Russia

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 →

WASHINGTON: There’s no one thing that keeps the Pentagon’s chief of intelligence up at night. There’s half-a-dozen things — terrorism, cybersecurity, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China — but Mike Vickers has a six-point plan to counter them. “The big challenge we face is really in the aggregation of challenges,” the under secretary for intelligence… Keep reading →

Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

CRYSTAL CITY: “If it floats, it fights,” Rear Adm. Peter Fanta says. “That’s ‘distributed lethality'[:] Make every cruiser, destroyer, amphib, LCS [Littoral Combat Ship], a thorn in somebody else’s side.” “It just takes arming everything,” says Fanta, the director of surface warfare (section N96) on the Navy staff. “Lethality” simply means more and better weapons. “Distributed” means… 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 →

Special Operations night Afghanistan size0-army.mil-80009-2010-07-14-060748

ARLINGTON: “We have, in my view, exquisite capabilities to kill people,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland. “We need exquisite capabilities to manipulate them.” Psychological subtlety and the US military don’t always go hand-in-hand. Worldwide, we’ve become better known for drone strikes and Special Operations raids to kill High Value Targets. But that wasn’t enough for the last 13… Keep reading →

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

WASHINGTON: If confirmed as Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter will be “more energetic” than outgoing Sec. Chuck Hagel, a top Pentagon official said today. The rational and mild-mannered Jamie Morin, the Pentagon’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation (CAPE), of course put it more politely than that in his remarks this afternoon at the… Keep reading →

nato-logo

WASHINGTON: NATO is now taking cyber threats as seriously as the Russian tanks and nuclear weapons it was created to deter. But the alliance has a long way to go just to shore up its own network defenses, and it explicitly eschews any role on the offense. NATO has not even written a formal policy… Keep reading →

russian-troops-parade-in-st-petersburg

[UPDATED Nov. 4 with Adm. Greenert’s comments] WASHINGTON: While Russian combat aircraft grab the headlines by buzzing NATO airspace as far west as Portugal, Russian supply trucks are quietly redrawing the map back in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin swallowed the Crimea whole in a single gulp, but it looks like he’s digesting eastern Ukraine by a kind… Keep reading →

Army soldier with radio entering Stryker - Baghdad -army.mil-2007-05-14-145904

AUSA: A new generation of generals is rising in the Army. It’s a generation forced to get creative by more than a decade of ugly unconventional conflicts. It’s a generation disillusioned by the mistakes of superiors, military and civilian alike. It’s a generation willing to take on the Army’s bureaucratic culture of top-down management, which… Keep reading →

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