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Kendall: Budget Gimmicks Won’t Fix Nuclear Deterrent

Kendall: Budget Gimmicks Won’t Fix Nuclear Deterrent

NATIONAL HARBOR: Talk about a radioactive issue. Top officials in Air Force, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense keep talking about how there is no higher priority than the nation’s nuclear deterrent. It’s so crucial, they all say, that someone else should pay for it. “No capability we maintain is more important.… Keep reading →

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Gen. Mike Hostage at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013.

“Our industrial base has eroded and we’re reducing our military down to a skeletal size at a time when the world is looking crazier by the day,” Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “[But] there is nothing happening right now that is going to make sequestration go away, so… Keep reading →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

NATIONAL HARBOR: When will the Air Force certify SpaceX as ready to launch military satellites — if they certify the upstart startup at all? The new chief of Air Force Space Command said this morning that “hopefully” he could certify SpaceX by December 1st. Just hours later, though, the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

The Air Force very quietly released a Request for Proposal (RFP) this summer for the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B). With a purported fly away cost of $550 million per aircraft — but with estimates up to $810 million — the LRS-B will be one of the largest acquisition programs in history with broad… Keep reading →

F-35B and C

As commanders and contractors gather for the Air Force Association’s massive annual conference, our favorite iconoclastic officer, the White House-endorsed Lt. Col. Dan Ward, offers this merciless dissection of the Pentagon’s biggest program and how to avoid its mistakes. — the Editors In February of 2014, Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official,… Keep reading →

Navy F-35C flight text over Patuxent River

NATIONAL HARBOR: When the F-35A exploded June 23 on the runway, it took about 10 days before the Pentagon had worked out how to communicate to the public, to the Navy, Marines and Air Force and to its international partners what had happened, was happening and would happen. Today, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said that his… Keep reading →

General Sarah Zabel @ AFA 2014

NATIONAL HARBOR: The good news is the Air Force has almost finished a new strategy to protect its high-tech gear from hackers. The bad news? The problem is huge, the processes are nascent, and the intimately interrelated issue of electronic warfare is, at the moment, not part of the discussion. Sure, cybersecurity is the scary,… Keep reading →

Lethal Presence

Rick Whittle’s superb book on the creation and uses of the Predator drone needs to be read by the Pentagon’s head of acquisition, Frank Kendall, and everyone else who decides what weapons America buys, including the professional staff on Capitol Hill who tell their congressional bosses what’s real and why. Whittle, who seems to be making a habit out… Keep reading →

President Obama and ISIL speech

WASHINGTON: While the talkerati focused intently on the fairly narrow issue of the presidential strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL, they may have missed the larger message President Obama sent: America is preeminent economically and militarily and has not backed away from the world stage. For almost two years — from the time he declared a… Keep reading →

100420-N-6509M-074

As the Air Force Association girds for its annual conference, which starts Monday here in Washington, I was struck by several comments from several experts that the traditional dichotomy between air power and ground forces — often the focus of internecine budget battles between the Army and Air Force — isn’t that relevant any more. Aircraft… Keep reading →

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