Several Republican senators voiced their concerns on Sunday about President Obama’s expected nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary over past statements the former Nebraska lawmaker made about Israel and gay rights–hinting Hagel’s confirmation would not come without a fight. On CNN, Senator Graham called Hagel an "in your face" choice. "This is an in-your-face nomination by the president," Graham continued. And it looks like the second term of Barack Obama is going to be an in-your-face term." Hagel would be the first former enlisted soldier to become secretary.
ON THE FIGHT
A French judge has publicly stated that the burgeoning extremist presence in Mali is a direct threat to French interests, going so far as to lament the large African emigre population there. Meanwhile, West African troops are gearing up for a military intervention in Mali after the government said it will meet a United Nations deadline to begin recapturing the country’s north from al-Qaida-linked insurgents, or al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
ON THE FORCE
For all of the Obama administration’s foreign policy models, the most enduring of the past four years may turn out to be an approach that senior administration officials have termed the “Yemen model,” a mixture of time sensitive strikes and special operations forces raids targeting al-Qaida leaders. If confirmed, Brennan would preside over that apparatus.
Permanently avoiding massive Pentagon budget cuts could prove difficult as Washington enters a fight over the nation’s borrowing limit, a coming political battle that will bring big federal spending cuts. The two-month delay to pending Pentagon spending cuts included in the last-minute fiscal cliff deal passed last week shows both parties oppose across-the-board cuts to military spending through sequestration.
The Wall Street Journal reviews forthcoming Stanley McChrystal’s book: "Stanley McChrystal was unshakably dedicated to his soldiers, to his wife, and, above all, to the Army and nation."
After spending months mercilessly deriding Palantir, the Army has apparently changed their mind and decided to call truce. Palantir, rife with political connections, is a direct competitor to the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System
ON SECRECY – OR LACK THEREOF
A man in Brazil has been caught attempting to sneak a cellular telephone into a prison there, inside his rectum. Allegedly, the items being smuggled included a Blackberry Curve, a headset and a wall charger.
BAE Systems has won a $226M contract from the Department of the Army to provide Global Positioning System technology and services. Under the contract, BAE will furnish components, repairs, maintenance and services for Doppler GPS navigation sets.
Robert Caruso is a veteran of the United States Navy, and has worked for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Business Transformation Agency and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.