Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, meets with Hoang Binh Quan, Vietnam’s Chairman of External Affairs Commission of the Communist Party on Dec. 9, 2013. US Navy Photo
From the Dec. 16, 2013 U.S. State Department fact sheet: Expanded U.S. Assistance for Maritime Capacity Building.
On December 16, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an initial commitment of $32.5 million in new regional and bilateral assistance to advance maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia. Including this new funding, our planned region-wide funding support for maritime capacity building exceeds $156 million for the next two years. Read More
Following the recent criminal investigations into abuses in port servicing contracts for U.S. Navy ships, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued a Monday memo calling for a complete audit of port services. The final report is due in June, 2014. Read More
From the Dec. 9, 2014 fact sheet on the Fiscal Year 2014 summary of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) propsal.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 is the key mechanism to provide necessary authorities and funding for America’s military. This is the fifty-second consecutive NDAA. The legislation meets Chairman McKeon’s goal of providing for a strong defense in an era of uncertain and declining resources. The total funding authorized reflects the will of the House to provide our troops the resources they need to meet a dangerous world. However, Chairman McKeon also recognizes that, more than ever, the impacts of rapid defense cuts, FY13 sequestration, and the prospect of future sequester cuts in the years to come, will force our warfighters to be not only keen stewards of our national security, but to maximize value for every taxpayer dollar. To that end, this legislation supports and protects our warfighters and their families; addresses ongoing and emerging conflicts with resolve and accountability; protects America today while making wise choices. Read More
The following is a Dec. 4, 2013 letter from Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Read More
An undated photo of ROC guided missile destroyer Makung (1805), a former US Navy Kidd-class destroyer.
The following is from the Congressional Research Service report, Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990.
This CRS Report discusses U.S. security assistance for Taiwan, formally called the Republic of China (ROC), particularly policy issues for Congress. It also lists sales of major defense articles and services to Taiwan, as approved by the President and notified to Congress since 1990. This report uses a variety of unclassified consultations and citations in the United States and Taiwan. Read More
From the Nov. 4, 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses.
A priority of Obama Administration policy has been to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. Well before Iran’s nuclear issue rose to the forefront of U.S. concerns about Iran in 2003, the United States had seen Iran’s support for regional militant groups, such as Lebanese Hezbollah, as efforts to undermine U.S. interests and allies. Read More
From the Congressional Budget Office report, Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023:
The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the dramatic increase in the federal government’s debt over the past several years and the prospect of large annual budget deficits and further increases in that debt that are projected to occur in coming decades under current law. Read More
From the Nov. 22, 2013 U.S> Defense Department’s Arctic Strategy:
The Arctic is at a strategic inflection point as its ice cap is diminishing more rapidly than projected2 and human activity, driven by economic opportunity—ranging from oil, gas, and mineral exploration to fishing, shipping, and tourism—is increasing in response to the growing accessibility. Read More
From the Oct. 29, 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition.
Multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC) are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent. Read More
From the Nov. 19, 2013 Government Accountability Office report, Navy Shipbuilding: Opportunities Exist to Improve Practices Affecting Quality.
The Navy has experienced significant quality problems with several ship classes over the past several years. It has focused on reducing the number of serious deficiencies at the time of delivery, and GAO’s analysis shows that the number of deficiencies—particularly “starred” deficiencies designated as the most serious for operational or safety reasons—has generally dropped. Read More