Strategy & Policy

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WASHINGTON: This afternoon, a congressionally chartered panel of prestigious defense experts denounced sequestration as “self-defeating” and a “serious strategic misstep” that “Congress and the President should repeal…immediately.” But will it preach to anyone not already in the choir? While bipartisan, the National Defense Panel is most heeded by House Republicans. They see it as a valuable… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

PENTAGON: The grander the title, the blander the content. That’s normally a safe rule in Washington. But if analyzed closely, this afternoon’s “State of the Air Force” briefing by service Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Mark Welsh, plus the accompanying pamphlet A Call To the Future, actually do articulate a remarkably clear… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

Heritage Flight Conference

[UPDATED with Air Force release] This afternoon, the Air Force released a new strategy for “Strategic Agility,” the culmination of months of research to create an overarching framework to forecast the capabilities the US Air Force must have for the next 30 years. The Air Force’s strategy and the term itself was inspired by a 2013… Keep reading →

Rep Doug Lamborn Colorado

Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn is a fervent advocate for US aid to Israel’s missile defense programs, especially the celebrated Iron Dome. In this op-ed, the House Armed Services Committee member argues that such technologies are just one part of a larger strategy for the survival of Israel: living with perennial threats by regularly cutting them back — often… Keep reading →

Brad Carson, Under Secretary of the Army, talks to solders in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: This hurts us more than it hurts you. That’s the essence of the regular Army’s message to the National Guard about the Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI), a controversial cost-cutting plan that — among other things – strips the Guard of all its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. Pain is on its way for all of… Keep reading →

Gen. William Shelton, commander of US Air Force Space Command.

WASHINGTON: Watch the skies. While they’re far from falling, the head of Air Force Space Command said today, the heavens aren’t the “peaceful sanctuary” they once were, either. Nothing short of a nuclear missile could pull the plug on a satellite constellation as robust as the Global Positioning System (GPS), Gen. William Shelton said, semi-reassuringly.… Keep reading →

Sir Peter Westmacott, the British Ambassador to the United States.

THE WATERGATE: United we stand, Great Britain’s ambassador to the US insisted today. Despite all the strains on the Atlantic alliance — post-Snowden backlash against American spying, rising anti-EU sentiment in Britain, German dependence on Russian energy — the US, the UK, and their continental European allies stand together against what he called Russian “hybrid… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED 2:10 pm with comment from President Obama & Pentagon spokesman Kirby] Western media are hardly going easy on Russia. But in all the often-excellent coverage I’ve read so far of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 disaster – which claimed 295 lives – no one* is pointing out two basic facts that point towards Russia and… Keep reading →

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