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In Today’s News June 18, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in News.
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  • The House narrowly approved a $105.9 billion wartime spending bill Tuesday evening, capping a two-month march that has sorely tested President Barack Obama’s ability to navigate between warring forces on the political left and right.
  • Several articles today highlight the House markup for the FY 2010 budget. A few interesting items.
  • For decades, the U.S. Navy has been built around its carrier battlegroups and amphibious ready groups: huge clusters of heavily armed warships, tailored for delivering massive firepower, in the form of airplanes or Marines. But for today’s “hybrid” wars, where winning over local populations is as important as killing the bad guys, these traditional naval groups aren’t necessarily the best things.
  • The Quadrennial Defense Review, due early next year, will mean substantial changes to the way the U.S. armed forces are equipped and organized, defense officials have said. The aim is to “re-balance” the military to fight “hybrid wars” that “have both irregular … and disruptive and … what have been looked at as conventional or traditional approaches, knitted together,” said Amanda Dory, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy.
  • The U.S. Navy’s top officer defended the service’s request to reduce this year’s planned buy of F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters as a budgeting decision, and proclaimed his support for the plane’s successor.
  • After a rancorous argument over missile defense, Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee voted June 16 to limit the number of missile interceptor silos in Alaska to 30, scrapping 14 more that were planned when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House.
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