Strategy & Policy

Ash Carter Defense Secretary

PENTAGON: The US military really, really wants Silicon Valley to help it find technologies to keep ahead of the Russians and Chinese and Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s visit there today is proof. But Silicon Valley has rejected the Pentagon’s blandishments or just plain ignored them for three decades. Today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is holding… Keep reading →

A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber being escorted away from US airspace by an F-22 in a 2007 incident.

  PENTAGON: F-22pe are finally on their way to Europe as an answer to the increasingly grumpy Russian bear, two months after Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James first announced at the Paris Air Show they might head there. If you telescope back a bit, it becomes clear this deployment may well have a wider strategic… Keep reading →

PLA Navy destroyer Qinqdao

WASHINGTON: In an intriguing and potentially significant declaration, the Chinese military declares: “Regardless of what corner of the earth, so long as it is blue there we will be on guard.” The declaration comes in an impressive recruiting video for the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). “It’s beautifully done; really tugs at the heartstrings,” says Dean Cheng, the… Keep reading →

U-2 landing

PALMDALE, CALIF.: Lockheed Martin is exploring building a stealthy successor to the U-2 as an answer to Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and the U-2’s impending retirement. Why a stealthy reconnaissance aircraft? Neither the U-2 nor Global Hawk can operate for long in what the military calls contested airspace. Ever since Gary Powers was shot down… Keep reading →

Ash Carter measuring!

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter — for now — is resisting congressional calls to uninvite China from the biggest naval exercise in the world, known as RIMPAC. In a July 16 letter to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain, Carter goes to some lengths to avoid offending China, on the one hand, and, on the… Keep reading →

Army photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: What does the NORAD commander think of America’s current approach to missile defense? “Not only is it unaffordable, it will not work,” Adm. Bill Gortney said. “We are going to lose this fight on our current strategy.” “We’ve made incredible strides in missile defense,” acknowledged Gortney, who heads both NORAD and US Northern… Keep reading →

SBIRS GEO satellite

Monday marks the beginning of the Army-centric Space and Missile Defense Symposium, an annual conference in Huntsville, Ala.  Here are a few topics likely to generate conference buzz. Missile Defense The Obama administration’s 2016 budget request for missile defense investments went up slightly to $9.6 billion for missile defense development and operations, of which $8.1 billion is for the Missile Defense… Keep reading →

Eric Fanning

WASHINGTON: On purpose or otherwise, the administration is building a truly interesting team at the top of the Army. Call them Mister Pentagon, Mister Hill, and General Trenches: Mr. Pentagon is Eric Fanning, not yet formally nominated for Army Secretary but the nigh-certain candidate. Fanning served as acting Air Force Secretary, Deputy Undersecretary of the… Keep reading →

pentagon-1363895079

At last night’s debate for those with a real shot at the nomination, there was an inverse proportion between the putative Republican presidential candidates’ places in the polls and the detail of information they offered about the US military. Most of the jaw-jaw — for that’s all it is at this stage in the race… Keep reading →

An American JSF AF-4 from the 461 FLTS, Edwards AFB, CA, piloted by Maj. Charles "FLAK" Trickey performs the first contact and fuel transfer from a KC-767 foreign partner Italian Tanker.

This is one of those intriguing benchmarks that illustrates several things about both the F-35 program — it means a lot to allies — and to the Italian tanker program — it works. Irritatingly, I knew this was supposed to happen but it’s hard to write about something that may happen until it does. We have… Keep reading →

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