Military commanders, government officials and members of Congress have long wrangled over which weapon systems are needed. Now, there's an argument over what computer software should be provided to soldiers in Afghanistan. It's a defense dispute for the digital age.
In recent years, the ability to analyze data has become almost as important to U.S. war-fighters as the guns they use.
The United States' southern border bristles with technology and manpower designed to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Since 1986, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircraft, detention centers and agents.
But even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs, experts say that there's no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex.
For many years — perhaps even decades — Detroit has been the poster child for economic malaise. Adjusting for inflation, per capita income in metro Detroit dropped more than 20 percent between 1999 and 2010.
Some analysts say regional cooperation might have helped keep Detroit above water when the car industry sank, but that entrenched divisions that pit the city against its suburbs, and blacks against whites, have hindered that.