaking on Aug. 28, Mohammad Momani, the country’s information minister said instead that the Jordanian government prefers a “diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis” that has driven over 500,000 Syrian refugees—about half of which are under 18 years old—into the north of his country. More
While there’s little to no chance of US ground forces becoming involved in Syria any time soon, the chemical attack the killed scores of civilians in a Damascus suburb earlier this week has underscored the West’s reluctance to come to grips with the civil war in Syria, in a conflict that has killed as estimated 100,000 people over the past several years.
On Wednesday, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius blustered that “there would have to be a reaction with force from the international community” if there is conclusive proof that the regime of Bashir Assad gassed his own people, adding “but there is no question of sending troops on the ground.” More