Pentagon Budget: Remain Calm

Don’t plan the parade because your military base or defense project wasn’t mentioned as something the Secretary of Defense planned to cut or curtail in his Fiscal Year 2015 Defense budget. On the other hand, don’t start drinking if your pet project or base or weapon system was mentioned by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during his press conference on Monday.

Most of it probably won’t happen – it was only a proposal:

pro·pos·al [pruh-poh-zuhl]
the act of offering or suggesting something for acceptance, adoption, or performance.
a plan or scheme proposed.

The proposal put forth has to be approved by Congress – you remember the 535 class presidents who have bases and contractors in their states and districts? Those folks will have a big say in what stays in the defense budget and what goes.

A lot of people are up in arms (pun intended) after Hagel announced his budget. Some folks were already reporting the nuclear triad would stay intact. Some groups sent press releases via e-mail saying retirees would have benefits reduced. A lot of words were written and a lot of time was spent yesterday on the DOD’s proposed budget.

Even current Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines (R-Mont.) sent a *statement to the Great Falls Tribune (I could not find it on-line) saying, “[H]e is strongly committed to ensuring that our military is fully equipped to protect our country…”

Continue reading

Thursday Numbers

Welcome! Thanks for taking time out of your day to read “Thursday Numbers.”

If this is your first time, this is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about nukes, Max Baucus, unemployment, John Lewis, light bulbs, empowering women, Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman, Montana State Prison, congress, deferred prosecution, and the baseball Hall of Fame.

Continue reading

The Weakest Link in the Nuclear Triad

It was the Associated Press headline heard around the world, “AIR FORCE NUCLEAR UNIT FAILS KEY SECURITY TEST” and in military terms, it brought discredit to the United States Air Force.

The opening paragraph of the story added more salt to the wound:

An Air Force unit that operates one-third of the nation’s land-based nuclear missiles has failed a safety and security inspection, marking the second major setback this year for a force charged with the military’s most sensitive mission, the general in charge of the nuclear air force told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

It wasn’t until the third paragraph of the AP story that “Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana” was even mentioned. With that mention, Malmstrom and its 341st Missile Wing just became the weakest link in the nuclear triad. That honor will last until the next base fails a nuclear surety test.   Continue reading