President Obama’s FY2014 base budget request of $552.0 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) and defense-related programs of other agencies (excluding war costs), exceeds by $53.9 billion the legally binding cap on defense funding for FY2014 that was enacted in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25). Unless the Budget Control Act (BCA) is amended, either Congress will have to cut the Administration’s National Defense request by $53.9 billion (about 9.8%) to meet the BCA cap of $498.1 billion, or else the BCA law will reduce the appropriation to the level set by the cap through a process of sequestration, beginning in January 2014. Read More
China’s economy may have significant problems ahead that would put the brakes on military spending for ships, missiles and aircraft in the next decade, therefore its leaders may see the next few years as the best time to improve its positions in the near seas, military and China experts told a key congressional defense committee on Wednesday. Read More
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) expressed optimism in a pending congressional deal that may provide the Pentagon a modicum of fiscal stability. Read More
The House and Senate armed services committees have agreed to a last minute compromise defense bill that would authorize funds to fully fund the Pentagon’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, committee leaders said in a press conference late Monday afternoon.
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
President Barack Obama is appointing Christine Fox as the acting deputy secretary of defense, according to a Tuesday Pentagon statement. 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
Saying “we’re making it harder and harder for good people to serve in the system,” the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Monday that for “roughly the next two years” the panel will focus on how to overhaul the acquisition process in all its hearings, including personnel policies limiting program managers to relatively short periods of service in their positions. Read More
From the Sept. 9, 2013 Congressional Research Service Report: Security Clearance Process: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
A security clearance is a determination that an individual—whether a direct federal employee or a private contractor performing work for the government—is eligible for access to classified national security information. A security clearance alone does not grant an individual access to classified materials. Rather, a security clearance means that an individual is eligible for access. In order to gain access to specific classified materials, an individual should also have a demonstrated “need to know” the information contained in the specific classified materials. Read More