Strategy & Policy

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Russia casts a long shadow nowadays, especially if you’re a neighbor. Armed with heavy tanks, jet fighters, long-range missiles, and the world’s slickest state-sponsored cyber-criminals, Russia is a very different threat from the so-called Islamic State, the Taliban, or even China. So how must the US and its NATO allies change gears, mindset and tactics to cope?… Keep reading →

Bradley armored vehicles from the 1st Cavalry Division shipped out in August for a deployment to Eastern Europe.

WASHINGTON: The Mideast may have the spotlight right now, but it’s not the only area that has the Army of Chief of Staff worried. In an uncanny parallel to the 1990s, the end of a large-scale ground deployment — in Europe then, in Iraq and Afghanistan now – has led to steep Army budget cuts even as… Keep reading →

Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM)

ARMY & NAVY CLUB: In the dog-eat-dog, admiral-eat-general world of budget warfare in the age of sequestration, it’s easy to pit programs against each other. The Navy’s new nuclear missile submarine and the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber, for example, are both huge strategic-weapons programs with enormous bills coming due in the next decade and much debate… Keep reading →

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NATIONAL HARBOR: Talk about a radioactive issue. Top officials in Air Force, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense keep talking about how there is no higher priority than the nation’s nuclear deterrent. It’s so crucial, they all say, that someone else should pay for it. “No capability we maintain is more important.… Keep reading →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

NATIONAL HARBOR: When will the Air Force certify SpaceX as ready to launch military satellites — if they certify the upstart startup at all? The new chief of Air Force Space Command said this morning that “hopefully” he could certify SpaceX by December 1st. Just hours later, though, the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah… Keep reading →

F-35B and C

As commanders and contractors gather for the Air Force Association’s massive annual conference, our favorite iconoclastic officer, the White House-endorsed Lt. Col. Dan Ward, offers this merciless dissection of the Pentagon’s biggest program and how to avoid its mistakes. — the Editors In February of 2014, Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official,… Keep reading →

President Obama and ISIL speech

WASHINGTON: While the talkerati focused intently on the fairly narrow issue of the presidential strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL, they may have missed the larger message President Obama sent: America is preeminent economically and militarily and has not backed away from the world stage. For almost two years — from the time he declared a… Keep reading →

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As the Air Force Association girds for its annual conference, which starts Monday here in Washington, I was struck by several comments from several experts that the traditional dichotomy between air power and ground forces — often the focus of internecine budget battles between the Army and Air Force — isn’t that relevant any more. Aircraft… Keep reading →

Predator 2

  Rick Whittle wrote the book on the V-22, which he covered for several thousand years while a Washington reporter for the Dallas Morning News. Now he’s written the book on the Predator (on sale Monday), the drone (no RPAs on this site) and he’s obtained a great deal of operational information about Predator and the battle against… Keep reading →

ISIS targets struck by type - 2014-09-10

  UPDATED: INCLUDES TEXT OF OBAMA SPEECH AS PREPARED Just hours before President Barack Obama goes on the air to explain his strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the US military released revealing figures on the airstrikes against them so far. The new data further demolishes the idea that this… Keep reading →

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