The Intersect
March 1, 2011

The Gates doctrine: Avoid big land wars
DoD Buzz
The United States should not deploy large numbers of combat troops on the ground to most of the world, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in his last speech to the West Point corps of cadets. Here is the core of Gates' argument: "The strategic rationale for swift-moving expeditionary forces, be they Army or Marines, airborne infantry or special operations, is self-evident given the likelihood of counterterrorism, rapid reaction, disaster response, or stability or security force assistance missions. But in my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should "have his head examined," as General MacArthur so delicately put it.More

Sustainment Brigade's diversity leads to success
Many scholars surmised that Gen. Creighton Abrams' plan, known as the Abram's Doctrine, that set up U.S. forces so that the nation could never go into major conflict without calling up the Reserves, was brilliant. It has been decisive to the conflicts since 2001 with the Reserve and National Guard providing thousands of troops, both in support of the active Army in the continental U.S. and in theater operations.More

Boeing wins KC-X tanker battle
Military Times
Boeing has won the long-running battle to supply the Air Force with a new aerial refueling tanker, the service announced. The initial contract was a fixed-price incentive firm contract valued at over $3.5 billion for KC-X engineering and manufacturing development and the delivery of 18 aircraft, dubbed KC-46As, by 2017. The Air Force will eventually spend an estimated $35 billion to buy 179 planes.More

Air Force faces tactical fighter shortfall despite $230 billion investment
Defense Talk
The Air Force expects to invest over $230 billion to operate, maintain, modernize and recapitalize its tactical air forces during fiscal years 2011 through 2015. This makes up nearly 70 percent of the Department of Defense's total expected tactical aircraft investment over that time.More

GI ingenuity is why we can fight and win
The Washington Examiner
Most thought that, if they could just get to the shore alive, the war would be won quickly. They were wrong. After the successful landing on D-Day, Allied troops were soon bogged down in bloody bocage fighting among the hedgerows and berms lining Normandy's' fields. Sure, the Army brass knew the hedgerows were there. But they never gave much thought to training or equipping troops for hedgerow fighting. Big mistake.More

Military health costs up 300 percent
CNN Money
The cost of military health care, up 300 percent in the past decade, is eating a giant hole in the Pentagon's budget, according to a report released by a group of defense experts. The Defense Department expects to spend $52.5 billion on health care in 2012, a 300 percent increase since 2001, the report says. By 2015, health care will account for 10 percent of the Pentagon budget.More

Report calls for boosting Tricare fees
A Washington, D.C., think tank is recommending that Tricare fees drastically increase and that the Pentagon implement means-testing for still-working retirees to bring costs of the DoD-run system under control. Health care accounts for nearly 10 percent of the Pentagon's $550 billion budget, and a study released by the Center for American Progress suggests that it is only a matter of time before those costs start diverting funds away from the military's national security missions.More

Military groups divided over bump in TRICARE fees
Kitsap Sun
Lawmakers are seeking guidance from military associations on whether to support the new Defense Department plan to raise TRICARE Prime enrollment fees modestly for working-age retirees next year, and then to adjust them annually for inflation. But this time, they'll get mixed signals this time around. Joyce Wessel Raezer, national director of the National Military Family Association, is not alone in calling the fee hikes of $60 a year for under-age-65 retiree families and $30 for individual coverage "amazingly reasonable."More

Military no longer protected from budget knife
Government Executive
The Feb. 16 House vote to cut funding for an F-35 alternative engine over Speaker John Boehner's objections was hailed for the unlikely political federation it convened between Democrats leery of expanded defense spending and Republicans leery of, well, spending.More

Proposed rule focuses on improving employment services for veterans
The Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service, has proposed a rule establishing a uniform national threshold performance level to be applied to state grantees that provide employment services to veterans. The proposed rule is in accordance with the Jobs for Veterans Act.More

First Lady, Jill Biden to launch troop-support campaign
U.S. Department of Defense
First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, plan to launch a campaign next month that's designed to rally citizens, businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide support for U.S. service members and their families. Obama and Biden previewed the campaign during the National Governors Association meeting at the White House. "We're very excited about this initiative because we think that this will not only help our troops and their families, but it will help us as a nation link together and be even stronger," the first lady said.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of Feb. 22
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Air Force and Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 465 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