June 11, 2008 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says he is working to prepare the Pentagon for the first wartime presidential transition since Vietnam and has asked civilian officials to be prepared to stay on at the request of the next president. Gates, who has served in seven presidential administrations, said transitions had become slower over 25 years, with more and more senior civilian positions remaining vacant for long periods.
March 7, 2008 |
Google Inc. found itself at the center of a national security controversy Thursday. The Pentagon banned the Internet giant's digital-mapping vehicles from all military installations after detailed photographs of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio appeared on Google Maps. The Street View feature allows users to zoom in on 360-degree, ground-level views of neighborhoods, landmarks and other places that Google photographs from vehicles with roof-mounted cameras. A message sent to all Defense Department bases and installations late last week warned officials not to allow Google vehicles access.
March 5, 2008 |
Boeing Co. demanded immediate answers Tuesday on why it lost a $35-billion contract for refueling tankers to Northrop Grumman Corp. and its European partner EADS, as Boeing backers in Congress threatened to hold up funding for the deal. Pentagon acquisition chief John Young defended the contract award, saying that the Defense Department followed procedures carefully and that there was no obvious reason for the loser to protest the decision. But he said that he had urged the Air Force to brief Boeing "as soon as possible," possibly on Thursday, and that there was no reason for an extended delay.
February 29, 2008 |
Taking note of the debate over the Iraq war in the presidential race, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Pentagon officials in a town hall meeting Thursday that the military must be prepared to change policy and carry out the wishes of the next president. But at a news conference afterward, Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen cautioned against policies that include a rapid withdrawal from Iraq, saying leaving too quickly would undermine recent security gains.
December 9, 2007 |
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates defended Israel's purported nuclear arms program at a gathering of Middle East leaders in Manama, Bahrain. Asked whether he thought the program posed a threat to the region, Gates said, "No, I do not." The statement was greeted by laughter from a room filled with government officials from Middle Eastern countries. Israel is widely assumed to have the region's only atomic arsenal, but has never confirmed it.
November 21, 2007 |
An increasingly bitter dispute between the Bush administration and Congress over war funding took an acrimonious turn Tuesday as Pentagon officials advanced plans to lay off 200,000 civilians because of budget shortfalls, prompting Democratic charges of fear-mongering. President Bush requested $196 billion for war funding in 2008, which would make it the most expensive year to date. House Democrats last week countered with a bill providing partial funding tied to troop withdrawal goals.