Getting funding to prepare for an invisible threat that few can quantify is difficult when the United States is becoming more engaged in hard conflicts and there is a fight for nearly every dollar of the defense budget. Nonetheless, the concern remains that if the United States doesn’t step up its electronic warfare capabilities, it will lose pace to Russia and China.
MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN. U.S. military advisers are heading to Afghanistan to try to rebuild Afghan forces struggling against the Taliban in Helmand province, the site of punishing battles as Taliban fighters move to reclaim strategic territory.
The addition of a few dozen new forces comes during a planned military rotation, and as the head of the Afghanistan operation, Army Gen. John F. Campbell, is preparing to depart. In recent congressional testimony, Campbell declined to put exact figures on how many troops were needed in Afghanistan and for how long, but he stressed that the United States needed to be doing more to improve the situation in Afghanistan.
BUDGET DAY. It’s budget day in Washington, D.C. How much sway the president’s budget request will hold in a lame-duck year is highly debatable, but the official White House proposal is usually a conversation starter, at least. What to look out for? We know the Obama administration will be asking for more money to fight the Islamic State, more money to enhance cybersecurity, and likely more money to help NATO allies in Europe stave off new threats. The Pentagon is also expected to announce an expansion to its unmanned aerial vehicle program.