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Former Iraq administrator sees decades-long U.S. military presence

February 6, 2004 Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the former interim administrator of post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Iraq, said Thursday that a U.S. military presence in Iraq should last "the next few decades," but questioned the mix of forces already there and current plans to reconfigure the armed forces as a whole....

Several Pentagon probes under way on Boeing tanker lease

February 5, 2004 The Defense Department has suspended a controversial Air Force plan to lease Boeing 767 aerial refueling tankers while a handful of senior-level inquiries get under way, according to Pentagon officials and congressional aides. The most significant review calls on a task force of outside experts from the Pentagon's Defense Science...

Democrats, Rumsfeld tangle over emergency powers

February 5, 2004 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected lawmakers' assertions Wednesday that his use of emergency powers to adjust military force levels and pay for troop increases constitutes an attempt to sidestep congressional oversight. During hearings held by the Senate and House Armed Services committees, Democratic lawmakers pounded Rumsfeld's plan to use wartime...

Communities hire consultants to battle base closings

February 4, 2004 With the Defense Department planning to close or consolidate roughly 25 percent of the nation's military infrastructure in 2005, independent consultants representing military bases around the country will be hard at work this year, lobbying Washington lawmakers and state and local officials in an unprecedented effort to insulate military facilities...

Lawmakers, analysts question Pentagon troop increase methods

February 4, 2004 Top Pentagon officials say the Army will pay for a temporary increase in troop levels through emergency supplemental funds in fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2005, but lawmakers and budget analysts accuse the Bush administration of playing fast and loose with annual appropriations while banking on the fiscal cover afforded by...

Defense budget boosts funding for modernization programs

February 2, 2004 The Pentagon's $401.7 billion spending proposal for fiscal 2005 calls for a 7 percent increase in defense spending overall, and is consistent with its plans to boost military funding to $487.7 billion by fiscal 2009, a funding level that rivals Cold War spending at its peak. The proposal adds money...

Analysts predict Pentagon budget crunch in years ahead

January 29, 2004 The coming fiscal year will prove bountiful for military contractors, with plenty of money added to the Pentagon's rapidly growing budget and few cuts to key investment programs. But with a nearly $500 billion deficit looming, budget analysts warn that defense spending is likely to decline over the next decade....

Army secretary choice missing from nominations hearing

January 26, 2004 The Senate Armed Services Committee is slated Wednesday to consider several Defense Department nominations, although Air Force Secretary James Roche, President Bush's pick to be the next Army secretary, is conspicuously absent from the roster, according to a Senate aide. Bush announced Roche's nomination last May, but controversy surrounding Roche's...

Defense may wait until after elections to push supplemental

January 22, 2004 With the 2004 presidential election in mind, the Defense Department is not expected to ask lawmakers for fiscal 2005 supplemental funding until well into that fiscal year, according to Pentagon sources -- a move that could jeopardize military readiness if Congress is unable to quickly approve the anticipated request. Last...

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