I’ve been trying to figure out a way to address the subtleties that are being missed or ignored by most critics of the NSA’s recently revealed PRISM program, but it’s gotten lost in the process of readying for the Paris Air Show and covering those things that the famous Washington journalism pack isn’t following in… Keep reading →
Intel & Cyber
Deloitte LLP’s 2013 “Global Defense Outlook,” released today, is basically all bad news. Even the silver linings turned to lead when we talked them over this morning with the chief of the defense practice at the giant consulting firm, retired Air Force Gen. Charles Wald. As US defense spending staggers, there are some other places… Keep reading →
By Trey Obering and Rebeccah Heinrichs Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced in March that the administration would deploy more Ground-based Interceptors or “GBIs” to better defend American cities from North Korean ballistic missiles. He also said it would begin studying sites on the East Coast in the event the administration decided to build a third… Keep reading →
As the Department of Defense continues to wrestle with the high costs and often slow pace of military technology and acquisition programs, it would do well to take a closer look at that other bastion of high-tech government programs: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA’s low-cost missions from yesteryear just might hold the secret… Keep reading →
UPDATED: ManTech Cyber Expert Comment Added WASHINGTON: One day after reports that China has launched powerful and persistent cyber espionage attacks on a wide array of US and allied weapons systems, including stealing blueprints for a new building to house Australia’s top counterintelligence organization, the Pentagon spokesman says this has not led to an “erosion… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The private sector — and the government — must “exhaust” the use of traditional responses such as public shaming, criminal charges, diplomatic demarches, and sanctions “before we contemplate the dangerous possibility we might encourage vigilantism,” the powerful deputy director of the National Security Agency says. Chris Inglis offered an audience of several hundred gathered for… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: Intent on ensuring the American taxpayers gets value for money and the Defense Department gets tactical intelligence it needs, Rep. Mac Thornberry wants to fence half of the money for the Pentagon’s new Defense Clandestine Service. “I think that DIA has made significant progress in developing and explaining the DCS,” Thornberry, chairman of… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: What homemade roadside bombs could do to Army and Marine ground vehicles was the ugly surprise of the last decade. What sophisticated long-range missiles could do to Navy aircraft carriers could be the ugly surprise of the next. “I think it would almost follow like the night to the day,” Rep. Randy Forbes told me in a recent interview. “The last decade… we asked a disproportionate sacrifice from the Army and Marine Corps,” he went on. “The next decade’s going to be the decade of seapower and projection forces, [and] some of those ugly surprises we see bits and pieces of already.”
As chairman of the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee, Forbes wants to refocus fellow legislators, the Pentagon, and, for that matter, the media from a narrow debate over the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to a wider look at all the capabilities that a carrier can support. That includes not just traditional manned fighters like the F-35, but also unmanned drones like the X-47B and the future UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System), electronic warfare aircraft like the EA-18G Growler, and even cyber attacks. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The American Civil Liberties Union, those card-carrying folks, have come straight out in opposition to CISPA, the House cybersecurity bill.
The ACLU cited the Obama administration’s “veto threat” in its statement, released soon after the 288-127 bipartisan vote in favor of the bill. But the administration’s veto threat is pretty squishy, if past Obama and Bush threats are any guide. The Office of Management and Budget Statement of Administration Policy says that, “…if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” Usually that’s a warning shot meant to influence the final shape of the bill and usually means nothing happens. Keep reading →
At 1:03 pm today, the US Air Force launched a robotic space plane that can stay in orbit for over a year. That’s good news for the nation’s troubled space program. The X-37B, as it’s called, is pretty cool — and highly classified. But beyond the veil of secrecy, what’s it really good for? The answer is intriguing but hardly obvious.
First of all, despite some overheated speculation, the Boeing-built X-37B is probably not a space fighter, a space bomber or some kind of satellite-killer to take on the burgeoning Chinese space program. For long-range strikes on ground targets, the Air Force has a much more modest — and affordable — program for a Next-Generation Bomber, basically a souped-up B-2 that won’t even break the speed of sound, let alone reach orbit. And the military has had working anti-satellite weapons since the 1980s: The current satellite-killer is the Standard Missile SM-3, which launches off the Navy’s Aegis ships. You don’t need a robot space plane to do either job. Keep reading →