Politics

Why Is Rumsfeld Peddling Nuts?

We circle the globe trying to keep our readers informed on meaty trends in national-security circles. But time for a between-meal snack! It seems former defense secretary Don Rumsfeld has become the cover boy for a spicy nibble …

Super Committee Failure Hits Military Hard

Politicians can shrug off the congressional Super Committee’s failure to agree on meaningful deficit reduction. To them, it’s just another budget gimmick that didn’t pan out. But for the U.S. military, the Super Committee …

The Return of the Keening Violins

The Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee have rolled out another video predicting doom for the nation if defense spending is cut back to 2007 levels (check out the prequel). And, under the sequestration provisions contained in the super-committee legislation, the cuts would pretty much have to be across the board, which …

Gingrich on Defense Cuts: Calling His Bluffton

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, speaking Tuesday in Bluffton, S.C., called the impending budget cuts to be levied on the Pentagon under sequestration – paring back military spending to 2007 levels — “destructive” and “very dangerous to the survival of the country.”

The rhetoric on this topic bedevils chances …

Wednesday Night’s GOP National-Security Debate (Cliffs Notes Version)

Wednesday night’s CNN Republican debate with its eight contenders and sound-bite responses was akin to a World Wrestling Entertainment bout. Bottom line: President Obama is a failure and President Reagan was tops.

Yet you can glean a fair amount about the candidates via some of their sound-bites. So here’s a stripped-down …

Sequestration. So Far…

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’s failure to come up with a dime – never mind $1.2 trillion – in deficit reduction over the coming decade has set the stage for both tragedy – if you’re a defense secretary given to supersonic flights of rhetoric – and farce, if you’re an American taxpayer.

That failure …

War (un)Planning

You can always tell the rookie Pentagon reporter. He, or she, is the one who whispers: “They told me they’re planning for war with Iran!” That’s when the vets around the building have to say: “They’ve been doing that for decades. Somewhere along these 17 miles of corridors, they have plans for everything.”

At least until last …

Missile Defense: The Sky Continues To Fall…

Many mornings you can hear Boeing boasting over the Washington airwaves about how its ground-based missile system is protecting the United States. From what? There is no nation primed to attack the U.S. with I.C.B.M.s — or even close to it — in any military significant way. Yet we’re spending billions of dollars annually against …

Who is at War?

I arrived in Afghanistan about nine years ago, in the first week of November 2002. It took a couple days to get there. We left Fort Benning and drove to Atlanta. From there we flew commercial to Baltimore and had a seven-hour layover. My wife drove up to the airport and we spent the day together before she dropped me off to catch a …

An Army Apart: The Widening Military-Civilian Gap

The U.S. military and American society are drifting apart. It’s tough inside the civilian world to discern the drift. But troops in all the military services sense it, smell it — and talk about it. So do their superiors. We have a professional military of volunteers that has been stoically at war for more than a decade. But as the …

Is This Fair? Or a Cheap Shot (Across the Bow)?

Despite our best efforts, we keep hearing that we’re a year out from the next presidential election. Not sure if that means it’s time to start paying attention, but we’ll be citing some of what the candidates say about defense in the coming months. Last week, GOP candidate Mitt Romney went after the Navy:

Let me give you an

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