Strategy & Policy

Mideast Syria Airstrikes

  WASHINGTON: The enemy of my enemy is….who exactly? That is the question U.S. Central Command planners confronted recently when they targeted the Khorasan Group, a hardcore Al Qaeda cell in Syria suspected of planning terrorist attacks against the United States and Europe. Not surprisingly, the U.S. strikes also killed fighters from the Al-Nusra Front,… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: Someone shoots a cruise missile at you. How far away would you like to stop it: over 200 miles out or less than 35? If you answered “over 200,” congratulations, you’re thinking like the US Navy, which has spent billions of dollars over decades to develop ever more sophisticated anti-missile defenses. According to Bryan… Keep reading →

Bob Work2

WASHINGTON: The “third offset strategy” is officially just four days old, but the man in charge is already lowering expectations for what it will produce. Yes, the Pentagon is absolutely seeking “the key technologies we think will give us a particular operational advantage,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work. Yes, the quest is inspired by… Keep reading →

Rep. Mac Thornberry at work.

WASHINGTON: The House Armed Services Committee will be led through the shoals of sequestration, military pay, weapons costs and a volatile world by a reform-minded and dynamic legislator. I’ve covered Rep. Mac Thornberry since before the turn of the century (that hurt) and have always found compelling his willingness to delve beneath the surface of what the… Keep reading →

Scott Swanson with Predator sensor ball - undated - from Scott Swanson (4)

The first person to fire a Hellfire missile from a Predator drone in combat and destroy a target writes here about his experience. Scott Swanson has never written about this before. Read on. The Editor. Flying a Predator drone in combat is nothing like playing a video game. Take it from me, the first person to pull… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

ABOARD THE USS ARLINGTON: 17 warships and two submarines. Thousands of personnel from 19 countries. Billions of dollars of high-tech hardware. Months of planning. But sometimes you still have to improvise. When US and Dutch warships and marines united in an international task force for the 2014 Bold Alligator wargames off Virginia, the two countries could… Keep reading →

National Archives photo

REAGAN LIBRARY: Just two months ago, prominent pro-defense Republicans were telling me the best outcome for the military budget would be a GOP-controlled Senate. Now they’ve got it — but before the new Congress is even sworn in, several veteran legislators speaking here Saturday discounted the prospect of it doing anything to scrap the automatic budget cuts… Keep reading →

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[UPDDATED with Hagel memo & expert comment] REAGAN LIBRARY: After months of build-up, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel formally launched the military’s quest for a combination of new technologies to maintain America’s military supremacy over the next 20 years in the face of Russian and Chinese challenges. In a speech before the second Reagan National Defense Forum here, Hagel divulged… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON: It isn’t official but Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work hinted today that the United States will undertake a fundamental reordering of its national security budget by paying for new nuclear submarines, new nuclear bombers and new ICBMs in new accounts set aside just for them. “This is something we have discussed in the department,” Work… Keep reading →

932nd Airlift Wing receives new plane

PENTAGON: When the the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was delayed by a day-and-a-half on his mission to secure the release of the two American hostages in North Korea because his plane wasn’t ready to fly, it sounded like a pretty good story. Combine it with recent problems with Secretary of State John Kerry’s aircraft and… Keep reading →

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