Tuesday, February 25, 2014
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.
The proposal, released on Monday, takes into account the fiscal reality of government austerity and the political reality of a president who pledged to end two costly and exhausting land wars. A result, the officials argue, will be a military capable of defeating any adversary, but too small for protracted foreign occupations.
Officials who saw an early draft of the announcement acknowledge that budget cuts will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time: Success would take longer, they say, and there would be a larger number of casualties. Officials also say that a smaller military could invite adventurism by adversaries.
“You have to always keep your institution prepared, but you can’t carry a large land-war Defense Department when there is no large land war,” a senior Pentagon official said.
Outlines of some of the budget initiatives, which are subject to congressional approval, have surfaced, an indication that even in advance of its release the budget is certain to come under political attack.
For example, some members of Congress, given advance notice of plans to retire air wings, have vowed legislative action to block the move, and the National Guard Association, an advocacy group for those part-time military personnel, is circulating talking points urging Congress to reject anticipated cuts. State governors are certain to weigh in, as well. And defense-industry officials and members of Congress in those port communities can be expected to oppose any initiatives to slow Navy shipbuilding.
Even so, officials said that despite budget reductions, the military would have the money to remain the most capable in the world and that Mr. Hagel’s proposals have the endorsement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Money saved by reducing the number of personnel, they said, would assure that those remaining in uniform would be well trained and supplied with the best weaponry.
The new American way of war will be underscored in Mr. Hagel’s budget, which protects money for Special Operations forces and cyberwarfare. And in an indication of the priority given to overseas military presence that does not require a land force, the proposal will — at least for one year — maintain the current number of aircraft carriers at 11.
Over all, Mr. Hagel’s proposal, the officials said, is designed to allow the American military to fulfill President Obama’s national security directives: to defend American territory and the nation’s interests overseas and to deter aggression — and to win decisively if again ordered to war.
“We’re still going to have a very significant-sized Army,” the official said. “But it’s going to be agile. It will be capable. It will be modern. It will be trained.”
Mr. Hagel’s plan would most significantly reshape America’s land forces — active-duty soldiers as well as those in the National Guard and Reserve.
The Army, which took on the brunt of the fighting and the casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, already was scheduled to drop to 490,000 troops from a post-9/11 peak of 570,000. Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the Army would drop over the coming years to between 440,000 and 450,000.
That would be the smallest United States Army since 1940. For years, and especially during the Cold War, the Pentagon argued that it needed a military large enough to fight two wars simultaneously — say, in Europe and Asia. In more recent budget and strategy documents, the military has been ordered to be prepared to decisively win one conflict while holding off an adversary’s aspirations in a second until sufficient forces could be mobilized and redeployed to win there.
The Guard and Reserves, which proved capable in their wartime deployments although costly to train to meet the standards of their full-time counterparts, would face smaller reductions. But the Guard would see its arsenal reshaped.
The Guard’s Apache attack helicopters would be transferred to the active-duty Army, which would transfer its Black Hawk helicopters to the Guard. The rationale is that Guard units have less peacetime need for the bristling array of weapons on the Apache and would put the Black Hawk — a workhorse transport helicopter — to use in domestic disaster relief.
The cuts proposed by Mr. Hagel fit the Bipartisan Budget Act reached by Mr. Obama and Congress in December to impose a military spending cap of about $496 billion for fiscal year 2015. If steeper spending reductions kick in again in 2016 under the sequestration law, however, then even more significant cuts would be required in later years.
The budget is the first sweeping initiative that bears Mr. Hagel’s full imprint. Although Mr. Hagel has been in office one year, most of his efforts in that time have focused on initiatives and problems that he inherited. In many ways his budget provides an opportunity for him to begin anew.
The proposals are certain to face resistance from interest groups like veterans’ organizations, which oppose efforts to rein in personnel costs; arms manufacturers that want to reverse weapons cuts; and some members of Congress who will seek to block base closings in their districts.
Mr. Hagel will take some first steps to deal with the controversial issue of pay and compensation, as the proposed budget would impose a one-year salary freeze for general and flag officers; basic pay for military personnel would rise by 1 percent. After the 2015 fiscal year, raises in pay will be similarly restrained, Pentagon officials say.
The fiscal 2015 budget also calls for slowing the growth of tax-free housing allowances for military personnel and would reduce the $1.4 billion direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which would most likely make goods purchased at those commissaries more expensive for soldiers.
The budget also proposes an increase in health insurance deductibles and some co-pays for some military retirees and for some family members of active servicemen. But Mr. Hagel’s proposals do not include any changes to retirement benefits for those currently serving.
