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In Today’s News July 1, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in News.
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  • WASHINGTON — When Adm. James G. Stavridis took over the military’s Southern Command in late 2006, his French was excellent but he spoke no Spanish. Not content to rely on interpreters, he put himself on a crash course to learn the language.
  • The U.S. Navy plans to begin constructing two nuclear-propelled attack submarines (SSN) per year beginning next year — Fiscal Year 2010. For the past decade the Congress has authorized SSNs at an average of one a year. However, in response to the Newport News/Northrop Grumman and Electric Boat/General Dynamics shipyards reducing construction costs for submarines of the Virginia (SSN 774) class to $2 billion per submarine in then-year (FY 2005) dollars, the Department of Defense and Congress have approved the doubled construction rate.
  • The Pentagon’s 2010 budget, as penned by the Obama Administration, includes $534 billion in “base” spending, plus a war supplemental of $130 billion. The base budget represents a 4-percent increase over 2009, and the overall budget represents a roughly .5-percent rise. But to Obama’s political foes, this — plus future spending boosts to match inflation — is a “cut.” “Obama plan cuts defense spending to pre-9/11 levels,” the conservative Heritage Foundation warns.
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