New Defense Strategy: Why Wait for the Details?

You may recall Battleland’s advisory last week that it was too early to conclude whether the Obama Administration’s new Pentagon strategy makes sense. That’s because the devil is in the details, and they won’t be known for another month – when the Defense Department unveils its 2013 budget.

But when you’re an editorial …

Tomorrow’s Pentagon: Doing Less, With More

President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled a new military strategy Thursday: the Pentagon of the future, they made clear, will be doing less with more.

“Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow, because we have global responsibilities …

Changing of the Guard: National Guard Joins Joint Chiefs

I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.

The sentiment is usually attributed to Groucho Marx, but as of this week it works for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, too.

That’s because when President Obama signed the 2012 defense bill on New Year’s Eve, the new law ordered Air Force General …

The Pentagon’s No. 3 Departs

If Michèle Flournoy were a man, no one outside of nerdy defense circles would have noted her announcement Monday that she will be leaving the Pentagon’s No. 3 post – the under secretary of defense for policy – come …

War (un)Planning: Pentagon Unready for Supercommittee Defense Cuts

You can always tell the rookie Pentagon reporter. He, or she, is the one who whispers: “They told me they’re planning for war with Iran!” That’s when the vets around the building have to say: “They’ve been doing that for decades. Somewhere along these 17 miles of corridors, they have plans for everything.”

At least until last Friday. …

“Is It Smart to Pull All U.S. Troops Out of Iraq by Year’s End?”

It’s one of the biggest – and potentially, most consequential – decisions President Obama has made (not that he had much choice, according to some). He has announced that the 45,000 U.S. troops still Iraq will all be home for the holidays. Critics have said Iraq is too fragile for the U.S. to pull out – after eight bloody …

Hard to Believe: The Ban on Gays in the Military Is Over

The Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy dies today. It’s an obit I never thought I’d write. It hardly seems possible — as one who covered the debate for close to two decades — that the ban on openly gay men and women serving in uniform is passing into the pages of history. What will military reporters bored with hardware and …

Keeping a Limited Presence in Iraq

So plans are floating around the Pentagon — with the apparent blessing of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — that call for a U.S. military force of only between 3,000 and 4,000 troops in Iraq starting next year. Under the existing deal with the Iraqi government — the one we helped install — all U.S. troops must be out by New Year’s Eve …

The Pentagon’s Fuzzy Math: What Defense “Cuts” Really Mean

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have heard that President Obama has pledged to cut $400 billion out of security spending between now and 2023. But what you may not know is that the $400 billion won’t be a cut as far as Joe and Jane Taxpayer are concerned. Todd Harrison, Washington’s defense-budget wizard, says letting Pentagon …

A Sober, Steady Hand: Robert Gates’ Legacy at the Pentagon

Departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates is the 10th military chief I have covered since Harold Brown was running Jimmy Carter’s Pentagon. After a private dinner at the White House on Wednesday night, and a final ruffles-and-flourishes sendoff at the Pentagon on Thursday, Gates will fly off for his home in Washington state and never look …

The Army Is Running the Show

President Obama doubled down on the Army Monday, picking an Army general as chairman of the Joint Chiefs — after picking another one to run the CIA, and a third — a one-time low-level Army lawyer — to run the Pentagon. There may be lots of red, white and blue around the capital today, but it felt more like red, white and Army green. …

Meet Officer X

He’s the pseudonymous gay officer currently serving in the U.S. military under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and blogging his experiences over at Battleland. From his first post, describing a briefing he attended on instituting repeal of DADT:

As with any other conversation about gays in a setting where I am not “out,” I found myself

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