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‘If We Fail, Fire Us': CSA Gen. Milley On Acquisition Changes

‘If We Fail, Fire Us': CSA Gen. Milley On Acquisition Changes

WASHINGTON: The defense bill now on President Obama’s desk would restore long-lost procurement powers to the top officers of the armed services. That’s great, the new Chief of Staff of the Army said last night, but it’s just a start. “Cut us loose, and see what happens,” Gen. Milley said last night at the Council… Keep reading →

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Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

UPDATE with Forbes statement WASHINGTON: At $4.7 billion over budget, Ford-class aircraft carriers have taken a beating in Congress. This morning, though, the House Seapower subcommittee chairman will roll out a report from the conservative Hudson Institute that’s a ringing defense of the carrier — but which also contains a stinging indictment of the aircraft that fly… Keep reading →

Senate side of the capitol

WASHINGTON: The House couldn’t do it, but the Senate passed a veto-proof vote today for the annual defense policy bill. The final Senate vote, 70-27, included two no votes from GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, both of whom are trying to run for president. The House voted 270-156, with 37 Democrats joining Republicans… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: The American military isn’t ready “at all” for an “era of radical transparency…. where every single thing a US soldier or Marine does on the ground is recorded and tweeted,” Paul Scharre says. In the past, I’ve mostly talked to Scharre about drones. He’s a technophile who thinks mini-robots, exoskeletons, and precision-guided rifles could revolutionize… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

WASHINGTON: If the National Defense Authorization Act really is vetoed by President Obama, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official thinks slicing out the Overseas Contingency Funding and leaving the rest of the bills as is might work. Frank Kendall, undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, also said that another Continuing Resolution in December covering the all… Keep reading →

guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto and Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Chebanenko

WASHINGTON: “We are observing the manifestation of a more aggressive, more capable Russian navy,” the US Navy’s top commander in Europe said today. And if that fleet is Putin’s seagoing hammer, missile bases ashore are his land-based anvil. Complementing Russian naval modernization, Adm. Mark Ferguson said, we have seen “the construction of an arc of… Keep reading →

A target truck disabled by Lockheed's ATHENA laser

CRYSTAL CITY: The world’s largest defense company is taking a big step towards battlefield laser weapons. In a few weeks, Lockheed Martin will start production of high-efficiency fiber-optic modules that can be wired together into a wide variety of different weapons. Production will start with a prototype 60-kilowatt rocket-killer for the Army, they said, but… Keep reading →

Pentagon & beyond - view of DC over river - 032113-Pentagon-full

WASHINGTON: Costs of the Pentagon’s major weapons programs — which make up a relatively small percentage of the military’s overall spending but attract enormous political and strategic attention — continue to improve. But a big question mark hovers over them. Are costs coming down only because the Pentagon has started very few programs in recent years and isn’t… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: The Defense Department has told its big industry partners for most of the last 15 years that there’s no need for consolidation at the top. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman are big enough, they said. Mergers of prime contractors would limit competition, Ash Carter, Frank Kendall and other… Keep reading →

Courtesy David Knapp & NGAUS

WASHINGTON: The powerful National Guard Association of the US spent a year and a half battling the last Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, over everything from Apache gunships to readiness. NGAUS president Gus Hargett has a very different take on Gen. Mark Milley, who replaced Odierno August 14. “I found him to be… Keep reading →

Carly Fiorina at CSIS

We are approaching the presidential primaries, the silliest of the political silly seasons. Magical thinking abounds as candidates appeal to their bases with few constraints on the promises they make or the sentiments they espouse. So it is with defense issues, as the presidential candidates, a group of highly accomplished people (yes, even Donald Trump),… Keep reading →

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