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Army Secretary John McHugh

WASHINGTON: The top question on defense lawmakers’ minds right now is: “Can we trust you with the people’s money?” And no large military organization has a worse record in that respect than the US Army, with its unhappy track record of canceled programs and wasted billions dating to before 9/11. It’s such a sensitive and high-stakes question that, when I started to ask Army… Keep reading →

Amphibious operation  Exercise Cobra Gold 97

WASHINGTON: The conservative Heritage Foundation has published an ambitious Index of Military Strength, which — not surprisingly — finds that the United States military is not beefy enough to manage the many threats it faces around the world. The core finding of the well-written analysis is that the US military could handle two major theater wars… Keep reading →

Navy Tests Converted Guided Missile Sub

Nuclear modernization will receive at least $1.2 billion more this year than last year’s $23.5 billion if the president’s Defense Department budget request is approved. Modernization funding for nuclear weapons and their delivery systems comprise 4 percent of the defense budget and 0.6 percent of the Federal budget. These include : the Ohio-class submarine replacement program (ORP);… Keep reading →

Patriot missile launcher

WASHINGTON: It’s been a big week for arms exports. But sometimes the big story isn’t what you think. While headlines have focused on the US government’s decision to allow limited exports of armed drones, arguably the most important export policy change involved a material called gallium nitride (GaN). “The gallium nitride story is an under-reported… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster

WASHINGTON: After two decades of procurement disasters, the Army is finally overhauling how it buys new weapons. The service is starting with a difficult test indeed: the new light armored vehicle to provide mobile protected firepower to the 82nd Airborne and other light infantry forces — a role unfilled since the temperamental M551 Sheridan retired in… Keep reading →

Dyson LTG Karen Army budget IMG_1870

ARLINGTON: No one knows what the 2016 budget is really going to be. In fact, no one can even plan properly for what it might be, the highest-ranking budgeteer in Army uniform made clear this morning. The uncertainty is coming at the Pentagon from two sides at the same time. On the demand side, there’s… Keep reading →

Army Patriot missile launch

ARLINGTON: Hitting a bullet with a bullet is an astounding feat. But now that US missile defenses can do it routinely, we’re realizing it’s not enough. As technology spreads around the world, more countries are getting larger numbers of more capable missiles. A cash-strapped America can’t afford to shoot down each incoming threat with a… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →

Missile Defense Agency photo

ARLINGTON: There’s no peace dividend in missile defense. While most types of Army units don’t deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan anymore, some scarce specialties are in increasing demand worldwide, such as special operators, division staffs, and missile defense forces like the famous Patriot. As long-range missile threats increase from Iran and North Korea, China and Russia,… Keep reading →

CENTCOM data analyzed by Breaking Defense

[UPDATED with McCain comment] The war is escalating. But what have six months of airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State actually achieved so far? Last week, Jordan launched its retaliation against the Islamic State for burning a Jordanian pilot alive. Yesterday, we learned ISIL had murdered hostage Kayla Mueller. This morning, President Obama formally proposed a… Keep reading →

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