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December 22, 2014

Posts in "Personnel"

December 19, 2014

Five By Five Friday Q&A: Arnold Punaro, NDIA

bio punaro hires 220x330 Five By Five Friday Q&A: Arnold Punaro, NDIARet. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro is the chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association, as well as CEO of the Punaro Group. He’s also a former long-time Hill staffer.

With Congress wrapping up its work this week, Five By Five spoke with him for the industry perspective on what Congress did this year, what it didn’t do and what it might do next. (The interview is edited slightly for clarity and length.) 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 ($) stories. Full story

December 8, 2014

Arms Control, Human Rights, Afghanistan in the Week Ahead

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Kilmer attends a House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional votes on Defense spending and policy bills are expected this week. Wait! That’s not all! Full story

December 5, 2014

Weekly Recap: SecDef, Defauth, Diamond Dave

There were two obviously major storylines this week: A new Defense secretary is on the way, and the fiscal 2015 defense policy bill hit the streets. There were plenty of other stories elsewhere, too. Full story

Another Look at Ashton Carter

163908991 445x300 Another Look at Ashton Carter

In a 2013 picture while deputy secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter holds letters before talks with South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin at the defence ministry of South Korea in Seoul. (Lee Jae-Won/AFP/Getty Images)

With Ashton Carter set to get the official nod Friday as Defense secretary, it’s worth a second look at his record. Full story

December 2, 2014

Ashton Carter Builds Steam For Defense Secretary Job

dw110519 F 35025 445x336 Ashton Carter Builds Steam For Defense Secretary Job

Carter, as undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, testifies in 2011 before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly)

There’s no White House announcement yet, but signs point to Ashton Carter replacing Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon. is reporting that he might get a nice reception from a key lawmaker. Or, at least, as nice as they get from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3 p.m.

November 25, 2014

Roundup: All Things Chuck Hagel

We’ve written a number of things here at Five By Five about the departure of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Here’s a smattering of key articles from elsewhere.

  • At, Megan Scully weighed potential successors; Paul Hendrie warned of how hard it might be to find someone willing; and I forecasted a confirmation fight that would be as much about administration policy as the person chosen, and some difficulties in getting anyone through an angry GOP Senate.
  • Politico offered a kind of tick-tock, behind-the-scenes of how the decision went down and why.
  • Both Politico and the New York Times wrote that a larger national security team shake-up wasn’t imminent. The Times explained what that means for foreign policy under this administration.
  • Bloomberg posited that Hagel’s departure showed a continued weakening of the Pentagon under President Obama.
  • The Daily Beast also predicted a hard confirmation battle, but made some different points than I did.
  • And Foreign Policy surveyed the landscape at the Pentagon in a post-Hagel world.

November 24, 2014

Who Will Replace Chuck Hagel?

[Update 11:32 p.m.] The blockbuster news about Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel being pushed out by the White House is going to ripple for a long while. One of the ripples has already started with this question: Who’s going to replace him? Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:19 a.m.

November 20, 2014

Which House National Security Committee Leadership Posts Are Settled, Which Aren’t

granger 322 072914 445x276 Which House National Security Committee Leadership Posts Are Settled, Which Arent

Granger speaks with reporters as she leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on July 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

[Updated Thursday, 11:38 a.m., 1:55 p.m.]

Most of the blood to be spilled in national security and foreign policy-related House committee leadership races has now been spilled. Here’s the landscape as a result, with notes in some cases. Full story

November 17, 2014

House National Security Chairmanship Races Underway

tax presser007 041213 445x297 House National Security Chairmanship Races Underway

Devin Nunes, R-Calif., photographed in April, is running for House Intelligence chairman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The search for future leadership of up to three House committees with sway over national security has begun in earnest. Full story

November 14, 2014

Weekly Recap: Syrian Rebel Vetting, Defense Bills, Veterans

The video will make sense shortly. Here are some highlights from the week that was at Five By Five, and in reporting elsewhere. Full story

Poor Suicide Reporting Risks Lives, Defense Department Watchdog Report Finds

Too often, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released online Friday, suicide data on servicemembers is inadequate – and without that data, it’s harder to prevent suicides.

Full story

November 7, 2014

Weekly Recap: Red Senate, Camouflage Ice Cream

ICE CREAM 240x179 Weekly Recap: Red Senate, Camouflage Ice Cream

Photo courtesy of Baskin-Robbins’ Facebook page.

It wasn’t a boring one.

  • Election crazy. We went nuts on election coverage and analysis here at Five By Five this week, from the altered state of the security agenda, to the key committee changes, to the reaction in various security/foreign policy spheres, to the new military experience in both the House and Senate.
  • Other parts of the world. Rachel Oswald (@oswaldrachel) had two dispatches for 5×5 about what U.S. diplomats were saying: the U.S. assistant Secretary of State for African affairs (on Zimbabwe) and the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (on Syria). Oh, and on the subject of Syria…
  • Serious coverage elsewhere. The Washington Examiner offered a contrarian point of view about how much impact the elections would have on national security. Away from the election: The Washington Post wrote about changes afoot with the Defense Clandestine Service. The Navy Times had the peculiar tale of the Navy intel chief being forbidden from viewing classified information.
  • Less serious coverage elsewhere. Navy Seal + dog rappelling into an NFL game = delirious reaction. And how does camouflage ice cream sound to you?

November 6, 2014

In House, (As Many As) 16 New Members With Military Backgrounds

AZPOL14 049 080814 445x377 In House, (As Many As) 16 New Members With Military Backgrounds

Ruben Gallego speaks during a fundraiser at the Pizza People Pub in Phoenix on Aug. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Following up on that tally of new senators with military records: Sixteen House incumbents with military backgrounds will depart as of the next Congress, and a nearly identical number of new House members with military backgrounds are set to replace them. Full story

November 5, 2014

Four* New Senators Have Military Backgrounds

IA POL14 093 080814 445x312 Four* New Senators Have Military Backgrounds

Joni Ernst during a campaign stop at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines Aug. 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For a while now, Congress has been losing military experience amongst its members. In the Senate, at least, there will be more lawmakers with military backgrounds than before Tuesday. Full story

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