As someone who served in the Pentagon’s top three jobs – as the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, the official responsible for buying weapons and sealing contracts; and later as the Deputy Secretary and finally as Secretary of Defense – I’ve seen the good, bad, and ugly of defense program management.
The good news is that, contrary to old tales of $640 toilet seats and $435 hammers, discipline in the DoD’s spending and procurement has come to be the rule and not the exception.
How America’s largest bureaucracy got there is a story of tough accountability, right incentives, and tenacious focus on the needs of troops themselves.
Like most of its big-city brethren, Hahnemann University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia has a mandate that’s rarely advertised but widely understood, especially in poor neighborhoods: Treat everyone who walks through its doors, the indigent as well as the insured.
That egalitarian mission led to some 150 patients treated in its emergency room per day – including many who don’t have a medical emergency, but lack insurance and can’t afford a primary care doctor. It also led to a financial balance sheet featuring $3 million a month in losses – brutal numbers that would make any executive reach for the antacids.
So it wasn’t a big surprise when Hahnemann’s corporate parent, American Academic Health System, announced this spring that the hospital would close for good in August, adding it to a growing list of urban medical centers that sank in a sea of red ink.
Two weeks since her breakout debate performance confronting former Vice President Joe Biden before 18 million viewers, Sen. Kamala Harris of California is in the midst of her own moment. Her polling has spiked, her cash flow is solid, her crowds are growing, as are her ground soldiers in early states – and her media coverage is beaming. (“She’s Powerful!” buzzed a headline this week on an influential Iowa political website.)
But Harris allies are well aware of the acute challenge before her: how to sustain the big mo’ through the slog of summer, which includes another high-stakes debate in less than three weeks and a media horde perpetually enticed by a fresh storyline.
As 47 countries get ready to report their progress next week on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations’ annual check-in (the High-level Political Forum, or HLPF), a quiet revolution is brewing below the surface. Cities worldwide are preparing their own reviews despite not being parties to the agreement nor an official part of the formal review activities—translating the national and global aspirations of the SDGs into progress at the local level.
Last summer New York City pioneered the first-ever Voluntary Local Review (VLR) to the U.N. to report its local contributions to the SDGs, presenting a city-specific review based on the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) that countries formally submit to the U.N.
Manufacturing is a crucial part of the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. census, around 11.1 million workers are employed in the sector, and it generates about $5.4 trillion in economic activity annually.
Yet this area currently faces significant headwinds. The June IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to its worst reading since 2009 and there have been recent declines in the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index.
There also is concern due to the 25 percent tariffs President Donald Trump has imposed on Chinese goods and his threats to increase tariffs on other nations.
Reflecting the important role manufacturing plays in the U.S. economy, the survey asked how people feel about the sector. Fifty-eight percent believe manufacturing is very important to the American economy, 14 percent think it is somewhat important, 6 percent feel it is not very important, and 22 percent are unsure.
Theresa May did everything she could to accommodate Donald Trump.
She was the first leader to visit him as president. She offered him a state visit to the United Kingdom at a much earlier stage in his tenure than his predecessors had received one. She uttered nary a word of criticism of his administration. She had a foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, who Trump likes. She accepted without protest when Trump’s decisions went against her advice—on climate change and the Iran deal, in particular.
Trump actively undermined May on at least a dozen occasions—whether by interfering in investigations into terrorist attacks or criticizing her Brexit strategy—but every single time, the prime minister turned the other cheek.
India’s ruling party will revive a plan to build secured camps to resettle scores of Hindus in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley, a senior leader said, a proposal that would almost certainly heighten tensions in the restive region.
Ram Madhav, who is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary responsible for Kashmir, said his Hindu nationalist party was committed to helping bring back some of the estimated 200,000-300,000 Hindus who fled the Kashmir Valley in the aftermath of an armed revolt that began in 1989.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in the United States on Thursday on a trip that has angered Beijing, warning that democracy must be defended and that the island faced threats from “overseas forces,” in a veiled reference to China.