WASHINGTON: With the Pentagon’s big budget plan for 2017-2021 less than three weeks from completion, Defense Department comptroller Mike McCord promised significant slowdowns in “some” weapons programs, specifically including the Long-Range Strike Bomber. McCord’s slides pegged the total 2017 defense request at $584 billion ($525 in the base budget and $59 in overseas contingency operations… Keep reading →
Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Never have so many been so thankful to so few for so long. America has been at war now for 14 years, two months, and 14 days. Nor is there any end in sight to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines eating their Thanksgiving dinners in dusty outposts far from home. We are thankful for their… Keep reading →
The Marine Corps chose BAE and SAIC from a field of five competitors to build competing prototypes for the long-awaited Amphibious Combat Vehicle. BAE, a dominant player in tracked armored vehicles, had teamed with Italian armsmaker Iveco to offer a variant of the Italians’ wheeled SuperAV. SAIC, best known as a consulting firm, offered a variant of the Singaporean Terrex.… Keep reading →
ARLINGTON: As it hustles towards a February 1st deadline, the National Commission on the Future of the Army remains pretty tight-lipped on what it’ll say in its report to Congress. Even our usually savvy sources are mostly shrugging their shoulders. However, the commissioners have dropped enough hints for us to make two educated guesses. First, the… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: The Navy’s new offices for unmanned systems — that’s drones or robots to you and me — are a long-overdue reform, two top experts tell us. But, as emphasized by both our outside sources and the new Navy officials themselves, it’s equally important to understand the initiative’s limits. This is not an overhaul of the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Two US special operators assisted with this morning’s hostage rescue operation in Bamako, Mali, a US Africa Command spokesman confirmed. The operators were in Mali already as advisors and so could swiftly respond to support the local forces, Col. Mark Cheadle told me. The Americans advised their Malian counterparts, who conducted the rescue, and physically helped… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Running weapons programs is a grueling job. Running Army programs, with their history of spectacular failures and cancellations, can be worse. That means Heidi Shyu‘s first achievement is endurance: in one senior position or another, the outgoing Army acquisition chief lasted five years amidst steeply declining budgets. Perhaps her biggest achievement was to keep her sense… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: The Navy and Marines are deploying at a pace they can’t sustain, says a report released today.And no feasible defense budget can build a big enough force to solve the problem, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says. Even the Navy’s famously optimistic 30-year shipbuilding plan — denounced by House seapower chairman Randy… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The budget deal setting spending levels for 2016 and 2017 is less than a month old, but pro-defense legislators already want to revisit. A top aide to Sen. John McCain said the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and his allies will “absolutely” try to revise the 2017 Pentagon topline upward. But our sources —… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The enemy of my enemy may not be my friend, but he can be useful. In a speech he’d ripped up and rewritten since Friday’s horrific attacks on Paris, CIA chief John Brennan said even the only superpower needs help in a dangerous world. That sometimes requires working with countries that make the world worse,… Keep reading →