The use of cyber-tactics combined with unmanned aerial vehicles to prosecute the campaign against terrorists has increased dramatically over recent years. Technological development along those lines has sparked discussions ranging from talk of revolutions in how wars will be fought to changes in domestic law enforcement. The New York Times recently published a column titled “At War: How Cyber Warfare and Drones Have Revolutionized Warfare,” by Tim Hsia and Jared Sperli. Both are West Point graduates and combat veterans, currently serving as ROTC military science instructors. Unfortunately, geography and the facts on the ground do not bear out their observations. Read More
The following is a July 31, 2013 memo from Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to military leaders on a planned reduction of 20 percent in the management in headquarters across the Department of Defense.
The cuts will occur regardless of the current legislative impasse over military funding.
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian agreed “the math does not add up” to meet the immediate requirements of a second round of sequestration cuts, even after adopting Department of Defense’s most drastic scenarios in its latest management review — the Strategic Choices and Management Review.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon has to choose between a small high tech force or a larger one with antiquated equipment if the services are forced to live in a budgetary world dictated by the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, he told reporters in a Pentagon briefing on Wednesday. Read More
The Marine Corps intends to build up a female cadre of officers and noncommissioned officers to help women as more military occupations and units become open to females, the deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs told the House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Thursday. Read More
The Navy has successfully launched its second satellite as part of its Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), designed to provide U.S. troops and allies with higher bandwidth communications options, according to the service.
On Friday, an Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. to send the second of five planned Lockheed Martin-built satellites in the MUOS constellation into orbit.
The launch comes, however, amidst a dispute in Italy over one of the four planned ground stations and a lack of next-generation radios able to utilize the higher bandwidth features of the new systems.
How far the United States should go in supporting the Syrian opposition, and just what the role of the Chairman (and Vice Chairman) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in formulating that strategy should be, dominated the sometimes testy re-confirmation hearing of Gen. Martin Dempsey and Adm. James Winnefeld on 18 July.
Dempsey’s re-confirmation is not assured. A key member of the panel—Arizona Republican John McCain—was so upset by Dempsey’s answers on Syria that he threatened to put a hold on the nomination. The chairman of the committee offered a possible compromise to get the nomination for a second Dempsey term back on track. Winnefeld did not come under that kind of scrutiny. Read More
The following is the July 10, 2013 Pentagon response to Sen. Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) request to the Department of Defense to provide the Senate Armed Services Committee with a plan for sequestration.
The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal ignored the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) which instituted across-the-board cuts to the defense budget cuts. Read More
The following is the Pentagon’s aviation plan, dated May 2013.
From the report:
Summary of the Annual Plan and Certification
This plan was developed based on the FY14 President’s Budget submission and does not include the effects of sequestration / Budget Control Act funding decreases. The Department is in the process of a Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) to resolve these impacts.
As such, changes to this plan are probable in next year’s report. Moreover, sequestration is already having an adverse effect on readiness across multiple mission areas, including aviation.
Changes in technology and organizational structure make categorizing aircraft into bins of like capability increasingly difficult.
However, this aviation force structure plan provides the diverse mix of aircraft needed to carry out the eleven missions identified above. The capabilities provided by aircraft identified in this plan reflect five principal investment objectives identified Read More
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The restrictions in the act prevented federal employees in same sex marriages from receiving federal benefits. The Pentagon and the rest of the government will now sort through the ruling and the changes to federal law.
“The Department of Defense welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision today on the Defense of Marriage Act,” Secratary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a Wednesday statement.
“The department will immediately begin the process of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies. The Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible. That is now the law and it is the right thing to do.” Read More