Friday, January 23, 2015

New House chairman wants complete review of U.S. strategic defense and threats

Otto Kreisher, Seapower Magazine, Jan 22

WASHINGTON — The new House Armed Services Committee (HASC) chairman appeared open to providing a separate funding source for the expensive Ohio replacement program Jan. 22, but was opposed to the Navy’s request to put 11 of its 22 Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers into a phased modernization program in order to keep some of these crucial combatants in the fleet beyond their expected service life.
However, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said that before deciding how to pay for the next generation of ballistic missile submarines, he wanted the full committee to delve deeply into the entire strategic deterrence issue and the role the new missile boats would play in that mission.
That review would be part of a dramatic revision Thornberry announced in the way the HASC will deal with the fiscal 2015 defense budget and the defense authorization bill that is the committee’s way of influencing defense spending.
In a breakfast session with the Defense Writer Group, Thornberry said he would postpone testimony from the defense secretary and the service leaders on the administration’s proposed budget until after about two months of full committee hearings on the national security “threats and challenges.”

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