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 →

Fort Meade

FORT MEADE, MD: “Remember the peace dividend we took in the Clinton years in the ’90s? Welcome back,” said Douglas Packard. “That’s where we’re at.” Some 20 years ago as defense budgets plummeted post-Cold War, the defense industry consolidated, recalled Packard, acting head of procurement at the Defense Information Systems Agency. Contractors better beware once more,… Keep reading →


TAMPA: The conventional image of an American president managing a crisis shows him thumbing through a briefing book on a desk in the Situation Room or Oval Office. The new standard may well become that of a president with an iPad in his lap or on his desk, keenly watching a video or flipping through… Keep reading →

CIA director and Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden in happier days, swearing in new recruits.

NATIONAL HARBOR: Media outcry and public uproar over the Edward Snowden revelations have created a deeply demoralizing backlash against the US intelligence community and paralyzed key cybersecurity initiatives, Gen. Michael Hayden — former director of both the CIA and the NSA — said today. “If you look at the psychic effect of Snowden on the… Keep reading →

Richard Whittle, in addition to being a regular contributor to Breaking Defense, is a senior scholar at the Wilson Center. He is writing a book on the Predator, the first armed drone. In an earlier incarnation, Rick once accompanied the late congressman Charlie Wilson to Pakistan for a visit to the Afghan mujahedeen. The Editor

WASHINGTON: Even before it started, a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday on John O. Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director reignited the smoldering debate on the legality and constitutionality of an important legal and moral question: When and how does the U.S. government assert the right to, in effect, execute someone — especially one of its own citizens — without a trial? Keep reading →

The intelligence community is developing a single cloud computing network to allow all its analysts to access and rapidly sift through massive volumes of data. When fully complete, this effort will create a pan-agency cloud, with organizations sharing many of the same computing resources and information. More importantly, the hope is the system will break down existing boundaries between agencies and change their insular cultures.

As in the rest of the federal government, lower costs and higher efficiency are the primary reasons for the intelligence world’s shift to cloud computing, said Charles Allen, formerly Under Secretary of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis, currently a principal with the Chertoff Group, in an interview with Breaking Defense. Now in its eighth month, the goal of the effort is to connect the CIA’s existing cloud to a new cloud run by the National Security Agency. This NSA-run network consists of five other intelligence agencies and the FBI. Both of these clouds can interoperate, but the CIA has its own unique needs because it must work with human intelligence, which necessitates keeping its cloud slightly separate, he said. Keep reading →

[After meeting this morning with Amb. Susan Rice, Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, spoke to reporters today at a 12noon roundtable at the Foreign Policy Institute's annual conference, where she promised there "absolutely" would be a hold if Amb. Rice is nominated for Secretary of State -- and potentially, a hold on any administration nominee for the position -- until the administration answers Congress's questions about the terrorist attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi. (Click here for Jon Huntsman's exhortation to his fellow Republicans to back off on Benghazi). What follows is our rush transcript of her remarks.]

My meeting with Amb. Rice — I actually came out of the meeting more troubled than I went in, for a couple of reasons…. Keep reading →

Our clever Chinese friends at Next Media Animation have done it again with a video offering their unique perspective on the scandal that has enveloped two of our top military leaders — and several women.

We haven’t pursued these stories with much gusto, keeping our focus on strategy, policy and politics and leaving the prurient and sad events to our colleagues who are more driven by each day’s fleeting events. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: It is a classic — and sad — Washington story. The most storied general since the Vietnam War, David Petraeus, resigns as director of the CIA late on a Friday afternoon because of an extramarital affair.

Petraeus helped revolutionize the ways in which intelligence was used by the US military and greatly improved cooperation between the intelligence community — as the alphabet soup of agencies such as the CIA, NRO, NSA, DIA, DNI and NGA are known — and the uniformed troops who go into harm’s way. Keep reading →

ON A TRAIN SOMEWHERE ON THE EAST COAST: Imagine a soldier, wearing mufti, traveling through Syria in a rattletrap taxi. He’s a spy, dressed in a suit, going to meet an agent who says he can offer rebels the Syrian government’s order of battle.

The soldier, an Army intelligence officer fluent in Syrian and Iraqi Arabic, has spent 18 months cultivating the source, a senior official in the telecommunications company owned by the brother of Syria’s president. The son of a general, the agent has grown disillusioned by two years of civil war and wants to help end his country’s agony. His information could help the rebels break the regime’s back. Keep reading →

Page 1 of 212