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Defense Department, services gird for review battle

January 14, 2008 Every four years, the Pentagon and military services take part in a budget and strategy review. Congress first mandated the Quadrennial Defense Reviews in 1997 and the reviews must make specific decisions regarding defense and force levels. The next QDR, due in 2010, will coincide with a new presidential administration...

In reversal, Pentagon may send Marines to Afghanistan

January 10, 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates is reviewing a request from commanders in Afghanistan to dispatch a unit of at least 3,000 Marines there by April in anticipation of a Taliban spring offensive. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Gates has not made a final decision on what would be a one-time,...

China’s largely inactive submarine fleet stirs

January 8, 2008 China's entire fleet of 55 attack submarines conducted six patrols in 2007, up from the two the fleet conducted in 2006 and none in 2005, according to new information obtained by a scientific organization. The information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on the Federation of...

Surging oil prices send military costs skyrocketing

January 3, 2008 The surging price of oil, which recently passed the $100-a-barrel mark, has sent airline stocks falling and American drivers searching for more fuel-efficient cars. For the world's largest single consumer of petroleum, a U.S. military that is dependent on oil to fuel nearly all of its weapons systems, the increase...

Girding For Battle

January 1, 2008 The Pentagon and military services are gearing up for a bruising quadrennial review that could reshape the way we fight. Six years into the longest period of sustained combat since Vietnam, the U.S. military is suffering from strategic drift, uncertain about which of many potential security threats should determine the...

Behind the Wheel

January 1, 2008 The perils of letting short-term planning drive major weapons programs. The development of mine-resistant ambush- protected vehicles, which are heavily armored and boast a V-shaped hull design to resist improvised explosive attacks, is emerging as a cautionary tale about the dangers of allowing short-term requirements to drive billion-dollar weapons programs....

Reports warn of impending Army budget crisis

December 20, 2007 Despite record levels of funding for new weapons and personnel for the Army in recent years, the service soon couldface a serious budget crunch, according to recent reports by government and congressional investigators. Shouldering the burden of simultaneously fighting two wars that are wearing down equipment, the Army is also...

Lawmakers call for future Navy cruisers to be nuclear powered

December 17, 2007 House and Senate lawmakers are requiring the Navy to power its future classes of cruisers with nuclear reactors, unless the service decides that doing so isn't "in the national interest." This somewhat muddled provision is contained in the recently released fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill. The provision states that all...

Army modernization plans face funding challenge

December 11, 2007 The Army's plan to modernize its aging helicopter fleet is at risk because it will have to compete for procurement dollars with the service's $200 billion flagship modernization program, Future Combat Systems, which will enter full rate production just as spending on helicopters is projected to be highest, according to...

Coast Guard expands wireless maritime 911 system

December 7, 2007 The Coast Guard has expanded the coverage of its Rescue 21 wireless command-and-control system for port security and enhanced direction technology for maritime search and rescue in the New York and Delaware Bay areas. Software problems initially delayed production of the high-tech network that is deployed on radio towers that...

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