WASHINGTON: I live in a pretty old house and the doors stick sometimes. In summer they expand because of the fabulous DC humidity. Then there’s the whole settling thing, when the house sinks, the door frame warps and the door sticks. So when I heard the blast doors at Air Force ICBM silos were sticking… Keep reading →
America wants to use policy — talks on missile defense cooperation — to make Russia feel better about the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). But the Russians, who say they think EPAA threatens their ICBMs and thus creates all sorts of arms control problems. say technology — not policy — is the problem. The Russian Foreign… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: A second senior nuclear commander in a week has been relieved of his post today. Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, deputy commander of the 20th Air Force, was fired after “a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment,” the Air Force said in a statement. Carey is the deputy commander responsible for… Keep reading →
AFA Conference: The chairman and CEO of EADS North America is pressing the case of his company’s Lakota helicopters for the Air Force mission of protecting nuclear missile sites. In a letter hand-delivered today Fanning_Eric USAF UH72A 09.11.13 to Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning, Sean O’Keefe argued that the Air Force’s plan to refit… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: The best case for sequester is still a disaster – but we’re not going to get the best case. That’s the common denominator from a range of budget options rolled out today by an extraordinary alliance of four thinktanks. Their consensus recommendations to cut military readiness, Army brigades, Navy carriers, Air Force ICBMs,… Keep reading →
The Air Force general responsible for most of the nation’s military nuclear force is worried that the Continuing Resolution and the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration will wipe out 20 percent of the money he needs to keep his force combat ready.
“You can’t take those kinds of reductions we’ll be looking at without some kind of degradation.” said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command and America’s nuclear-capable bombers and the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that represent two-thirds of the total nuclear deterrence force. Keep reading →
The start of a new year and of a new administration is a good time to think about the future. A key challenge facing the new Obama administration and the Congress is to ensure that US military capabilities continue to innovate and evolve in challenging times.
Paul Bracken has underscored that we are in a Second Nuclear Age, and in this age deterrence is different, but remains as significant as the first. Bracken is concerned that we are ignoring the rebirth of nuclear weapons within the global dynamic at our peril. Keep reading →
The recent commentary by Maj. Gen. William Chambers touting the war-prevention benefits of nuclear weapons in this publication is unconvincing.
Gen. Chambers, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, overstates the peace-promoting virtues of nuclear weapons. In addition, he exaggerates the benefits of the nuclear triad and downplays the significant financial resources that will be required to sustain it. Keep reading →
One of the biggest debates in the defense world centers on the nuclear triad. Is it too expensive? Does it actually deter anyone? Is it a Cold War relic or a crucial tool for managing risk? Some experts have argued that land-based missiles just aren’t needed. Others say nuclear-capable bombers are a big fat waste of money. A very few say boomers, as nuclear missile submarines are known, are just too expensive to invest in. None of this is being discussed very publicly so when the top general who oversees the Air Force weapons that deliver nuclear warheads, Maj. Gen. William Chambers, offered us an op-ed addressing the issue we jumped at the chance to run it. The Editor.
Everyone knows military technology projects take forever and cost billions to produce, right? Just look at the Air Force’s latest fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor. The Raptor’s initial requirement was written in 1981, with the objective of developing an air superiority fighter to counter the Soviet air threat. It was declared operational in December of 2005, 14 years after the USSR collapsed. Better late than never, eh? After spending $65 billion (that’s billion-with-a-b), the Raptor fleet was capped at 187 aircraft, just 28 percent of the 650 originally envisioned.
This isn’t a unique situation. The V-22 Osprey has an almost identical story (requirement published in 1981, first delivery in 2005), except instead of $65 billion the military is projected to spend a mere $55B to acquire as many as 458 Ospreys. Keep reading →