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January 28, 2015

Posts in "Budget"

January 28, 2015

Big Pentagon Budget Details Leak

U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington sits at anchor in Busan port on July 11, 2014 in Busan, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

U.S. aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington sits at anchor in Busan port on July 11, 2014 in Busan, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

CQ.com had the scoop on the big picture Pentagon budget proposal figures for fiscal 2016. Now the floodgates are open. Full story

January 26, 2015

Acquisition Overhaul, Benghazi, Bobby Three Sticks in the Week Ahead

Mueller (aka "Bobby Three Sticks); Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and CIA Director Brennan testify at a House Intelligence hearing in 2013. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Mueller (aka “Bobby Three Sticks”); Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and CIA Director Brennan testify at a House Intelligence hearing in 2013. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Busy, busy week. Full story

Weekly Recap: Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia

  • State of the Union. We wrote many, many things about the State of the Union address. One was a more in-depth exploration of the Pentagon’s role in cybersecurity legislation.
  • Yemen. Yemen was thrust into turmoil last week. We warned you early that it would be a big deal for the United States if there was a coup, and brought you a variety of congressional perspectives just before everything fell apart.
  • India. There are some very significant ramifications for the U.S. defense industry to President Obama‘s trip to India; read our interview with the Wilson Center’s Michael Kugelman for what they are.
  • CQ.com. Subscribers got a glimpse into House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry‘s (R-Texas) thinking on ground troops in Syria and minimizing Pentagon budget woes. They also read about foreshadowing for the fight over the House GOP border security plan. And CQ.com had a story on movement for a veterans suicide prevention bill.
  • Elsewhere. The death of Saudi King Abdullah must be mentioned, although it looks like it won’t change much geopolitically. Japan might’ve botched its handling of the Islamic State group kidnapping. Iran sanctions legislation had a rough week. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s trip to the United States in March has gotten awkward.

January 16, 2015

Weekly Recap: Mac Thornberry, Cybersecurity, Butt Bomb

“American Sniper” is getting Oscar love and some scrutiny. Here at Five By Five this week, we scrutinized all the subjects in the headline and more. Let’s review what we wrote about, and what slipped through the cracks. Full story

January 9, 2015

Weekly Recap: F-35, Ashton Carter, Republican Presidential Candidates

It was a week of Batman references, Yoda and ray guns at Five By Five, yet also a week of grown-up things, like the military budget. Full story

New Defense Budget Plans Trickling Out

An Afghan policeman (L) and a U.S. soldier look on at the site of a suicide attack targeting foreign troops on the outskirts of Jalalabad on Jan. 5. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

An Afghan policeman (L) and a U.S. soldier look on at the site of a suicide attack targeting foreign troops on the outskirts of Jalalabad on Jan. 5. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)

We’re on the precipice of getting a new federal government budget proposal from President Barack Obama. Some plans for the Pentagon are already trickling out. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 8:03 a.m.
Budget, War

January 8, 2015

Two Perspectives on the Pentagon’s ‘Yoda,’ Andrew Marshall

A bronze statue of "Star Wars" character Yoda is on display after being unveiled at the new Imagination Park in 2013 in San Anselmo, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A bronze statue of the “Star Wars” character Yoda is on display after being unveiled at the new Imagination Park in 2013 in San Anselmo, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Perhaps you are a big thinker about defense and want to make $183K replacing the outgoing Pentagon “Yoda,” Andrew Marshall. You might want to know whose shoes you’re filling. Full story

Ashton Carter vs. the Defense Budget

My colleague John M. Donnelly has a savvy analysis of the incoming Pentagon chief’s impact on the DOD budget, for CQ.com subscribers. It starts (and the whole thing is very well-backed up with quotes from smart sources):

Here’s a New Year’s prediction: Congress will give Ashton B. Carter, the future Defense secretary, a bigger budget than the law now allows. But Carter won’t be able to subdue the rising costs and other factors that will eat away at the extra money.

The budget boost may even make things worse for Carter and the Pentagon by easing pressure for structural change to control the ever-ballooning prices that reduce the armed services’ buying power over the long term.

Carter, whose confirmation is likely, can expect to move into the Pentagon with two advantages: additional money and support for purchasing reform from the chairmen of both House and Senate armed services committees. Carter’s own procurement expertise will also help.

But working against him are rising personnel, infrastructure and weapons costs, plus Congress’s tendency to add spending the Pentagon doesn’t want and the likelihood that Carter’s tenure will be less than two years.

