Mounting Threats

U.S. receives reports of chem weapons use in Syria every day, DNI says
James Clapper, Gen. Michael Flynn / AP

The United States receives unconfirmed reports of chemical weapons use in Syria every day, the director of national intelligence testified at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning.

A Different Time

North Korea has ability to put nuclear bomb on missile, Defense Intelligence Agency report says
AP

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.) revealed that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) recently determined North Korea has the ability to put a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile, although with limited reliability, during Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Questionable Wisdom

Congressional leaders and defense experts blast Obama’s military budget, say it will hurt preparedness
Hagel and Gen. Dempsey / AP

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for the Department of Defense is being met with fierce criticisms among congressional leaders and outside experts who say the budget is unrealistic and hurts the military’s ability to perform.

The Tide of War Is Rising

Al Qaeda growing threat in Middle East, Obama officials say
Al Qaeda linked group on Syria-Iraq border / AP

Defense and military officials testified that al Qaeda is gaining a foothold in several areas throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa in a hearing before a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday afternoon.

Securing Command

Strategic commander worried about cyber attacks on nuclear command and control
AP

U.S. strategic nuclear weapons and the command systems that control them are vulnerable to cyber attacks although most are hardened against many types of electronic attacks, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said on Tuesday.

Hagel Clears Committee on Party-Line Vote

Contentious secretary of defense nominee heads to the Senate floor after 14-11 vote
Senate Armed Services Committee / AP

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) voted along party lines Tuesday to send the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense secretary to the floor of the Senate, paving the way for a potential showdown over the embattled nominee.

A Lack of Transparency

Hagel’s failure to disclose possible income from foreign sources raises red flags
AP

Lingering questions about defense nominee Chuck Hagel’s financial ties to foreign countries could provide his Republican critics with the political ammunition needed to prevent his nomination from leaving the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), according to multiple sources close to the confirmation process.

The Chuck Hagel Reality Check

Hagel’s misstatements, contradictory comments and wrong answers weaken Senate support for defense nominee
Hagel / Getty Images

Senate opposition is growing toward former Sen. Chuck Hagel following his appearance before a contentious hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be secretary of defense.

Chuck in the Muck

Hagel faulted for calling US “world bully” in Al Jazeera interview
Chuck Hagel / AP

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel on Thursday faced a barrage of criticism about his fitness to be the next defense secretary, including his agreement with a controversial statement that the United States is the “world’s bully.”

Lowering Standards

‘Gender-neutral’ standards typically mean lower standards
AP

The Department of Defense released a report in February 2012 raising significant concerns to Congress about integrating women into combat units, an issue receiving renewed attention given outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s recent announcement that women would be allowed in combat roles.