On Jan. 26, the Pentagon released further information (.pdf) about how the new Defense Strategic Guidance will be reflected in the Defense Department’s future spending priorities. The changes, designed to meet the White House’s mandate to cut $37 billion from its previously planned Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 defense budget, generally conform with the new directions contained in the strategic guidance document, but they leave several key questions unanswered. The department’s topline request for FY 2013 is $525 billion, down from an original $531 billion. The rest of the savings comes in the form of reducing supplemental funding for overseas contingency […]
Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama released a new strategic document intended to provide guidance for cuts in the growth rate of the defense budget (.pdf). Though the planned leveling off of the defense budget had already been announced in principle, the strategic priorities laid out in the document make it official: There’s going to be a knife fight at the Pentagon. Unfortunately, the American public won’t be watching. As I’ve argued before in this space, the process of cutting the defense budget is inherently messy. Defense policy is best understood as the outcome of a massive scrum between different […]
It has been 10 years since the first prisoners arrived at the Guantanamo detention center in Cuba. Some 779 prisoners have passed through the U.S. Naval base since it was designated as a location for holding men suspected of involvement in al Qaeda.
News arrived this week that the second-largest oil company in China has agreed to pay $900 million, and contribute as much as $1.6 billion to future drilling costs, for a one-third stake in five American exploratory oil projects. The foray into American energy investment, the first by China Petrochemical Corp., known as Sinopec, comes in the form of a partnership with Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. to develop shale reserves. “It’s a marriage of convenience and opportunity,” said Clayton Dube, associate director of the University of Southern California’s U.S.-China Institute. “This is further evidence of Chinese firms and the Chinese state […]
The prospect of $500 billion in cuts to the U.S. defense budget from 2013-2021 has Washington in a panic. In unveiling a barely updated military strategy yesterday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta repeated his warning that such cuts would lead to a “demoralized and hollow force.” One of his deputies has called the cuts the equivalent of “self-castration.” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently warned that the cuts will “destroy” the Department of Defense. We should not allow those claims to scare us into letting the Pentagon off the hook. The cuts, which come courtesy of the deficit deal […]