Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gates Prepares ‘Fundamental Shift’ in Defense Funding Priorities

These are not changes to the margins. This is a fundamental shift in direction," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. "And the secretary's point of view argues for an unconventional approach in explaining that shift to the American people."

Your final battle, your final chance for Earth: Gates Planning Major Changes In Programs, Defense Budget

take large whacks at others, including some with powerful constituencies on Capitol Hill and among influential contractors, making his announcement more of an opening bid than a decisive end to weeks of sometimes acrimonious internal Pentagon debate.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Senators Wary Of Purported FCS Cutbacks

Reports that the Pentagon may be considering drastic cutbacks to elements of the Army's $160 billion Future Combat Systems (FCS) program are alarming some key members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).

Making Robots More Like Us

The military applications are myriad--but next-generation robots have plenty of commercial potential too.

***Scrapping nuclear arms is now realpolitik

The two leaders can move beyond traditional arms control and, in a bold move, set the world on a course towards the total elimination of all nuclear weapons - global zero.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Slowing down on posting for a while. Double Shifts at the White House

Troy, who with Connie and me have been maintaining the Vigil is away for several weeks.   Hence my computer time is cut to nil.  I'm sure I'll sneak some time in, but not much.


"There is an increasing understanding from the [Office of the Secretary of Defense] leadership that the concept of preventing war, using resources to strengthen our allies, is effectively an insurance policy," says James McAleese, of McAleese and Associates, in Washington. "The payoff is, you save a trillion dollars from avoiding pulling us into the next war."

**** Dem. Pigs at the military Trough!

we write to urge your support for full funding of the DDG-1000 program in the FY10 President's budget, and request that you continue a thorough and transparent review and evaluation of the Navy's proposal to truncate the DDG-1000 program and restart DDG-51 production.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Defense budget plan could be pushed to May

Senior Defense Department officials earlier this year set a mid-April target for finalizing President Barack Obama's first defense spending request. Earlier this month, the delivery date was pushed back to late April.

Raytheon quietly underwrites publicity effort for Navy's DDG-1000 destroyer program

With a big stake in the DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer program, Raytheon Company is bankrolling a campaign aimed at building support to keep the futuristic ship in production, a spokeswoman confirmed today.

Senator: Expect painful cuts in Pentagon budget

A Senate defense committee chairman says Pentagon budget will include large, painful cuts.

***Obama, Russia's Medvedev to reopen talks on nuclear arms

The U.S. and Russian presidents, in a sidebar meeting at the G-20 summit, agree to renew discussions on reducing the nations' warheads. Obama also spends time bonding with Britain's Gordon Brown.,0,1798275.story

Spend More Wisely on National Security

Some say the country is spending what it must to protect itself in dangerous times. But this is simply false.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

*****Defense Ministry eyes possible lift of US ban on foreign sales of F-22 fighter

The Defense Ministry will closely follow discussions in Congress next month over the United States' 2010 fiscal defense budget amid growing speculation that a ban on foreign sales of the stealth F-22 fighter jet may be lifted to keep the threatened production line alive.

GAO: Weapons programs remain far over budget

Many of the Pentagon's biggest weapons programs remain well over budget as problems with the weapons buying process leads to higher price tags than originally planned for fighter jets, missiles, warships and other equipment, according to a report released Monday.

Nearly 7 in 10 major U.S. arms programs over budget

Nearly 70 percent of the Pentagon's 96 major weapons-buying programs were over budget in 2008 for combined cost growth of $296 billion above original estimates, congressional auditors said in an annual report released on Monday.

Wana bankrupt warmaking???? ACT TODAY (Tues): Congress votes on global warming budget this week!

ACT NOW: Congress votes on global warming budget this week!
  Dear Start,

Thanks to your efforts this week, both the House and Senate Budget Committees managed to fight back a serious lobbying push to strip global warming from the President's budget. This was a major hurdle, but the fight is far from over! The budget will head to the floor for a vote this week, and we have to act now.

This is such a critical vote, because without budget funding, we won't likely see global warming legislation pass this year. We can't procrastinate about global warming any longer. We MUST take bold action THIS YEAR.

We don't have much time - Congress will be voting any day now on the President's budget, including action on global warming - we have to act NOW.

Call Congress right now and tell your Representative to pass a budget that includes limits on global warming pollution. Making a call is easy, fast, and extremely effective. Simply follow the steps below:

1) Call (202) 224-3121

2) Ask the operator to put you through to your Representative's office. If you don't know who your Representative is, then give the operator your zip code and they will let you know and put you through.

3) Someone will either answer the phone or you will be able to leave a message. Here's what you can say:

"I urge the Representative to support the President's budget, including action to cap global warming pollution."

4) Let us know that you made the call by clicking the button below.

I made the call

Greenpeace activists just like you have already sent more than 34,500 letters to Congress urging them to keep action on global warming pollution in the budget. With the vote coming up any day now, we need you to go a step further and call now. Please make your voice heard today.

For our future,

Samantha Rodgers
Greenpeace Field Organizing Director

Sunday, March 29, 2009

***U.S. Defense Spending vs. Global Defense Spending

The United States is far and away the global leader in defense spending. In 2007, the most recent year for which complete data is available, the United States approved $660 billion in defense budget authority (FY09 dollars). This figure includes funding for DOD's base budget, DOE-administered nuclear weapons activities, and supplemental appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan.