The Intersect
Nov. 23, 2010

Mullen: No major strategy shift expected from Afghanistan review
An upcoming military review of the war in Afghanistan is not expected to result in any major changes in U.S. strategy, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said. In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" program, Mullen said the U.S.—led international force has "started to make progress" in its mission to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for international terrorist groups.More

Obama pushes for Senate vote on new arms treaty with Russia
The Washington Post
President Obama pushed for ratification of a nuclear-arms treaty with Moscow by year's end despite Republican opposition, calling the pact a "national security imperative" and warning that delaying it would weaken the United States. He said he was "confident" that the treaty could attract enough votes in the Senate, where GOP reservations have set up a political clash over a pact that the administration sees as crucial for U.S. foreign policy. More

A second group of experts calls for cutting military programs to lower US debt
The New York Times
A bipartisan group of budget experts called for steep cuts in future military spending, just as leaders of a presidential debt-reduction commission proposed. Taken together, the reports are likely to intensify pressure to reduce Pentagon spending and cancel troubled weapons programs as part of a broad effort to reduce federal budget deficits.More

U.S. Air Force should buy new C-17s, not fixed-up C-5s
Defense News
When does a promise to cut government spending result in $8 billion of new government waste? When Defense Department procurement is involved. Puzzling accounting in the Pentagon abounds. Weapon programs exceeded their budget by $300 billion in a single year. The Defense Department bought $13 billion in spare parts, $7 billion of which our troops don't need. Now, in its latest outrage, the department wants to pour $13 billion into its aging fleet of C-5 Galaxy cargo planes rather than purchase more capable aircraft, such as the C-17 Globemaster III.More

Military readying report on 'don't ask, don't tell'
The heads of the military services are preparing their final advice to Defense Secretary Robert Gates about how a repeal of don't ask, don't tell will impact their troops and officers. The uniformed leaders of the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, will present their views to Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the final days before he releases the report Nov. 30 on ending the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. military.More

Corps to deploy M1A1 tanks to Afghanistan
The Marine Corps Times
The Marine Corps will soon deploy tanks against the Taliban, a first for U.S. forces in the nine-year war in Afghanistan. A company of M1A1 tanks — about 15 vehicles — will deploy in mid-December and be employed in Helmand province by early spring, said Maj. Gabrielle Chapin, a Marine spokeswoman in Afghanistan. They will provide Marine forces with heavy 120mm cannon fire, but also advanced optics that can be used to observe Taliban fighters from more than four miles away as they plant improvised explosive devices.More

Air Force announces criteria for basing of MQ-1/9 ground control stations
U.S. Department of Defense
The Air Force released its criteria for basing of the MQ-1/9 ground control stations for an Air Force Reserve Command unit. The basing criteria include mission requirements, communications infrastructure, reserve component recruiting, facilities, support capacity, timing, and cost.More

Air Force mixes up refueling-tanker bid information
The Seattle Times
The Air Force has stumbled again in the long drawn-out competition in which Boeing and Airbus are battling for a $40 billion air-refueling tanker contract. About two weeks ago, due to a "clerical error," the Air Force provided Boeing with detailed data on the Airbus bid — and gave the corresponding Boeing data to Airbus parent company EADS.More

Vet disability system tested out in Hawaii
Military Times
A new system for evaluating wounded service members is being tried at Pearl Harbor, Hickam Air Force Base and Tripler Army Medical Center. U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel Akaka said the program is being rolled out slowly to ensure a quality process for service members and veterans.More

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of Nov. 16, 2010
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Marine Corps announced an increase. The net collective result is 2,370 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