When the Senate Appropriations Committee meets, the subject is usually money — say the $13 billion that the administration is seeking for cyber warfare in the Fiscal Year 2014 — but how the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the FBI planned to spend that money was swept away by repeated questions over just what the federal government was doing in collecting so much data on U.S. citizens.
There is an inherent tension between security and privacy and citizens want to know what the government is doing with the data it is collecting from phone calls to Google searches to credit card purchases, said committee chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). Read More
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, right, testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on Tuesday. DoD Photo
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel on Tuesday the ongoing specter of sequestration could prevent the U.S. Navy from adding an additional ship to a $6.1 billion deal that forms the backbone of the service’s surface fleet.
Last week, the Navy entered into a multi-year contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) for nine Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), extending the Navy’s commitment to the high-end surface combatant into 2017. Read More
A Senate panel has rejected a Pentagon request to open a new round of base closures.
The Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee has voted to deny the Pentagon’s request to start a new Base Realignment and Closure commission to shutter what the Department of Defense calls excess facilitates.
As part of the Pentagon’s $526.6 billion budget request, the DoD requested permission to close additional bases in a cost savings measure. The Pentagon asked for $2.4 billion to be spent over five years to begin a new round of BRAC. Read More
China has accepted an invitation from the U.S. to join the 2014 Rim of the Pacific naval exercises off of Hawaii.
However, members of Congress have raised questions if the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s inclusion as part of RIMPAC will violate provisions of a 2000 U.S. defense bill that restricts the level of military to military contact the Pentagon can have with its Chinese counterparts.
The following is an April Congressional Research Service report that broadly outlines the history of the defense law and the U.S. military relationship with China. Read More
U.S. Air Force cyber airman from the @4th Ari Force in April 2013. US Air Force Photo
The head of China’s Internet security said it had extensive evidence pointing to U.S. hacking targeted toward China, according to a Wednesday report in the state controlled China Daily.
“We have mountains of data, if we wanted to accuse the U.S., but it’s not helpful in solving the problem,” said Huang Chengqing, director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China, known as CNCERT. Read More
From the document released May, 23 2013: This information is based on the Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) submitted to the Congress for the December 2012 reporting period.
SARs summarize the latest estimates of cost, schedule, and performance status. These reports are prepared annually in conjunction with submission of the President’s Budget. Read More
Former under secretary of the Navy Bob Work. US Navy Photo
Bob Work — the chief executive officer of Center for a New American Security and former under secretary of the Navy— gave Pentagon leaders advice on how the services should innovate in a time of austerity in Thursday remarks at the EAST: Joint Warfighting 2013 symposium in Virginia Beach, Va.
Work said the greatest threat to U.S. security would be not taking advantage of the current drawdown in resources to create a force structure that makes sense for security threats. The second greatest threat was the current climate of political indecision in Washington. Read More
The following is an excert from the executive summary of a May Government Accountability Office report on support personnel to the Department of Defense’s Unified Combatant Commands:
GAO’s analysis of resources devoted to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) geographic combatant commands shows that authorized military and civilian positions and mission and headquarters-support costs have grown considerably over the last decade due to the addition of two new commands and increases in authorized positions at theater special operations commands. Data provided by the commands shows that authorized military and civilian positions increased by about 50 percent from fiscal years 2001 through 2012, to about 10,100 authorized positions. In addition, mission and headquarters support-costs at the combatant commands more than doubled from fiscal years 2007 through 2012, to about $1.1 billion. Read More
rank Kendall, the under secretary of defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in 2012.
The Pentagon’s top acquisition official apologized he “didn’t have better news” in discussing the Department of Defense’s fiscal outlook during his keynote address on Tuesday at the EAST: Joint Warfighting 2013 symposium in Virginia Beach, Va.
Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics warned the Department of Defense might have to again operate under a Continuing Resolution rather than a budget for Fiscal Year 2014.
“It’s starting to make me nervous,” he said. Read More
The following is from the executive summary of the Pentagon’s report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 2012, released Thursday.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) remains one of the United States’
most critical security challenges in Northeast Asia. North Korea remains a security threat because of its willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of its international agreements and United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Read More