A brawl has broken out at the top rungs of the Pentagon over how to prepare the military for long-term threats, in a rare public fight that pits leaders of the military branches against Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Carter wants to use the Pentagon’s upcoming, approximately $580 billion budget request to solidify the Obama administration’s goals of investing in more advanced weapons such as next-generation fighters and submarines, and high-demand skills such as cyber warfare.
A bill aimed at speeding and broadening the release of information under the Freedom of Information Act passed the House Monday afternoon on a voice vote.
The FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act is similar to but more expansive than a FOIA reform bill that passed the House in 2014, but died after the Senate passed a non-identical version of the bill and the House failed to act on it before that Congress ended.
As companies like Amazon and Google forge ahead with plans to develop their own drones, a White House effort to ensure these unmanned vehicles don’t spy on consumers is sputtering along — and seems destined to produce weak privacy protections that the government will struggle to enforce.
For almost a year, the Obama administration has tried to corral tech companies and consumer groups, hoping they can draft some basic privacy rules before a wave of new commercial drones are allowed to take to the skies and begin delivering packages or snapping photos.
Fifty-four years ago, the brand-new Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara thought he could bring Pentagon spending on everyday items under control by applying efficiencies he had used to help turn around Ford Motor Co.
Instead, he created a monster. McNamara’s creation, known as the Defense Logistics Agency, has grown into a global, $44 billion operation that, were it a private enterprise, would rank in the Fortune 50. Its 25,000 employees process roughly 100,000 orders a day for everything from poultry to pharmaceuticals, precious metals to aircraft parts. In terms of Pentagon contracts, it is nearly as large as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s largest contractors, combined.