The governors have had their National Guard concerns mollified by their conversations with President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, JCS Chairman—at least for now. Bush told them his Administration planned to maintain the strength of the Guard, despite presenting a 2007 budget that funds some 20,000 fewer personnel than authorized. The two Pentagon leaders echoed the President’s comments. What the governors were told: If the Guard recruits to the authorized number, the Administration will fund the full 350,000.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."