The Intersect
Jan. 11, 2011

Gates reveals budget efficiencies, reinvestment possibilities
American Forces Press Service
The Defense Department has found $154 billion in efficiencies over the next five years and will be able to invest $70 billion of that saved money in more deserving accounts, Defense Sec. Robert M. Gates said. The secretary announced the savings and reinvesting of the efficiencies during a Pentagon news conference. Gates emphasized that the nation is at war and faces a range of future security threats. "It is important to not repeat the mistakes of the past by making drastic and ill-conceived cuts to the overall defense budget," he said. "At the same time, it is imperative for this department to eliminate wasteful, excessive and unneeded spending."More

The reactions to Gates' spending plans
DoD Buzz
The reactions to Defense Sec. Robert Gates' proposed budget cuts came in fast and furious following his announcement of which programs will get the axe and which would thrive in the coming years. As expected, they were a mixed bag, with Sen. Carl Levin and certain think tanks may that have influenced his moves were gushing, while House Republicans went on the attack, slamming wartime defense cuts. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee came out in support of Gates, especially his move to cancel the Marine Corps' beleaguered Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.More

Pentagon cuts to reflect Gates, White House tussle
Reuters
U.S. Defense Sec. Robert Gates has been successfully pushing back against White House attempts to more severely cut into weapons program funding than what the Pentagon had been bracing for, an analyst and defense company source said. Gates is due to brief lawmakers soon about his drive to find $100 billion in savings over five years from overhead and unnecessary programs, congressional aides said.More

DoD budget 2012: Pay and TRICARE
Military.com
Defense Sec., Robert Gates, is making the rounds talking about his proposed FY-2012 budget. Although currently light on details, the news seems good for military pay and benefits, but, not-so-good for military retirees who rely on TRICARE.More

Gates goes after military health care
The Washington Post
Defense Sec. Robert Gates is betting that Americans' frustration with a ballooning deficit will finally allow him to trim one of the government's most politically protected entitlement programs, the military's $50 billion-a-year health care system. The defense chief has tried to push similar proposals through Congress before and failed. And this year's pitch is a particularly fraught with political risk. President Barack Obama is defending his own health care plan from threats of repeal in the House, while Republicans are looking for ways ahead of the 2012 election to discredit the administration's commitment to the troops. More

Enhanced VA health care enrollment opportunity closing for certain combat veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Certain combat veterans who were discharged from active duty service before Jan. 28, 2003 have until Jan. 27, 2011 to take advantage of their enhanced health care enrollment opportunity through the Department of Veterans Affairs. "While there is no time limit for Veterans to apply for the VA health care they earned with their service, I highly encourage this group of combat Veterans to take advantage of the enhanced enrollment window to use their health care benefits through this simplified process," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "VA has health care eligibility specialists online and at every medical center eager to help Veterans take advantage of this opportunity."More

Dempsey tapped to be next Army chief of staff
Stars and Stripes
Defense Sec. Robert Gates said he is recommending Gen. Martin E. Dempsey to be the next Army chief of staff. Dempsey, currently commanding the Army's Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., would succeed Gen. George Casey, who is expected to retire this spring. Previously, Dempsey served as acting commander of the U.S. Central Command and its deputy commander. Before that, Dempsey was the commander of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq and then led the effort to build and train Iraqi security forces rising to commander of Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq until 2007.More

For National Guard, a new mission along the border
The Washington Post
On the dusty hilltops west of U.S. Interstate 19 in Arizona, National Guardsmen with M-4 rifles peer down from camouflage tents and surveillance posts, so close to the border fence they can almost watch TV through the windows of Mexican homes on the other side. The troops are members of the Arizona National Guard and Arizona Air National Guard, sent by the Obama administration last summer amid heightened concerns about lawlessness and spillover drug violence along the border. Of the 1,200 Guardsmen deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border, 560 are in Arizona, where lawmakers pushed hard for a larger military deployment during a statewide crackdown on illegal immigration last year.More

ROTC strengthens colleges and the US
The Wilmington News Journal
In a column, Colman McCarthy, director of the Center for Teaching Peace, made the case for keeping the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program off college campuses in the United States. Rather than "tainting the intellectual purity of a school," as he suggested, ROTC adds to the mission and effectiveness of higher education.More

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve activated as of Jan. 04, 2011
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists while the Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 733 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More