USS Lassen China Freedom of Navigation

Those of us who cover the US military in detail, those in the military and those who spend lots of time around the military tend to be at least mildly obsessed with Star Trek and Star Wars. As his opening make clear, Dean Cheng is truly one of the tribe. But his topic, freedom of… Keep reading →

Map of Djibouti and surrounding area

Once in a while we feel the need to remind the world that we’ve done something fabulous and are glad to see the competition catch up. Today is one of those days. The New York Times, in a story we are sure will garner close attention on Capitol Hill, at the Pentagon and at NATO… Keep reading →

Army National Guard AH-64 Apaches.

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 →

Russia bombs Syrian targets

President Francois Hollande of France arrives Tuesday in Washington for talks with President Obama. Top of the list will be how much America is willing to commit to destroying Daesh, the terrorist group we used to call ISIL. Robbin Laird, Ed Timperlake and Harald Malmgren explore in detail what America’s options are, what France wants and… Keep reading →

Navy photo

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 →

Todd Harrison (CSIS)

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 →

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 →

Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetery

We’ll leave the speeches and ceremonies to others. As someone who works with people in the military every day, unlike the great majority of Americans, I have some idea of the decency, commitment and, yes, passion, with which those who wear the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard pursue their tasks… Keep reading →

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