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PENTAGON: On a grand strategic level, the Defense Department’s 2017 spending plan reorients the military to deter Russia and China. Down in the trenches, though, it’s a long, slow slog to rebuild the force for high-intensity conflict after 14 years of irregular warfare in the Islamic world — which isn’t actually ending — and three… Keep reading →

Robert Work

PENTAGON: The Pentagon says it wants a revolution and the 2017 budget to be unveiled today funds a host of high-tech weapons, from arsenal planes to Hyper Velocity Projectiles to robots. But for Deputy Defense Secretary  Bob Work, the real bleeding edge of innovation is not a weapon, no matter how impressive. It’s a secretive command… Keep reading →

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Here’s a thought experiment. What if Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders becomes president? What would a Sanders defense program look like? Yes, yes, a near win in Iowa does not a presidential nominee make. Even though he’ll probably win in his neighboring state of New Hampshire, there is a long slog to the convention. Then there is… Keep reading →

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

WASHINGTON: Arsenal plane. It’s a great name, no? And the Hyper Velocity Projectile. Whoa. Fast flying swarming micro drones. Neat! There’s much more being developed, but it’s classified. Where is all this coming from? The Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO for short. Defense Secretary Ash Carter talked up the new office in his 2017 budget preview speech… Keep reading →

Missile Defense Agency photo

WASHINGTON: The US Army must play a larger role in the Pacific to deter China, one of DC’s leading defense experts is telling Congress today. That larger role requires politically and fiscally difficult decisions to build new kinds of units and base them in new places, Andrew Krepinevich told me in advance of his Capitol… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: After 25 years of war in the Middle East, the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is the first driven by Russia and China. “The program has been shifted to a more acute focus on the two high-end competitors, Russia and China,” a senior defense official told Sydney in an interview ahead of Secretary Ash Carter’s budget speech this… Keep reading →

Promotion ceremony Army

UPDATED: Pentagon official rejects Commission’s Apache plan as “too expensive” WASHINGTON: After nine months of often frantic effort, the National Commission on the Future of the Army delivered its final report yesterday afternoon. Now comes the hard part. It’s 2016, not 2015, that will be the year of the commission, because their 208-page report will… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: Retired Gen. Ham Adds Apache Cost Info At Friday breakfast WASHINGTON: The congressionally chartered National Commission on the Future of the Army recommends splitting the difference between the regular Army and the National Guard in a bitterly polarizing dispute over AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. That’s the most politically high-profile recommendation out of dozens, many of them… Keep reading →

F-35 Wing Assembly Cameri Italy

WASHINGTON: The Air Force’s top priority programs — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Long Range Strike Bomber, and the KC-46 tanker — will cause Pentagon procurement spending to balloon in the early 2020s, says one of the capital’s leading defense budget experts. Army ground combat programs are also increasing rapidly, but they are rising from such… Keep reading →

Terminator army: Warner Bros.

WASHINGTON: The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called today for an international debate about the use of intelligent weapons and of boosted human beings. “Where do we want to cross that line, and who crosses that first?” asked Gen. Paul Selva — considered one of the brainier occupants of an office that… Keep reading →

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