An Army soldier keeps watch on Thanksgiving Day in Afghanistan's Paktika province.

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 →

Bill LaPlante

PENTAGON: My favorite line from Bill LaPlante’s final interview before he sheds the title of head of Air Force acquisition: “We used to suck, and now we don’t suck as much.” That could be the overall assessment one gives to Pentagon acquisition these days, though it might not be entirely fair. But LaPlante was only talking… Keep reading →

British F-35B

WASHINGTON: The British have released their Strategic Defense Review, declaring they will plug the gaping hole in their anti-submarine warfare capabilities by buying nine P-8s from Boeing and showing considerable confidence in Lockheed Martin’s F-35 as they pledge to buy more earlier. The “National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review” also restated its commitment to… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

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 →

Bill LaPlante

WASHINGTON: It may have happened before but I can’t remember when the top acquisition officials of two of the three services announced their resignations in the same month — let alone on the same day. But both Bill LaPlante, the lead buyer for the Air Force, and Heidi Shyu, his counterpart at the Army, did just… Keep reading →

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

WASHINGTON: While I hear there are still difficult details to be ironed out, the United States and Australia appear close to agreeing to regularly fly strategic bombers and airborne tankers from Darwin and Tindal air base in Australia. Gen. Lori Robinson, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast this morning that… Keep reading →

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter

CAPITOL HILL: The head of Air Force acquisition, just back from the Dubai Air Show, said the United States must act fast to make it easier and quicker for allies to buy US weapons through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. If we don’t, Bill LaPLante said at an event put by on the Lexington Institute,… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

Lost in much of the initial coverage of the $80 billion Long Range Strike Bomber about specs and jobs is that the contract award is the latest step forward in an unnecessary and unsustainable projected spending binge to rebuild the U.S. nuclear arsenal in its current image. According to a January 2015 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, the direct costs of the… Keep reading →

Putin and Obama confer

In Washington, and across the globe, many ask if Russian actions represent a new challenge to international order, and, if so, what is the best course of action to respond to it. Defense Secretary Ash Carter cited Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Georgia, and most recently, Syria in his speech at the Reagan Defense Forum… Keep reading →

Submarine launched cruise missile

WASHINGTON: Two years ago, Capt. John Zimmerman and his award-winning Navy team were testing a software upgrade for submarines when they ran into a surprising problem. When they changed the code controlling the Tomahawk missile launchers, the torpedo tubes stopped working. Fortunately, this all happened in a laboratory ashore before the upgrade got anywhere near the… Keep reading →

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