WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Big budget cuts over the next decade will force the Pentagon to make painful cuts to personnel and readiness and could make it hard to execute a global security strategy, defense analysts predicted on Wednesday.
Teams of analysts from four think tanks, who unveiled the results of a defense budget-cutting exercise at a Capitol Hill briefing, all found themselves slashing large numbers of civilian and uniformed personnel, along with ships and fighter jets, to help meet tough budget targets facing the Pentagon.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama nominated on Thursday the U.S. Navy’s top cyber warrior to head the National Security Agency, a move seen as a vote of confidence in a unit that is under fire for spying on Americans and their allies.
Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, a cryptologist and head of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, is not expected to immediately make major changes to the NSA, shaken by revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just over half of the 183 nuclear missile launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana have been implicated in a widening exam cheating scandal, the Air Force said on Thursday, acknowledging it had “systemic” problem within its ranks.
The cheating was discovered during an investigation into illegal drug possession among airmen, when test answers were found in a text message on one missile launch officer’s cell phone. The Air Force initially said 34 officers either knew about the cheating or cheated themselves.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military’s technological superiority is increasingly challenged by China, and efforts to maintain an edge are complicated by shrinking defense budgets that have cut money for development, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer said on Tuesday.
Frank Kendall, the deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology, told lawmakers the U.S. military’s technological superiority is being “challenged in ways that I have not seen for decades, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region,” where China is pursuing a rapid modernization program.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday he was “deeply concerned,” over the health of U.S. nuclear forces after the drug and cheating scandals this month, and that some nuclear officers felt their mission was taken for granted during 13 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hagel, who ordered a high-level review of nuclear forces on Thursday, told a news conference that the problems affecting missile launch officers were caused by a range of factors.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a high-level review of the state of American nuclear forces on Thursday, days after missile launch officers were caught in a drug investigation and dozens were accused of cheating on their certification exams.
Hagel will convene a meeting in the next two weeks of officials responsible for U.S. nuclear weapons to examine the leadership and culture of the force, said Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman.
WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The top U.S. military
commander in the Asia-Pacific region acknowledged his concerns
on Thursday over entrenched tensions between Japan and China, a
day after Japan’s prime minister evoked comparisons to Britain
and Germany before World War One.
Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of the U.S. military’s
Pacific Command, said the role of the United States was to keep
encouraging restraint, professionalism and “hope there will be
diplomatic dialogue and a solution to this”.
The Pentagon took steps on Wednesday to give individual troops greater latitude to wear turbans, head scarfs, yarmulkes and other religious clothing with their uniforms, but advocacy groups said the new policy fell short of what they were seeking.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The most effective way to control the rising expense of the military healthcare system is to boost cost-sharing among retirees, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday, endorsing an unpopular step Congress has repeatedly rejected.
The non-partisan CBO said the Defense Department spent some $52 billion in 2012 for its TRICARE healthcare program, which covers about 1.8 million troops and their 2.6 million family members, plus 5.2 million military retirees and their families.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chinese operational inexperience and communications difficulties on both sides contributed to a near-collision between the USS Cowpens and a Chinese warship in the South China Sea last month, the head of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific said on Wednesday.
Admiral Samuel Locklear, the head of U.S. Pacific Command, told a Navy conference the Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, was monitoring China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, as it conducted operations in international waters for the first time when the incident occurred.