July 10, 1988 |
Next month will mark 124 years since U.S. Naval Cmdr. David Glasgow Farragut, in the thick of the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, damned the torpedoes and proclaimed the now-famous order, "Full speed ahead!" Against great odds, Farragut's Union ships captured or destroyed the Confederate vessels in his path and then occupied their army's forts. Such brute defiance, once a mainstay of any nation's military seapower, would seem to have long since been replaced by the cool calculations racing through a modern warship's microcircuits.
December 3, 2012 |
The recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas are a chance for the United States to think strategically. Or, better yet, rethink - specifically the Obama administration's "pivot to the Pacific. " The challenge was issued - "respectfully but forcefully" - by Paul McHale, who has been a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania (1993-99) and an assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense (2003-09), and is a retired Marine colonel whose most recent deployment was to Afghanistan in 2007.
January 13, 1987 |
In support of the administration's $312 billion defense budget, Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger yesterday described U.S. military strategy as "prudent" and adequate to defend the nation - a contention immediately disputed by the new Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Under President Reagan's leadership and with the bipartisan support of Congress, America has been following a coherent national security strategy that is prudent, affordable and of great benefit to our nation and our values," Weinberger told the Senate panel during his first appearance this year.
November 19, 1988 |
The Pentagon should create a "military Oxford" that not only would help top officers brush up on military strategy but also would stress the economic, political and diplomatic aspects of national security, a House panel recommended yesterday. The recommendation was included in a study by a special panel of the House Armed Services Committee, which spent the last year reviewing the elite schools set up by the Pentagon and the four services for top career officers. Rep. Ike Skelton (D., Mo.)
June 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Automatic defense cuts looming in January would be more devastating than previously feared and make it impossible for President Obama to refocus his national security strategy, a bipartisan group of former lawmakers and retired military officers said Thursday. Members of the Bipartisan Policy Center painted a dire picture for the nation's economy, the military, and large and small defense contractors if the automatic reductions occur Jan. 2, 2013. Based on a special task force's calculations, the group said the cuts would mean an indiscriminate, across-the-board 15 percent reduction in programs and activities within the military, not the 10 percent that had been estimated.
September 28, 2001 |
President Bush says that America's war on terrorism is not aimed at the Afghan people. But our military preparations are stoking a massive humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where a quarter of the population was already facing starvation before Sept. 11. The war scare has forced international aid agencies to withdraw their staffs, intensifying the food crisis. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) fears that up to 1.5 million Afghans may soon flee to neighboring countries to find food or avoid bombs.
March 31, 1987 |
Congress has pumped close to $2 trillion into the military budget in the last six years, yet military commanders in the field continue to complain that they do not have enough resources to carry out a wartime mission. What's going on? It's time that we stop focusing only on money and ask some questions about the way we shape our national security goals and military strategy. The problem begins at the Pentagon, where generals who plan military strategy aren't required to fit their goals into a realistic budget.
July 2, 2001
The Department of Defense has just asked for an additional $18 billion for next year. But don't expect these billions - a 7 percent hike on top of an inflation bump - to make the nation much safer. Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday that the extra money "only begins to make a dent" in the military's need to modernize. He wants another big increase for 2003, even though the United States is already spending as much on defense as the next eight nations together. It's hard to critique Mr. Rumsfeld's vision for a 21st-century military for the simple reason that he hasn't unveiled one yet. He says it's still not ready, after half a year's work.
June 6, 2001
Help is on the way. That was George W. Bush's campaign cry to America's military. As president, he would transform its strategy, revolutionize its weaponry and beef up its budget. That got military leaders and contractors dreaming of a shopping spree that hasn't happened so far - fortunately. The latest welcome sign of prudence: Pentagon leaders were hoping for a midyear injection of up to $10 billion to spend through September, but the President disappointed them last week by asking Congress for about $6 billion.
July 3, 1990 |
President Bush predicted yesterday that this week's NATO summit would result in changes but no "bombshell" overhauls for the western military alliance as it tries to define its role in Europe after the Cold War. Bush summoned his top national security advisers to his vacation home yesterday for talks aimed at refining proposals he will present to the Western European leaders at the two-day session in London on Thursday and Friday. Speaking to reporters, Bush refused to comment on reports that a letter he sent to the 15 other nations in the 41-year-old alliance proposed a basic shift in its military strategy - a redefining of NATO's nuclear arsenal as "weapons of last resort.