New York (CNNMoney.com) – The cost of health care is blowing the top off the Pentagon's budget.
Mirroring the private sector trend, expenses have skyrocketed within the military's health system. The military spent $19 billion on health care in 2001 - and $49 billion in 2010. The Department of Defense forecasts a continued rise of 5% to 7% a year.
The bottom line: Health care will account for 10% of the Pentagon budget by 2015.
Washington (CNN) - The congressman who will likely take charge of the House committee that controls the Pentagon's wallet has no intention of seeing the defense budget shrink.
"Cutting defense spending amidst two wars, is a red line for me and should be a red line for all Americans. You do not need to be a policy expert to realize that investment is key to maintaining a robust defense" Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-California - currently the ranking member of the House Armed Service Committee - told an audience at the Foreign Policy Institute on Monday.
Lancaster, Ohio (CNN) – Democratic officials recently sought information from the Pentagon on nine prominent Republicans who could challenge President Obama in 2012, according to report by ABC News Wednesday.
Among them was Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008 but has since remained cagey about whether he plans to abandon a cushy Fox News gig to take another shot at the White House.
Washington (CNN) – The Pentagon is trying to be low-key about today's Lady Gaga rally in Maine. When asked if Pentagon officials would be watching Lady Gaga's rally to urge Senators to repeal "don't ask don't tell" a senior defense official said, "No, not really."
A second defense official says the event is clearly aimed at the political side of the argument, and isn't likely to sway the minds of military officials one way or another.
The top brass is already on record with their opinions: both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen have said publicly they support repealing "don't ask don't tell," but the defense official says troops as a whole have wildly different opinions on the issue.
Washington (CNN) - With a deadline just two days away, about one-quarter of all service members who were sent "don't ask, don't tell" surveys have returned them to the Department of Defense, a spokeswoman said Friday.
The survey seeks their opinions on the potential impact of changing the military ban on gay and lesbians serving openly in the military.
The Pentagon sent out 400,000 confidential surveys and set an August 15 deadline for their return. Spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said about 104,000 have been received.
Washington (CNN) – One of the key goals of the new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, is to try to settle the debate on the significance of the July 2011 date, according to an International Security Assistance Force official familiar with Petraeus' thinking.
After a month in the job, during which he stayed mostly out of public view, the general is preparing a round of interviews with media outlets.
July 2011 is the date President Barack Obama has set to begin reducing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But just what that will mean continues to be a question that the administration is struggling to answer clearly.
Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some far-reaching proposals Monday for restructuring the massive budget at his agency, including getting rid of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (Usjfcom).
The cuts could mean a loss of up to 3,000 jobs.
The current Defense Department budget totals more than $530 billion a year, and defense officials believe they need increases of 2 to 3 percent a year to sustain the force structure and meet modernization needs.
However, the recession caused the department to propose a 1 percent budget increase for next year, and the cuts announced Monday were intended to help hold down overall costs.
(CNN) - The Army is investigating the circumstances that led to the Rolling Stone magazine article that effectively ended the career of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the United States' former top commander in Afghanistan, an Army spokesman told CNN Wednesday.
"A four-star commander was relieved ultimately due to this article. We want to understand what happened here," Col. Tom Collins said.
McChrystal retired in June, shortly after the publication of the article that included examples of his staff mocking senior White House officials, including Vice President Joe Biden.
Washington (CNN) - The Rolling Stone magazine journalist whose article about Gen. Stanley McChrystal helped end the Afghanistan commander's career has been denied permission to embed with a military unit in Afghanistan, a Pentagon spokesman told CNN Wednesday.
"Embeds are a privilege, not a right. The unit decided they didn't feel the trust necessary for an embed. They declined," Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said, not specifying which unit was involved.
Michael Hastings, the reporter, said via Twitter that his embed had earlier been approved, then was "disapproved."