Strategy & Policy

An Army soldier keeps watch on Thanksgiving Day in Afghanistan's Paktika province.

Never have so many been so thankful to so few for so long. America has been at war now for 14 years, two months, and 14 days. Nor is there any end in sight to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines eating their Thanksgiving dinners in dusty outposts far from home. We are thankful for their… Keep reading →

Bill LaPlante

PENTAGON: My favorite line from Bill LaPlante’s final interview before he sheds the title of head of Air Force acquisition: “We used to suck, and now we don’t suck as much.” That could be the overall assessment one gives to Pentagon acquisition these days, though it might not be entirely fair. But LaPlante was only talking… Keep reading →

British F-35B

WASHINGTON: The British have released their Strategic Defense Review, declaring they will plug the gaping hole in their anti-submarine warfare capabilities by buying nine P-8s from Boeing and showing considerable confidence in Lockheed Martin’s F-35 as they pledge to buy more earlier. The “National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review” also restated its commitment to… Keep reading →

Russia bombs Syrian targets

President Francois Hollande of France arrives Tuesday in Washington for talks with President Obama. Top of the list will be how much America is willing to commit to destroying Daesh, the terrorist group we used to call ISIL. Robbin Laird, Ed Timperlake and Harald Malmgren explore in detail what America’s options are, what France wants and… Keep reading →

A Navy sailor instructs a Malian police officer

WASHINGTON: Two US special operators assisted with this morning’s hostage rescue operation in Bamako, Mali, a US Africa Command spokesman confirmed. The operators were in Mali already as advisors and so could swiftly respond to support the local forces, Col. Mark Cheadle told me. The Americans advised their Malian counterparts, who conducted the rescue, and physically helped… Keep reading →

Bill LaPlante

WASHINGTON: It may have happened before but I can’t remember when the top acquisition officials of two of the three services announced their resignations in the same month — let alone on the same day. But both Bill LaPlante, the lead buyer for the Air Force, and Heidi Shyu, his counterpart at the Army, did just… Keep reading →

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber

WASHINGTON: While I hear there are still difficult details to be ironed out, the United States and Australia appear close to agreeing to regularly fly strategic bombers and airborne tankers from Darwin and Tindal air base in Australia. Gen. Lori Robinson, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast this morning that… Keep reading →

Navy photo

CAPITOL HILL: The Navy and Marines are deploying at a pace they can’t sustain, says a report released today.And no feasible defense budget can build a big enough force to solve the problem, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments says. Even the Navy’s famously optimistic 30-year shipbuilding plan — denounced by House seapower chairman Randy… Keep reading →

Fiery Cross Reef April 11, 2015

UPDATED: Obama Calls On China To Halt Reclamation On Reefs WASHINGTON:  China is destroying swaths of coral reefs in one of the most important fisheries in Asia and causing enormous environmental damage as it builds the fake islands it is putting up in the South China Sea, To get some idea as to just how extensive China’s… Keep reading →

Todd Harrison (CSIS)

WASHINGTON: The budget deal setting spending levels for 2016 and 2017 is less than a month old, but pro-defense legislators already want to revisit. A top aide to Sen. John McCain said the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and his allies will “absolutely” try to revise the 2017 Pentagon topline upward. But our sources —… Keep reading →

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