The Intersect
June. 8, 2010

Coast Guard's Thad Allen: Oil spill fight will last into the fall
USA Today
The fight to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a "long-term campaign" and will last into the fall, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said. "This will only end when we intercept the well bore, pump mud down it to overcome the pressure of the oil coming up from the reservoir and put a cement plug in. That's what I would call bottom kill rather than top kill."More

Eyes turn to Senate for defense debates
The Hill
Now that the House has passed its defense authorization bill, attention turns to the Senate as it prepares to take up the mammoth policy legislation for fiscal 2011. While the Senate Armed Services Committee's bill contains nothing at this point that would trigger a presidential veto, there will be internal fights over several provisions, the most polarizing over the repeal of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.More

The tanker, continued
The New York Times
For almost a decade, the Air Force has bungled attempts to replace its fleet of Eisenhower-era KC-135 refueling jets. The procurement process has been grossly mismanaged and tainted by corruption and favoritism. Now Congress seems ready to add to the confusion with legislation intended to ensure that the American contractor, Boeing, beats out its European rival, the aerospace consortium EADS, for the $50 billion contract.More

FISMA reform would elevate White House's cyber authority
Federal Computer Week
The changes to the 2002 Federal Information Security Management Act that passed as part of the House's Defense Authorization Bill for fiscal 2011 would give the White House more direct control over IT security within agencies. Rather than setting out static requirements to be met by agencies in securing their information systems, the Federal Information Security Amendment Act of 2010 would establish a National Office for Cyberspace in the Executive Office of the President, with a director who would be confirmed by the Senate, to oversee IT security.More

Spending may trip up 'don't ask' repeal
The Los Angeles Times
The bill repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military could present the Obama administration with a problem: It also contains money for projects the Pentagon considers wasteful. The White House has threatened to veto any bill containing money for weapons programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is trying to eliminate as part of his campaign to tame the Pentagon budget.More

Gates blames Chinese military for rocky relationship
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accused the Chinese People's Liberation Army of being behind recent cooling of relations between China and American military leaders. "I'm disappointed that the PLA leadership has not seen the same potential benefits from this kind of a military-to-military relationship as their own leadership," Gates told reporters during a visit to Singapore.More

Cyber Command Director Alexander warns of network "sabotage"
Bloomberg Businessweek
The U.S. military should be prepared to counter cyber attacks intended to disrupt operations as well as to paralyze and destroy entire computer networks, the U.S. Cyber Command's new head said. Cyber attacks appear to be evolving from data theft and temporary disruption to "sabotage," Gen. Keith Alexander said.More

F-35 costs soar, but military still backs fighter jet
The Wall Street Journal
The total cost for the jet is now 64 percent above initial estimates, topping $382 billion. Rising expenses and program delays triggered a recertification process earlier this year under a federal law designed to clamp down on procurement costs, but routinely circumvented. The Defense Department plans to buy 2,457 F-35 jets through 2035 at a fly-away cost of $92.4 million each before adjusting for inflation, or about 85 percent above the original $50 million pre-plane price tag, according to reports. After adjusting for inflation, the planes are expected to cost $133 million each.More

US widens Special Operations against al Qaeda
U.S. Special Operations units are now deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year, the newspaper reported, citing senior military and administration officials who were not identified. President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. Plans exist for pre-emptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places, meant to be carried out when a plot has been identified or after an attack has been linked to a specific group, the newspaper said.More

Obama eyes cuts in agency budgets
The Washington Post
Gates seems to be something of a budget-cutting inspiration for Obama. Less than two weeks ago, the president threatened to veto a defense authorization bill now working its way through Congress unless lawmakers canceled funding to develop an alternative engine for the F-35 warplane, which Gates has deemed unnecessary.More

Pentagon budget planning 'out of sync' with operational needs
Government Executive
The Defense Department's planning, programming, budget and execution system is too slow and inflexible to adequately support operations and makes it unnecessarily difficult for the military services "to adjust resources in a volatile world of unpredictable new threats," according to a new survey of managers.More

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of June 1, 2010
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, and Air Force announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 3,303 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