It was an eventful week in the world of defense policy. The Obama administration released its 2016 budget request, as well as its long-awaited National Security Strategy. The debate continues over the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. And Obama’s latest nominee for secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, had his confirmation hearing before the Secretary Armed Services Committee. Here are a few links to stories, op-eds, and reports you may wish to read this weekend related to these and other topics:
– Apropos of the Pentagon’s budget request being submitted this week, Politico Magazine ran a story this week on the retirement of Winslow Wheeler, a former congressional staffer and tireless crusader against waste at the Department of Defense.
– With the debate over military compensation in full swing, Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) had an excellent piece for Forbes this week outlining not only the details of the modernization commission’s most important recommendations, but also the implications of the military’s spiraling personnel costs for national defense. Harrison also wrote a report on the subject for CSBA in 2012 that is well worth revisiting.
– Sticking with the theme of military compensation, Philip Carter and Katherine Kidder of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary also recently released a report on the subject.
– Moving on to the sharp end of the spear, last week at Vox, Zach Beauchamp provided a nice overview of the controversy over the A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately dubbed the “Warthog.”
– And while the Air Force continues to push for the retirement of Warthog, over at the National Interest, Dave Majunder recently suggested four other weapons that should be killed immediately.
– Finally, if you are at all interested in the supposed purpose for all those weapons, and the ostensible justification for the $585 billion the Obama administration just requested for the Department of Defense for 2016, the White House released its National Security Strategy today after several lengthy delays.