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GOP lawmaker balks at 'Gang of Six' defense cuts

July 20, 2011 House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., who has stalwartly opposed deep cuts to defense spending, on Wednesday sent a memo to Republicans on his panel blasting the "Gang of Six" proposal for targeting the Pentagon's accounts. Seizing on an analysis of the bipartisan Senate group's plan released on...

Senate confirms Petraeus as CIA director

June 30, 2011 In another solid endorsement of President Obama's new national-security team, the Senate on Thursday voted 94-0 to approve Gen. David Petraeus to be the next director of the CIA. The Afghan war commander will take over the agency from Leon Panetta, who starts his new job as defense secretary on...

Army's No. 2 officer worries about war's toll on mental health

June 24, 2011 Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's No. 2 officer, hardly goes anywhere without his brain chart. It has three images: a normal brain, the brain of a comatose person, and the brain of a conscious person who has just suffered a traumatic brain injury. It doesn't take a neurologist to see...

Mullen initially wanted slower Afghan drawdown

June 23, 2011 Just hours after President Obama announced his plans to begin bringing U.S. forces in Afghanistan home, the military's top officer told Congress that the pace of the president's withdrawal plans is faster than he initially wanted. "The president's decisions are more aggressive and incur more risk than I was originally...

Ahead of Obama speech, key senator pushes withdrawal

June 22, 2011 As President Obama prepares to unveil his plan to reduce the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, key lawmakers are staking out their positions on how quickly troops can come home-and the White House may soon find itself at odds with one of the leading congressional Democrats on national security issues....

Panetta confirmed as Defense secretary

June 21, 2011 In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, the Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to confirm CIA chief Leon Panetta as the next Defense secretary. Panetta, who sailed through his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, will succeed Robert Gates at the Pentagon on July 1...

Senate panel cuts $6.4 billion from Pentagon request

June 17, 2011 After a week of closed-door negotiations, the Senate Armed Services Committee has approved a $682.5 billion defense authorization bill, trimming a modest $6.4 billion from the Pentagon's request for next year. The sprawling defense bill, which sets Pentagon policy in addition to prescribing funding levels, includes language on detainees supported...

Mullen: Clock ticking for decision on Afghanistan troop withdrawal numbers

June 2, 2011 Afghan war commander Gen. David Petraeus has not yet submitted his much-anticipated recommendations for reducing the size of his fighting force, but Pentagon leaders are well aware the clock is ticking down to the July goal to begin troop withdrawals, the military's top officer said Thursday. Adm. Mike Mullen, the...

White House threatens to veto defense bill

May 25, 2011 The White House has threatened to veto the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill if it keeps the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on life support. The administration, which has been involved in a long-simmering debate with Capitol Hill over the engine, delivered its veto threats on Tuesday...

Gates: Avoiding talk of cuts is 'managerial cowardice'

May 24, 2011 The U.S. military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, must take a hard look at military force structure and determine what is essential -- and then be honest with Congress and the White House about the consequences of cuts. "To shirk this discussion of risks and consequences -- and the hard...

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