'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Since 9/11, the Pentagon has been as poorly run as at any time in decades, and needs someone with strong executive experience to set things straight, according to former Reagan assistant defense secretary Lawrence Korb.
Egypt's security deteriorated sharply Tuesday as violent clashes in Cairo and elsewhere raised questions about the ruling Islamist party's control of the country.
In Egypt, President Obama is watching leniently as the supposed pro-democratic reforms of the "Arab spring" have turned into a bloody and chaotic Arab winter.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the white whale of the Defense Department — a stealth jet designed to work for all branches of the armed forces — but at a total cost of $1.5 trillion, it's also a program that analysts say is an epic boondoggle that neither President Obama nor his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, has a realistic plan to get under control.
In a time of deep deficits and tight budgets, President Obama says the Defense Department cannot be entirely spared the scalpel. But Mitt Romney, his likely opponent in November's election, says the U.S. must spend more on the Pentagon now because it will pay off with a stronger economy in the long run.
Defense Department officials are quick to say the formal process of selecting U.S. military bases for closure will not begin until Congress says so.
Left-leaning Pentagon critics are panning congressional testimony by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and his top officers, who warned of catastrophes if the military is forced to cut $1 trillion if congressional budget talks fail.
The White House is reviewing a new pardon request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the case of former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
The White House's official policy of banning the word "Islam" in describing America's terrorist enemies is in direct conflict with the U.S. military's war-fighting doctrine now guiding commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Korb agreed and said Mr. Romney's vision for an expanded Navy — the candidate often says that the fleet is "smaller than it's been since 1917" — is emblematic.
"I've been involved in this since the '60s and I've never seen it so badly managed as it was up until very recently," said Larry Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as an assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan.