THE WATERGATE: United we stand, Great Britain’s ambassador to the US insisted today. Despite all the strains on the Atlantic alliance — post-Snowden backlash against American spying, rising anti-EU sentiment in Britain, German dependence on Russian energy — the US, the UK, and their continental European allies stand together against what he called Russian “hybrid… Keep reading →
The outlines of a possible nuclear deal with Iran are now clear. What isn’t known is whether Iran will actually agree to the terms of the six major powers with which it negotiates – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France. In the latest round of talks this week in Vienna, both sides are… Keep reading →
As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: China is hurtling headlong towards a major conflict in the Pacific – but that course can change, one of America’s most creative strategists says. Just four years ago, Beijing welcomed a delegation of 600 Japanese lawmakers and other influentials led by political kingmaker Ichiro Ozawa, and China-Japan relations were warming up so fast that some… Keep reading →
GENEVA: The marathon nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva last week faltered because of fundamental differences — not because the French are spoilers. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters upon arriving in Geneva that “nothing is settled” and then was blamed for imposing new conditions that torpedoed an all-but-written settlement that Iran would not… Keep reading →
PARIS AIR SHOW: It’s fair to say that the unabashed star of this show was the Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter. It didn’t fly much but when it did, jaws dropped. With no American military fighters, helicopters or cargo planes flying here this year, the Su-35 pretty much had the show to itself, since the European… Keep reading →
PARIS AIR SHOW: If you think times are tough in the United States defense world, consider that three of Europe’s biggest defense companies, where defense budgets have been on a downward trajectory for a decade, have issued a plea for help building a European medium altitude drone. In a press release sent out simulatenously in… Keep reading →
This year’s Paris Air Show promises to be one of the most lackluster for the defense sector in at least a decade. America is sending virtually no military aircraft to fly the all-important afternoon displays: no F-22s, no F-35s, no C-17s, no C-130s. American companies have scaled back their executives’ participation, not because it saves any… Keep reading →
[updated] WASHINGTON: The Army’s proposed Ground Combat Vehicle would offer less combat power, at a higher cost, than buying the German-made Puma already in production or even just upgrading the Army’s existing M2 Bradley, according to the Congressional Budget Office. CBO issued a report today assessing different alternatives to upgrade Army heavy brigades‘ infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), tank-like war machines with tracks and turrets designed to carry troops into combat.
Paris and Berlin are in a bind as British-based BAE and Franco-German giant EADs, the parent company of Airbus, seek approval to merge into the world’s largest aerospace company.
If the French and German governments accept the companies’ current merger terms, their ability to influence the new tri-national behemoth will be sharply diminished and they will possess less power to protect their citizens’ job. If they demand greater influence, however, they may scupper the deal altogether, because both investors and the US government are leery of Franco-German meddling. Keep reading →
LAS VEGAS: As US defense spending ramps down, both the military and the aerospace industry want to sell more drones to friends and allies overseas. Right now, however, export controls and arms control treaties make that awfully hard.
“The foreign sales aspect of these RPAs [remotely piloted aircraft] is potentially huge,” Maj. Gen. James Poss, who heads policy making on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for the Air Force staff, said Wednesday at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference (click here for full coverage). A less restrictive export policy for unmanned aircraft is “in the national interest of the United States,” Poss continued. “It’s something we’re aggressively working with both the OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] policy folks and the State Department.” Keep reading →