U.S. Ground Forces Would Shrink By 100,000

U.S. Ground Forces Would Shrink By 100,000: Pentagon leaders outlined a plan Thursday for absorbing $487 billion in defense cuts over the coming decade by shrinking U.S. ground forces, slowing the purchase of a next-generation stealth fighter and retiring older planes and ships.

In a bid to pre-empt election-year Republican criticism, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the plan shifts the Pentagon’s focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to future challenges in Asia, the Mideast and in cyberspace. More special operations forces like the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden will be available around the world, he said.

“We believe this is a balanced and complete package,” Panetta told a news conference, with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at his side.

Some lawmakers were quick to dispute him.

“Taking us back to a pre-9/11 military force structure places our country in grave danger,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee that will hold hearings on the Pentagon budget plan. Continue Reading…

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Rand Paul Stopped By TSA After Body Scan Anomaly

Rand Paul Stopped By TSA After Body Scan Anomaly: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was blocked from boarding a flight Monday by the Transportation Security Administration in Nashville, Tenn., after refusing a full body pat-down, POLITICO has confirmed.

“I spoke with him five minutes ago and he was being detained indefinitely,” Paul spokesperson Moira Bagley said. “The image scan went off; he refused patdown.”

Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), tweeted out news of the incident, saying that there had been an “anomaly” with a body scanner.

“My son @SenRandPaul being detained by TSA for refusing full body pat-down after anomaly in body scanner in Nashville. More details coming,” wrote the authenticated Twitter account of presidential candidate Ron Paul.

The TSA disputed this characterization of the incident.

The Kentucky senator triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and declined to finish the process, said a TSA official, but was “not detained at any point.” A targeted pat-down is usually used to address the alarm. Continue Reading…