- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said during the Halifax International Security Forum last Friday: “I feel very confident that we’ll get funding for the F-35 program”. A day later Senator John McCain (R-AZ) answered: “We want the F-35 to succeed. We’re not opposed to the F-35. But we have obligations to our taxpayers.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey tried to walk back his comment from last month and told reporters he “didn’t have a cross hair on the F-35.” Acting defense acquisition undersecretary Frank Kendall went to Lockheed Martin’s plant in Fort Worth, TX where final assembly takes place.
- This while the Super Committee looks dead on arrival: Politico | Roll Call. Next likely step for defense budget battles: attempts to unwind the Budget Control Act of 2011’s automatic sequester before it kicks in by 2013. This is probably the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end.
- US federal agencies that don’t pass a clean audit this year: the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security.
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