Strategy & Policy

A destroyed North Vietnamese Army tank. The NVA responded to US firepower by switching nimbly from conventional offensives to guerrilla tactics -- as the so-called Islamic State seems to be doing now.

US aircraft are flying “50 to 60″ sorties a day over Iraq, from food drops to airstrikes, but their impact is local and “very temporary,” the Pentagon’s director of operations told reporters this afternoon. While Lt. Gen. William Mayville didn’t say so outright, it’s clear the majority of missions are still “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance”… Keep reading →

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Jarno Limnéll is the Director of Cyber Security at McAfee (now part of Intel), a PhD in military science, and a former officer in the famously tough Finnish armed forces, where he spent five years as a strategic analyst. He spoke to us in June about the Russian threat in cyberspace, which many analysts consider far… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is not nimble. That’s more of a problem than ever in an era where even terrorist groups can increasingly download, buy, or steal sophisticated technology. So how can America’s bureaucratic military stay ahead? While Congress is wrestling with acquisition reform, some experts both inside the Pentagon and out argue that there’s more… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in happier days, taking command of the Defense Intelligence Agency just two years ago.

In this exclusive exit interview with Breaking Defense contributor James Kitfield, the outgoing chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, talks about metastasizing Islamic terrorism, his struggles to reform intelligence-gathering, and the risk of lurching from crisis to crisis in an Internet-accelerated world.  – the editors. “Disruptive.” That’s how Michael Flynn’s enemies… Keep reading →

Falcon Hypersonic

WASHINGTON: “We’ve been complacent,” Frank Kendall said. For decades, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer said yesterday, the US has assumed its forces will be better equipped than any foe, but that’s increasingly in doubt: “Our technological superiority is very much at risk, there are people designing systems [specifically] to defeat us in a very thoughtful… Keep reading →

Navy officers from the US (left) and China (right) meet in Qingdao on Monday.

We write a lot on this site on tactics and technologies for a war with China. But it’s worth remembering there’s another way. The US Navy in particular spends as much effort engaging Chinese leaders as it does deterring them. It’s a balancing act so delicate that the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert,… Keep reading →

Test of a Navy Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The DC debate on the Navy’s new nuclear missile submarines has been about how we can possibly pay for them. In this op-ed, however, frequent Breaking Defense contributor Bob Butterworth takes a step back to look at a much bigger picture. The Navy’s recent admission that it can’t afford the Ohio Replacement Program (ORP) is… Keep reading →

HMS Queen Elizabeth CGI image

WASHINGTON: 65,000-ton ships are hard to turn around, and they can drag a lot else in their wake. That’s the $10.4 billion (£6.2 billion) bet the Royal Navy has placed on its controversial program to build two new aircraft carriers. While a third smaller than American nuclear carriers, the ships’ costs have grown so much… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: This afternoon, a congressionally chartered panel of prestigious defense experts denounced sequestration as “self-defeating” and a “serious strategic misstep” that “Congress and the President should repeal…immediately.” But will it preach to anyone not already in the choir? While bipartisan, the National Defense Panel is most heeded by House Republicans. They see it as a valuable… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

PENTAGON: The grander the title, the blander the content. That’s normally a safe rule in Washington. But if analyzed closely, this afternoon’s “State of the Air Force” briefing by service Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Mark Welsh, plus the accompanying pamphlet A Call To the Future, actually do articulate a remarkably clear… Keep reading →

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