August 24, 2011 |
China's military is closing technical gaps that long have given the United States and its allies a military edge in Asia, although several ambitious new weapons systems and platforms appear years from completion, according to a new Pentagon assessment. China is developing a new stealth fighter, recently conducted sea trials on its first aircraft carrier and carried out a record number of satellite and other space launches in the last year, the report notes. It says China appears on track to achieve its goal of building a modern, regionally focused military by 2020.
August 4, 2011 |
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Thursday that deeper cuts in the defense budget risked hollowing out the military and would hamper Pentagon efforts to deal with rising powers such as China, North Korea and Iran. It was the second day in a row that Panetta issued a public warning to Congress not to go beyond the roughly $400 billion in defense cuts required over the next decade under the debt reduction bill signed this week by President Obama. Speaking to reporters at his first Pentagon news conference, Panetta called on Congress to raise tax revenue and cut mandatory spending programs, which include Medicare and Social Security, rather than slash defense further.
August 2, 2011 |
On July 25, while John A. Boehner raced around the Capitol desperately pressing Republican House members for votes on a debt ceiling bill that Harry M. Reid was calling dead-on-arrival in the Senate, the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan C. Crocker, took his oath of office in distant Kabul. According to news reports, he then gave a short speech warning that Western powers should not "rush for the exits" in withdrawing from the war. In Afghanistan today, after almost a decade of U.S.-led war, there is no sign of a rush for the exits.
July 12, 2011 |
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta carried an unmistakable message on his first overseas trip since taking office this month: One way or another, the two wars that have consumed the Pentagon for much of the last decade are nearing an end. Panetta declared after departing Washington on Friday that Al Qaeda appeared on the verge of defeat. In Afghanistan, he stressed that the U.S. military must transfer security responsibility to the Afghan army. And in Iraq he emphasized that most, if not all, U.S. troops would pull out by year's end. In tone and substance, it was a noticeable shift from his predecessor, Robert M. Gates.
December 3, 2010 |
President Obama's deficit reduction commission fell a few votes shy of the number needed to send its proposal to Capitol Hill for action, but still received enough bipartisan support to raise hopes that political leaders are girding to tackle the nation's gargantuan debt. The commission's final report, with the cinematic title, "The Moment of Truth," won the backing of 11 out of 18 members ? three short of the supermajority required under the executive order that Obama signed in February when he created the panel.
August 14, 2010 |
A Pentagon plan to reduce spending on civilian contractors could free up more than $10 billion in the next four years, according to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who wants the savings to be spent on new ships, fighters and other weapons systems rather than on reducing the federal budget deficit. The internal Pentagon savings estimate, disclosed by Gates in an interview, represents a small slice of the overall defense budget, but it is a big part of his effort to find savings and to stave off calls in Congress for deep cuts in military spending to reduce the deficit.
August 3, 2010 |
Citing a shrinking Pentagon budget, Boeing Co. said Monday that it was relocating two key defense programs from Long Beach, where it employs 800 people, to Oklahoma City. Beginning next year, the Chicago company said it would move its C-130 military cargo avionics and its B-1 bomber modernization programs. The relocation is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year and be completed by the end of 2012. The move would deal another blow to the California economy, where unemployment stands at 12.3%.
May 9, 2010 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Saturday that he wanted to sharply cut the military bureaucracy and rein in expenditures on armed forces healthcare and departmental overhead as part of an effort to tame runaway Pentagon spending. Speaking at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library here, Gates presented a roadmap for what might be his last months in office and his final major Pentagon reform push. Gates said his priority was to flatten a hierarchical military command structure and eliminate military offices and agencies that have little direct role in fighting the nation's wars.
February 2, 2010 |
U.S. Defense officials outlined plans to double production of unmanned aircraft, part of an expanded 2011 budget unveiled Monday that emphasizes the importance of international hot spots and natural disasters as well as large-scale warfare, as provided under a new strategy document. The budget, which will grow 7.1% to $708 billion in 2011, is in step with calls by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in recent years to focus on current U.S. wars, invest in needed technology and jettison expendable or costly equipment programs.
July 31, 2009 |
The Democratic-controlled House went along with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' plans to kill the over-budget F-22 fighter jet but has rejected his efforts to cut off several other big-ticket items.