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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Michele Flournoy
The former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan and a former top Pentagon official are floating an idea to keep a "bridging force" of U.S. troops, as well as a planned "enduring force," after the December 2014 deadline for most international combat troops to withdraw from the country.
Top defense officials this week met with members of Congress to address sexual assault in the military — the fourth such meeting since September, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Military officers assigned to the Pentagon do not vote on who becomes secretary of defense, but if they did, former Sen. Chuck Hagel might finish in second place.
Tuesday's re-election of President Obama triggered immediate speculation about the future of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who will turn 75 in June. Mr. Panetta, defense secretary since June 2011, has had a long career in government and is said by associates to be ready to return to private life in Northern California, where he frequently visits and owns land.
President Obama's re-election campaign on Monday launched a pre-emptive strike ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's planned foreign policy address, arguing that Mr. Romney has failed the the commander-in-chief test on the global stage — in part by staking out positions to the right of former President George W. Bush.
A former top Pentagon official urged Congress Tuesday to find a way to avoid $600 billion in "draconian" defense cuts that would begin next year if Congress fails to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.
The Obama administration is preparing to begin talks with Iraq on defining a long-term defense relationship that may include expanded U.S. training help, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's chief policy aide.
The Obama administration is preparing to begin talks with Iraq on defining a long-term defense relationship that may include expanded U.S. training help, according to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta's chief policy aide.
At the recent U.S.-Chinese defense talks in Beijing, the subject of the Pentagon's new Air Sea Battle Concept, a program to counter China's growing anti-access and area denial weapons, was not discussed.
The Pentagon is engaged in a behind-the-scenes political fight over efforts to soften, or entirely block, a new military-approved program to bolster U.S. forces in Asia.
The United States has no "definitive evidence" that Pakistan knew Osama bin Laden had been living in the compound where Navy SEALs killed him, but the Pakistanis must now show convincingly their commitment to defeating the al Qaeda terrorist network, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday.
The initial U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan in July probably will include combat as well as support forces, the top U.S. commander there told a House committee on Wednesday.
In his first formal assessment of the war in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said Tuesday that much of the Taliban's battlefield momentum has been halted, putting the United States on course to begin pulling out troops in July and shifting security responsibility to the Afghans.
The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan told Congress Tuesday that his forces had made enough progress to justify starting a three-year withdrawal in July. But testimony from other officials made it clear that, even after 2014, U.S. troops will be in the country on an "enduring" basis.
A U.S. commitment to provide India with top-of-the-line technology as India modernizes its armed forces and builds its own defense industry is likely to cause unease in Pakistan, which also wants U.S. equipment to prosecute its war against terrorists.
"[For] two to three years after 2014, the United States may need an additional force package of several thousand personnel to help the Afghans finish building their air force, their special operations forces and certain other enablers in medical realms, in counter-IED capability and in intelligence collection," said Michele Flournoy, former defense undersecretary for policy, and retired Marine Gen. John R. Allen in a Center for a New American Security report.
' is a temporary additional force that will be focused on training up those supporting elements for [Afghan security forces] — so temporary forces specifically filling capability gaps through additional training."