Strategy & Policy

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[UPDATED with Congressional staffer comment] WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s coy about the next iteration of its Better Buying Power initiative, but it’s clear that “BBP 3.0” is coming. We even have some hints of what will be in it: more encouragement for rapid prototyping and other forms of innovative acquisition to keep America’s technological edge, a… Keep reading →

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Bill Greenwalt knows acquisition like few people on earth. For more than a decade he wrote acquisition laws — and fought off some — while a staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Then he went to the Pentagon, where he oversaw industrial base issues, which often included acquisition policies. Bill, now a wise man… Keep reading →

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TAMPA: The conventional image of an American president managing a crisis shows him thumbing through a briefing book on a desk in the Situation Room or Oval Office. The new standard may well become that of a president with an iPad in his lap or on his desk, keenly watching a video or flipping through… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: Adds British Defense Minister’s Statement On F-35 Flights; Hagel and Hammond Discussed TAMPA: I should have run this story weeks ago when it looked almost certain that the F-35 would fly to the Farnborough Air Show and its cousin, the Royal International Air Tattoo. Instead, my colleague Andrea Shalal reported it this morning. Tip of… Keep reading →

Fast Missile Craft FMC for Egypt

The Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf doesn’t have an effective long-distance missile for ship-to-ship engagements. The Navy’s plans to eventually position eight Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in the gulf by 2018 will not alleviate this problem, given current armament and design. (Tarbi wanted to use the Arabian Gulf instead of Persian, but the… Keep reading →

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The Ukrainian crisis created by Russia’s aggressive adventurism has sparked much soul-searching among NATO’s commanders, western lawmakers and policymakers and the western defense world’s thinkerati. Should we bolster missile defenses in central Europe? What about the permanent US military presence in Europe? Has it gotten too small? Do we need to bolster America’s nuclear forces,… Keep reading →

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The outlines of a possible nuclear deal with Iran are now clear. What isn’t known is whether Iran will actually agree to the terms of the six major powers with which it negotiates – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France. In the latest round of talks this week in Vienna, both sides are… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: In a move with major implications for the defense budget, defense contractors, and inter-service politics, the Marine Corps is set to publish a new “capstone concept” — leaked to Breaking Defense – that will guide the entire service for the next decade. From the title on, Expeditionary Force 21 paints an emphatic, uncompromising picture of a future Marine… Keep reading →

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Sweden, long the major neutral power in northern Europe, has climbed quietly and elegantly out of its cozy perch to great effect since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, with Russia’s Vladimir Putin bearing his chest and threatening his neighbors with threats that sound awfully familiar to a lot of older Europeans, some commentators have… Keep reading →

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  If President Obama ever had a rationale for moving away from his personal belief in nuclear disarmament, Vladimir Putin has provided one in Crimea. Russia’s annexation is a game-changer that will likely change the strategic dynamic in Europe in ways that neither Putin nor Obama fully understands. If deterrence equals capability plus will, then… Keep reading →

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