The Intersect
March 30, 2010

Obama's strategy on Afghanistan
President Barack Obama made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, his first since he took office, for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and to express his thanks to U.S. troops. The following are some facts about Obama's strategy on Afghanistan.More

Obama slips into Afghanistan to voice U.S. resolve
The Associated Press via Google News
Under elaborate secrecy, President Barack Obama slipped into Afghanistan near the front lines of the increasingly bloody 8-year-old war he is expanding and affirmed America's commitment to destroying al-Qaida and its extremist allies in the land where the 9-11 plot was hatched.More

Agencies suspect Iran is planning atomic sites
The New York Times
Six months after the revelation of a secret nuclear enrichment site in Iran, international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies say they suspect that Tehran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands.More

Somali admiral fights for funds to battle pirates
The Wall Street Journal
Admiral Farah Ahmed, head of Somalia's navy, sailed out to patrol the coast for pirates on a recent morning, leading the country's entire armada: five rickety boats. They soon turned back, wary of running into better-armed foes.More

Lawmakers: Navy and Marines facing larger than expected fighter jet shortfall
The Hill
The Navy and Marine Corps face a much larger shortfall of fighter jets than expected, four senior members of the House Armed Services Committee warned Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In a letter to Gates, the lawmakers said Pentagon assumptions of a shortfall of 100 fighter jets are "too optimistic."More

U-2 spy plane evades the day of retirement
The New York Times via Yahoo! News
The U-2 spy plane, the high-flying aircraft that was often at the heart of cold war suspense, is enjoying an encore. Four years ago, the Pentagon was ready to start retiring the plane, which took its first test flight in 1955. But Congress blocked that, saying the plane was still useful.More

Air Force to trim 5,750 people by 2012
The Air Force is looking to get rid of about 5,750 people by fiscal 2012. With the economy still lagging, retention is at a 15-year high. The Air Force has more than 335,000 airmen right now, well above its fiscal 2010 authorized active-duty end-strength of 331,700, service officials said. The Air Force is on track to end this fiscal year 4,800 people above its authorized end-strength, prompting it to announce new voluntary and involuntary measures to get enlisted airmen and officers in overmanned specialties to leave, said Brig Gen. Sharon Dunbar.More

Navy brings new $2.3 billion submarine to life in Norfolk, Va.
The Virginian-Pilot
It's been months since shipbuilders tightened the final bolts and completed the last welds on the Navy's newest fast-attack submarine, the New Mexico. The Aztec-print curtains were hung on the sailors' racks and the sub's cooks trained in preparing authentic New Mexican cuisine. And last fall, the underwater war fighter passed its sea trials, a vigorous set of tests that cleared the way for the Navy to take ownership of the sub at the end of December.More

Byrd, Jay oppose planned C-130 transfer
The Charleston Gazette
If the U.S. Air Force follows through with plans to transfer 12 C-130 aircraft from Air National Guard units, including the Charleston-based 130th Airlift Wing, to an Air Force base in Arkansas, then the affected Air Guard units should receive a dozen new aircraft in return.More

National Guard (In Federal Status) And Reserve Activated as of March 23, 2010
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 457 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