By Tim Starks Posted at 9:55 a.m.
Budget

January 7, 2015

Navy Official on Needs: Fewer Acquisition Regulations, More Cyber Capabilities

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies above an Indonesian navy helicopter Bell-420 (on the ground) as Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko (unseen) visits during search and transfer operations for bodies of passengers of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun on Jan. 6. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies above an Indonesian navy helicopter Bell-420 (on the ground) as Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko (unseen) visits during search and transfer operations for bodies of passengers of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun on Jan. 6. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

The Navy’s top acquisition and R&D official on Wednesday outlined his needs, which included: no new acquisition regulations from Congress, and, in fact, fewer; more spending on cyber and electronic warfare and offensive surface warfare; and the end of the across-the-board cuts of sequestration (what Defense official doesn’t say that one in every speech?). Full story

December 29, 2014

National Security in the New Year

New Year's Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

New Year’s Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

There are big changes afoot in 2015: a new Congress, a new Pentagon chief, an evolving battlefield. Here’s a look ahead to some of the developments you can expect, as covered here in 2014 by Five By Five. Full story

December 22, 2014

The Best of Five By Five in 2014

A Palestinian man, wearing a Santa Claus costume and waving the national flag, is confronted by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration on Dec. 19 against Israel's controversial separation barrier, in the village of Maasarah, near the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

A Palestinian man, wearing a Santa Claus costume and waving the national flag, is confronted by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration on Dec. 19 against Israel’s controversial separation barrier, in the village of Maasarah, near the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

This holiday season, consider using Five By Five to warm your family instead of a fireplace. Here are the hot hot hot highlights of the CQ Roll Call defense and national security blog since we began back in June. Full story

December 15, 2014

National Security Work Done, and Still Undone, in Congressional Stretch Run

It’s been an exceptionally hectic stretch run for Congress. For such an unproductive 113th session, a great deal has sped up as the finish line nears, likely this week. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened on the national security and foreign policy fronts, and some of what still hasn’t happened, with links to CQ.com ($) stories. Full story

December 12, 2014

Weekly Recap: Torture Report Times Infinity, Laser Cannon, ISIS

It was a bonkers week in the national security world. We had the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Bush administration-era detention and interrogation practices dominating the news to such a degree that the mammoth “cromnibus” spending bill for the Defense Department and other agencies was overshadowed. Even a video of a real life laser cannon – a laser cannon!!!! – couldn’t steal much of the spotlight. Full story

Exclusive: Dollar Amounts and Conditions on Syrian Rebel Funding

Syrian youths take part in their last training on Dec. 8 before being sent to the frontline along with rebel fighters from the Jaysh al-Islam brigades (Army of Islam) in Eastern al-Ghouta, a rebel-held region outside the capital Damascus. (Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian youths take part in their last training on Dec. 8 before being sent to the frontline along with rebel fighters from the Jaysh al-Islam brigades (Army of Islam) in Eastern al-Ghouta, a rebel-held region outside the capital Damascus. (Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images)

John M. Donnelly has a scoop up for CQ.com subscribers about Congress approving $721 million for Syrian rebels in two swoops.

Under a reprogramming request, Donnelly writes, the administration would get $220.5 million for the cause. And the big spending bill referred to as the cromnibus provides $500 million.

A couple passages from his story:

The $220.5 million will be used for training the first two classes of 300 recruits, with an annual goal of 5,400 fighters, according to the Pentagon comptroller’s request…

The $500 million can only be spent if certain conditions are met, the bill says. It cannot be used to supply shoulder-fired missiles, which many lawmakers worry could end up in the hands of insurgents who might use them to shoot down military planes or even civilian passenger jets.

What’s more, the bill says, the Syrian recruits cannot be associated with any of several named militant groups. And, the appropriators wrote, the provision is not “a specific statutory authorization for the introduction of the United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein hostilities are clearly indicated by the circumstances. . . .”

The full story goes into much greater depth about where the money comes from and where it’s going. What’s more, Donnelly has details on what the impact of the funding is likely (or unlikely) to be.

December 9, 2014

Pentagon Contractor, Subsidiaries Hit With $434 Million in Fines

For $48 million worth of fraud on a contract to provide food and water to troops in Afghanistan, Supreme Group B.V. and its subsidiaries are paying $434 million in criminal and civil fines. Full story

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