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February 12, 2016

Defense Globalization, Acquisition, Nominations in the Week Ahead

Congress is back in town after the July Fourth holiday, and not entirely coincidentally there’s a great deal of Afghanistan on the schedule this week, from nominations to hearings to events off the Hill.

Late Monday afternoon, the New America Foundation hosts, among others, Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California and Alan Grayson of Florida — two very active critics of National Security Agency programs revealed by Edward Snowden — for a discussion of same. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at the Atlantic Council late Monday afternoon as well, in advance of a meeting Tuesday with President Barack Obama.

Behind closed doors, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin E. Dempsey brief the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday on Iraq and Afghanistan. Later in the day, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.N. Zalmay Khalilzad and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia David Sedney talk about the future of Afghanistan. Also Tuesday, former Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III, now CEO of Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies, Inc., visits the Atlantic Council for a discussion on the globalization of the defense industry.

The Institute for e-Health Policy on Wednesday hosts an event entitled “Rapid Technology Advances in Military Medicine and Veterans Health Care: Research and Development Meets Fielded Care,” featuring Terry Cullen, director of health informatics for the Veterans Health Administration and Maryann Rockey, deputy program executive officer of the Defense Department’s Healthcare Management Systems Modernization and Integrated Electronic Health Records program.

It’s a full day on the Hill Thursday. Highlights: The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on a slate of Obama’s nominees, for commander of Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Adm. William E. Gortney; commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John F. Campbell; and commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, Army Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Votel. And the House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on Pentagon acquisition, with Stephanie Barna, acting assistant secretary of Defense for readiness and force management and Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

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