- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — There is always a lot on the plate of a secretary of defense. More so when you take office after essentially three years of upheaval in Pentagon leadership, an infusion of a politically-charged posse into operations, and a cleaving along racial, sexual, and insurrectionist lines that threatenRead more
Despite A Plate Full of Troubles Near And Far, Austin’s First Big Battle Is An Old Nemesis: The BudgetBy Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin inherited a host of worldwide hot spots when he took office that was quickly augmented by a menu of near-exploding issues within the ranks. Yet all eyes are on what he does with one long-standing Congressional swoon: the budget. Barring a riot inRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Wake Island’s location put it out of the path of the U.S. forces plan to sweep back in the Pacific against the Japanese in World War II. Wake Island was not considered a strategic location and it was held by Japan for the duration of the war.Read more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — The acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman admitted Tuesday that her department knew there was a “strong potential for violence” targeting Congress on January 6, but did not take appropriate steps to prevent it. Her admission came the same day that Maj. Gen. WilliamRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Strain hard to understand the words. It is American being spoken with a new accent. It comes from the mouths of our neighbors, our law enforcement, our military, our friends. Sometimes our family. They came to Washington once, honeycombed among hundreds of others thinking they were inRead more
The Dress Rehearsal at the Post Office Made the White House Ready For Its Post-Election Pentagon Decapitation and UseBy Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — While those opposed to President Trump spent time worrying that he might use the Pentagon to impose martial law, the White House was playing a bait-and-switch ruse. They never planned to use the Pentagon as a pro-active force, according to interviews.The plan all along was to takeRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Gloomy skies will not go away. No reason for them to do so. The forecast: thunder, fury, with continual dangerous absurdity and the nation’s most perilous moment in decades. You move and feel it. An invisible shroud of dampness, rawness, as if the trash has not beenRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON —A rare bad week is looming for President Trump — but one in which he may make history. Congress has checked its list twice and decided as Trump leaves office, he is more naughty than nice — and their lists of bills to pass this week and nextRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — It is now like all other leaders’ compounds in nations where democracy is shivering. Row after row after rows of fences and barriers to separate the feet of the people from the edifice peeking out in the dim bath of hidden lighting. No longer is the WhiteRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Late last month, U.S. military units went into rural Afghanistan and took out a top al-Qaeda operative. This would be October 2020 — 19 years after U.S. troops first entered Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks, in October 2001 to do the same thing: take outRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Just over a year ago, Washington, DC, could not wait to get Mark Esper into the E Ring office of the Defense Secretary, overlooking the Potomac River and the city’s glorious monuments. The Pentagon had been adrift without leadership for more than seven months and a seriesRead more
“No free riders” for those seeking to have the US “the global security partner of choice,” Esper declaresBy Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Mark Esper touted his accomplishments as Pentagon chief on Tuesday, saying that “the United States will remain the global security partner of choice” and that the new focus on China and Russia is paying off. Esper, speaking before The Atlantic Council, said it is likelyRead more
By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Mark Esper touted his accomplishments as Pentagon chief on Tuesday, saying that “the United States will remain the global security partner of choice” and that the new focus on China and Russia is paying off.
Esper, speaking before The Atlantic Council, said it is likely that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, now based at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, Germany, will be relocated closer to the Russian border in one of the newer NATO member nations. That force is part of the almost 12,000 U.S. troops now in Germany that are to be transferred back to the U.S. as part of the withdrawal announced by President Trump last summer.
He also touted deepening ties with India, where he will visit next week, and other Indo-Pacific nations as to a counter and hedge against China.
Esper also warned allies they need to meet the financial and military obligations of military agreements. “There are no free riders to our common security,” he said.
Esper said he also plans to expand the very successful State Partnership Program. — where National Guards units from each U.S jurisdiction train military units from other nations — from the current 82 locations to at least a dozen more over the course of the five years.
That was his only reference to him staying on the job after the November election — a status that has garnered speculation in Washington.
The major surprise was his firmness on the future of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. It is now the only brigade-sized U.S. ground combat unit stationed full time in Europe.
“The signing of the defense cooperation agreement with Poland, my recent meetings with defense ministers from Romania and Bulgaria, and correspondence received from Baltic states, there is now the real opportunity of keeping the 2nd Cavalry Regiment forward in some of these countries on an enduring basis,” Esper said during his remarks.
When NATO expanded east to take in former nations of the Warsaw Pact, it promised Moscow there would be no permanent NATO troops in those nations.
Instead, the U.S. and NATO nations employ a sleight of hand by calling troops sent to those nations rotational. For example, the Army recently announced a series of deployments in those nations, including reactivating its once Europe-based V Corps as part of a continuous rotation of forces to Poland. That V Corps is now based at Ft. Knox, Kentucky.
As for Asia, Esper touted more than $160 billion worth of projects underway, including providing F-35 aircraft to Japan, Seahawk and Apache helicopters to India, F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, “delivering excess defense articles to partners in the region,” such as. For instance, providing Vietnam additional high-endurance coast guard cutter to Vietnam for enhanced maritime security in the South China Sea.