A top Pentagon official on Wednesday distanced himself from an earlier comment that the department’s shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific region can’t happen.
Katrina McFarland, assistant Defense secretary for acquisition, caught the attention of the defense world with her comments on Tuesday when, speaking at a conference in Arlington, she said, “The pivot is being looked at again, because, candidly, it can’t happen.”
Defense News reported McFarland’s comments, which tied the current budget crunch to the U.S.’s Asia-Pacific refocus.
Adm. Samuel Locklear III, the commander for the U.S. Pacific Command, said he “wouldn’t completely agree with it,” when asked about the comment at a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request.
But he did say that while his command is moving forward with the shift, future budgets will play a role.
“The real question is whether or not the force that Congress will eventually buy is it adequate for the security environment,” Locklear said, noting that the shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific stretches beyond only the Defense Department.
McFarland, for her part, later clarified her reported comments, saying in a statement: “I was asked a question about the budget … and how it relates to our pivot to Asia. I was reiterating what Secretary Hagel said last week: That the shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific requires us to ‘adapt, innovate, and make difficult (budgetary and acquisition) decisions to ensure that our military remains ready and capable.’ That’s exactly what we’ve done in this budget. The rebalance to Asia can and will continue.”
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.
The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law, saying it was passed with “discriminatory intent." The decision sends the case back to the district judge who initially dismissed challenges to the law. "The ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo identification from voters in future elections, including the November 2016 general election, restores a week of early voting and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect."
An oil pipeline almost as long as the much-debated Keystone XL has won final approval to transport crude from North Dakota to Illinois, traveling through South Dakota and Iowa along the way. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the final blessing to the Dakota Access pipeline on Tuesday. Developers now have the last set of permits they need to build through the small portion of federal land the line crosses, which includes major waterways like the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. The so-called Bakken pipeline goes through mostly state and private land."