Under Mr. Hagel’s proposals, the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft would be eliminated. The aircraft was designed to destroy Soviet tanks in case of an invasion of Western Europe, and the capabilities are deemed less relevant today. The budget plan does sustain money for the controversial F-35 warplane, which has been extremely expensive and has run into costly delays.
In addition, the budget proposal calls for retiring the famed U-2 spy plane in favor of the remotely piloted Global Hawk.
The Navy would be allowed to purchase two destroyers and two attack submarines every year. But 11 cruisers will be ordered into reduced operating status during modernization.
Although consideration was given to retiring an aircraft carrier, the Navy will keep its fleet of 11 — for now. The George Washington would be brought in for overhaul and nuclear refueling — a lengthy process that could be terminated in future years under tighter budgets.
Source: THOM SHANKER and HELENE COOPER
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
FredStar has released his latest single on itunes, amazon and other online music retail store. OMPmusic has an array of new releases coming for the 2014. Make sure yo visit www.ompmusic.com for more updates. These guys are taking music by storm. Be sure to support the whole OMPmusic Team. Working with real talent.
BUY HERE: ITUNES - AMAZON - EMUSIC
Be sure to share with your friends.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Ok so as a Major blackberry fan,(especially the keyboard. This could be big.. Especially for Iphone for me..
Ryan Seacrest is notorious for having his hands in just about everything these days, so it's no surprise he's now eying the tech industry.
The American Idol host and serial reality TV producer, who is known for using both an iPhone and BlackBerry device, invested $1 million in the Typo Keyboard, an iPhone accessory that aims to make typing a lot easier. The case snaps on to the top of an iPhone and turns the touchscreen keypad into one that resembles the BlackBerry's qwerty keyboard. (POW)
The market for keyboard-equipped phones may be on the wane, but don't tell that to Ryan Seacrest -- the American Idol host is convinced that messaging mavens need real buttons. To that end, he's jumping into hardware and launching the Typo Keyboard for the iPhone 5 and 5s. The Bluetooth case turns an Apple handset into a makeshift BlackBerry Q10, complete with backlit, sculpted keys that cover up the iPhone's home button (there's a small substitute key); we hope you don't need multitasking, folks. The Typo Keyboard will make its formal debut at CES in early January, and it should ship that month for $99. Thankfully, that means we'll escape a sales pitch during New Year's Rockin' Eve.
The Typo Keyboard ($99) targets for those who carry two phones: one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for most everything else. The concept makes sense for BlackBerry lovers who have resisted switching to the iPhone because of loyalty to the qwerty keyboard.
"One night, Ryan and his friend Laurence Hallier, CEO of Show Media, were out to dinner and both had phones on the table. Two people, four phones!," the press release says. "They looked at each other and thought there was an easy solution to the problem, a keyboard for the iPhone."
The Typo Keyboard, which works when Bluetooth is enabled, adds 1.4 inch in thickness and less than 1 inch to the iPhone's length.
Although the concept isn't entirely new — companies such as BoxWave and Dobi have dabbled in the space — but Seacrest and his business partner said the solutions on the market fell short of what they could be to make typing as easy as possible.
Check out This Video Promo for it... ---> HERE
Not sure this will get me to switch just yet but its a start..
Geez, He's going to make a Fortune! Mac should be kicking their selves in the face.. lmao.. They might even buy it off of him.. Who knows.. Will you buy this?
The 5 billion cellphone location records the NSA's reportedly collecting daily? Don't expect an apology. While it's hard to sustain shock and disbelief when we've been hearing new details about the government's information collecting for months now, the National Security Agency saw fit to address concerns about the so-called Co-Traveler program in a statement today. The gist: The collection of massive amounts of location data is incidental in the agency's effort to "collect foreign intelligence information that is relevant to national security."
Interestingly, the statement references a Reagan-era executive order (12333, if you want to dig deep) to vindicate the agency's data-collection practices. That executive order, authorized in 1981, authorizes the collection of foreign intelligence information relevant to the nation's safety through means "consistent with applicable United States law." Additionally, the statement asserts that these surveillance activities don't violate FISA. The bottom line, though, is that the NSA won't be doubling back on its data collecting any time soon.
The Gov is watching and listening..
While we’re likely never to get another Diplomats album (maybe one day I’ll explain in detail how I’d be okay with that in a non-insulting, totally understandable manner), Cam and Juelz are still hamming it up for the cameras like they did in their videos. This time, the two take their talents to Miami to help promote the newest additions to the home of the 54-11s and with the help of a jolly old ringer run a couple cats for their holiday money.
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