UN chemical weapon inspectors
After a major chemical attack in the Ghouta area of Damascus, Syria, the United States and many of its allies struggled to find a response. Attempting to enforce its “red line”, America sought to conduct a series of limited strikes against the Syrian regime to deter future chemical warfare and degrade its capability to conduct it.
Yet steadfast allies such as Britain balked at attack, while the domestic outcry at home force the administration of President Barack Obama into requesting a vote on an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF)—which stood little chance of passing in Congress. Read More
It is starting to feel like America’s reluctance to get involved in Syria is an echo of the Vietnam War. One of the more interesting things to emerge from the recent national debate over whether America should involve itself in the Syrian civil war is the degree of war fatigue being expressed by the majority of Americans. That anti-war sentiment is kinder and gentler than the angry protests of the 1960s and ’70s, but it stems from the same cultural roots. Read More
The Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) launches a standard missile (SM) 3 Blk IA in July 2009. US Navy Photo
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is claiming a Navy ballistic missile defense (BMD) first in a Wednesday test that successfully scored a kill on one of the most difficult targets the agency has thrown at a ship. Read More
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on Sept. 18, 2013. US Navy Photo
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert informally asked the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) for authority to shuffle $ 2 billion in Navy funds to shore up gaps in maintenance, operations and procurement the service would suffer in Fiscal Year 2014 under the current sequestration cuts, Greenert said as part of his testimony before the HASC on Wednesday. Read More
The value of the Navy and Marine Corps team is as apparent today as it was at the founding of our nation. Enshrined in our Constitution is the direction to Congress to “provide and maintain a Navy.” There’s a reason for including “maintain.” At that time, the Navy was a tangible and permanent signal of our independence and of our presence on the world’s stage. Throughout our history, the Navy and Marine Corps team has been called on to act in both war and in peace, and today continues to play a large and vital role on that stage. The framers of the Constitution understood that the Navy had to provide constant and persistent presence—it had to be “maintained.” Presence is what the Navy and Marine Corps are all about. Read More
From the document:
In this statement I will explain the impacts of sequestration having occurred in FY 2013 and current law imposing reduced discretionary caps in future years, and why I believe these caps will preclude our ability to execute the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG) in the long term. In the near term, sequestration in FY 2014 will negatively impact our readiness and investments, further degrading programs in all appropriations except military personnel. Combined with the prohibitions on transferring funds, increasing program quantities and starting new projects associated with a continuing resolution, these impacts will be considerably worse in FY 2014 than they were in FY 2013. Read More
An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator sits on an aircraft elevator of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on May 6.
In a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday, members of Congress questioned the Pentagon’s direction in creating a next-generation, carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The letter from the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces—obtained by USNI News—was signed by chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and ranking member Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.). It asks the Navy to develop the planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) UAV that would fully integrate with the carrier air wing. Read More
The following is a Tuesday letter from the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. The letter — signed by chairman Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and ranking member Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) — asks Mabus to closely monitor the acquisition of the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) and raises concerns on the direction of the program. Read More
Russian President Vladimir Putin
The past several weeks have been surreal for Russia-watchers as the benighted country they follow has enjoyed more media exposure than at almost any other time over the past 20 years. The Russians, often caricatured in the American media as blundering, blustering, and ignorant bullies, have been running diplomatic circles around a disinterested and discombobulated Obama administration. Through skill, persistence, and a fair amount of good luck, Sergei Lavrov and Vladimir Putin managed to get the United States to sign on to a deal that would (with an absolutely enormous “if” around the willingness of the Syrian government to cooperate) peacefully take control of and eventually destroy the Assad regime’s store of chemical weapons. It’s been awhile since the Russians had a moment in the sun that was comparable. Read More
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus interviewed by reporters near the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. US Navy Photo
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has kicked off two separate reviews of Navy and Marine Corps installation security following the Monday shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a defense official told USNI News on Tuesday.
The first review will, “insure physical security standards are in place and are being maintained,” at Department of the Navy bases around the world, the official said.