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  • Department of Defense

    In the Midst of the Syria Crisis, the Military Is Not "Ready for Anything"

    The headline above a September 13 article in Politico blares that the Department of Defense is stating that the U.S. military is “ready for anything.” This statement comes in the context of the conflict in Syria while sequestration is almost complete for fiscal year 2013, and the leadership of the … More

    Why Finding Waste in the Pentagon Matters

    Can the Pentagon be downsized? Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has selected former Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to oversee a Pentagon downsizing effort to cut 20 percent of the Office of the Secretary of Defense headquarters staff over the next five years. There are undoubtedly areas of waste in the … More

    Armed Services Struggle Under Cuts: Defense Review Doesn’t Provide Solutions

    The recent Strategic Choices Management Review (SCMR) issued by the Department of Defense makes some alarming predictions about future readiness, such as the possibility of the U.S. Army losing 70,000 to 100,000 active-duty soldiers under sequestration. This indicates a set of 15–20 percent reductions on top of previously projected cuts … More

    Defense Department's Strategic Review Will Leave the Nation Less Safe

    “The entire sequester, hitting defense and non-defense, was bad policy when lawmakers passed it, it was bad policy when they let it begin, and it remains bad policy,” the Washington Post correctly points out in its recent editorial. Sequestration includes a $500 billion cut to the Pentagon’s budget between now … More

    Afghanistan: Withholding Helicopter Training Undermines U.S. Mission

    A lot of American blood has been spilt and a lot of treasure has been spent since 2001 to ensure that Afghanistan won’t once again become a base from which terrorist organizations can strike globally. Worryingly, a key part of the U.S. and NATO strategy there—building the capabilities of the … More

    'Tis the Season: Sequester Furloughs Start

    Yesterday marked the beginning of sequestration’s furlough period. Most of the Department of Defense’s roughly 800,000 civilian workers will go without pay for about one day a week every week until September 30. These furloughs do not address the Pentagon’s long-term fiscal challenge. The furloughs are a result of the … More

    The White House’s Dangerous New Nuclear Weapons Strategy

    Last week, President Barack Obama announced his next initiative on nuclear weapons reductions, calling on Russia and the U.S. to reduce actively deployed nuclear warheads by one-third from 1,550 to around a 1,000. The White House also released a Fact Sheet on the new U.S. nuclear weapons employment strategy. The … More

    A Hidden Cost: Failure to Reflect the True Cost of Operations Would Damage Readiness

    Among the amendments cleared for action during House consideration the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2014 is an amendment sponsored by Representative Chris Van Hollen (D–MD). It would reducing the funding level for overseas contingency operations (OCO), primarily for ongoing operations in Afghanistan, to the level in … More

    Burma: Drawing the Line on Military Relations

    Late last night, the House Armed Services Committee drew a line on American military relations with Burma. The committee passed an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act offered by Representative Trent Franks (R–AZ) expressing the sense of Congress that “the Department of Defense should fully consider and assess … More

    Military: Furloughs Won’t Solve Long-Term Concerns

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced that the 800,000 civilian Department of Defense (DOD) employees scheduled for furloughs will take only 11 days without pay. This amounts to half the originally planned furlough of 22 days for civilians in the DOD. While this reduction may keep the DOD operating … More