allies

Russian Spetsnaz

WASHINGTON: Vladimir Putin won’t blitzkrieg the Baltic states any time soon. It’s not his style, said the commander of the soldiers sent to the three small NATO nations last year to reassure them. That’s good news — especially in light of the bad news: The US effort to shore up its eastern allies and Ukraine,… Keep reading →

Lethal Presence

It seems like drones are everywhere in Washington. A drone landed on the White House lawn, the Federal Aviation Administration released regulations for small commercial drones in U.S. airspace, and, most recently, the State Department finally unveiled a long-awaited policy on the export of U.S.-origin military and commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), colloquially referred to as… Keep reading →

Patriot missile launcher

WASHINGTON: It’s been a big week for arms exports. But sometimes the big story isn’t what you think. While headlines have focused on the US government’s decision to allow limited exports of armed drones, arguably the most important export policy change involved a material called gallium nitride (GaN). “The gallium nitride story is an under-reported… Keep reading →

CENTCOM data analyzed by Breaking Defense

[UPDATED with McCain comment] The war is escalating. But what have six months of airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State actually achieved so far? Last week, Jordan launched its retaliation against the Islamic State for burning a Jordanian pilot alive. Yesterday, we learned ISIL had murdered hostage Kayla Mueller. This morning, President Obama formally proposed a… Keep reading →

Secretary of State John Kerry

As Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Ukraine, it looks as if the White House and Congress are likely to approve sending weapons there to help Ukraine drive out or destroy Russian troops and their proxies. James Kitfield spoke with a range of current and former intelligence and defense officials to examine the best… Keep reading →

Senate Armed Services Holds Hearing On F-35 Joint Strike Program

WASHINGTON: Nomination hearings are never just about the nominee. But today’s Senate lovefest for Ash Carter was remarkably dominated by two men who weren’t in the room: President Obama — in whose defense Carter was actually pretty tepid — and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The Obama White House has simultaneously “micromanag[ed]” the military and… Keep reading →

Australia to join combat operations against Islamic State in Iraq

  Washington often grumbles about its allies and their contributions — or lack thereof — to the common defense. But some allies are making key investments in 21st century weapons to operate against 21st century threats. A good example is the Royal Australian Air Force  (RAAF) and its operations against ISIL in Iraq. The RAAF strike force flew… Keep reading →

US Army photo

PENTAGON: As the US Army deploys more troops to the Pacific, it’s running into the limits of its long-range communications systems. The shortfall in comms capacity is not only becoming an issue as the service ramps up its “Pacific Pathways” exercises with Asian partners: It is also raisibng concerns about the network’s resiliency against a… Keep reading →

F-35 arrives at Luke Air Force Base

PENTAGON: The Pentagon giveth, and the Pentagon taketh away. While the Defense Department is shrinking or shuttering roughly 30 facilities across Europe, the real story isn’t a downsizing: It’s a shift. Even as the US consolidates facilities in Western Europe — some of which date to World War II — it’s building up infrastructure in Eastern Europe to contain the… Keep reading →

AFP protest Je Suis Charlie

This opinion piece — something Sydney and I rarely engage in — is offered to remind ourselves and our readers that, as yesterday’s Paris murders demonstrate, the cost of liberty can be high. Some think the currency of life and struggle — jihad, if you will — is worth paying. The Editor. If you want to be… Keep reading →

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