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Tag Archives: defense spending

Publications – the budget’s silver lining for the U.S. Army

Yes, the President’s proposed 2013 budget hit the Army hard, as expected, but there were some surprisingly silvery linings for the service: The Army may be in the cross-hairs of the budget cutters, but it’s had a surprisingly good week. While the number of soldiers will drop to 490,000 as long expected, the service is [...]

Publications – the Army looks beyond the drawdown

Nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of being hanged in the morning. With big cuts on the horizon, the silver lining is that the Army is being forced to explore some new ideas — and some old ones long ignored — on how to make the most of what it has. I’ve written a [...]

Publications – strategy and budgets collide

“The sinews of war are infinite money.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero The coming cuts to the defense budget loom over every issue in national security. Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics, but policymakers talk budgeting — which, after all, is simply what logistics boils down to at Washington level. Lately, I’ve written two stories for [...]

Publications – AOL @ AUSA: The Army braces for cuts

October 10-12 was the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army here in D.C., and everywhere the theme was “brace for impact” as the Army prepares for a new round of downsizing now getting underway before the war is entirely over. I always make a point of attending the AUSA conference, and [...]

Publications – military retirement “reform” is really sleight-of-hand

AOL Defense has run another story of mine on the military’s human capital problems, this one on the real agenda behind recent proposals to “reform” the military’s admittedly problematic retirement system: The military’s retirement system is a mess. But the current proposals to fix it have a hidden agenda. No, I’m not talking about cutting [...]

Commentary – the Tea Party has a point (but)

My latest over at National Journal’s expert blog: I can’t stand the Tea Party, but I give them points for consistency. There’s always been a bizarre bifurcation in the Reagan Republican mind that all government programs are a waste of money and should be cut, except for the military, which in this worldview miraculously avoids the [...]

News – a Memorial Day hat tip from Dartmouth

Professor Andrew Samwick, head of Dartmouth’s Rockefeller Center and my host for my November 2010 lecture there, graciously plugged Learning From Veterans on his own website as recommended reading for Memorial Day. I’d reciprocally recommend Prof. Samwick’s blog  for any lay person interested in the politics of U.S. economy. Economics is sometimes called “the dismal [...]

Publications – How We Fight, 1776-2006

The military we have today is radically different from what America had for the first two centuries of the Republic. How we got from the Minutemen to Seal Team Six is the subject of a story I wrote for National Journal‘s Independence Day 2006 issue, entitled “How We Fight. It begins: Unpaid for months, the [...]

Commentary – six things NOT to cut from the defense budget

I guess I’m learning to be a pundit. This week’s discussion on the National Journal expert blog is about cutting the defense budget, but I answered the question on my own terms, meaning not at all, and talked about six things not to cut: I’m not a budget expert. I’m not a business process expert. [...]

Commentary – the Pentagon after Bob Gates

I posted my thoughts on the impending departure of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, his legacy, and the painful questions left unresolved over at National Journal’s expert blog: We can’t keep doing everything we do now on the current budget, let alone a smaller one, but the current budget is only going to shrink. And Secretary of [...]