afghanistan

afghan-soldier-patrol

CAPITOL HILL: Afghanistan won’t go downhill like Iraq, the next Marine Corps Commandant told the Senate Armed Services Committee, because the US isn’t withdrawing in the same precipitous way. In fact, we’re not withdrawing, just transitioning. “I was one of the thousands of Marines who served in the Anbar province,” now fallen to the Islamic… Keep reading →

rachelkleinfeld

For years, “realists” in foreign policy claimed that the kind of government inside another state didn’t matter – foreign policy was only about what countries did outside their borders. As Iraq and northern Syria join in a de-facto jihadist statelet, Ukraine’s east is dismantled, and Central American refugees pour into Texas, it might be time… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  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 →

A National Guard AH-64 Apache lands on a Navy ship -- a rare skill in the Army. But the Pentagon's budget plans would move all Guard Apaches to active-duty units.

WASHINGTON: National Guard attack helicopter units just can’t be as battle-ready as full-time regular Army ones, Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox has been telling the Hill. That’s why the Guard should give all its AH-64 Apache gunships to the active-duty force to replace older aircraft lost to budget cuts. “Combat elements must be in… Keep reading →

A California National Guard soldier in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: Late Friday, the powerful National Guard Association of the US escalated the already bitter conflict between the Guard community and regular Army leaders by another notch — and they did so in response to something an Army general told Breaking Defense. On Tuesday, Breaking Defense published an interview I’d done with Maj. Gen.  John Rossi,… Keep reading →

South Dakota National Guard soldiers on duty in Afghanistan.

The battle between the regular Army and the National Guard, which we all knew would blow up one of these days, has blown up. At 3:30 this afternoon, the spokesman of the 54 state and territorial Guard commanders, Kentucky Adjutant General Ed Tonini, raised the standard of revolt against the active-duty leadership who had, he said, “slammed their… Keep reading →

Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, speaking at the Carnegie Endowment this afternoon.

As America winds up its 13-year war in Afghanistan, where do things stand? “I leave this Saturday night [for Helmand province] to meet the governor and the provincial police chief,” Gen. James Amos said this afternoon. “My sense is, it’s about” — and here he paused — “it’s about as good as it’s going to… Keep reading →

sof-in-afghanistan

The commander of US Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven, will deliver the keynote speech this morning at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict conference. One of the most respected analysts of special forces, Linda Robinson of the RAND Corp., wants to send a message to the admiral’s bosses and to Congress: special operations… Keep reading →

army-field-artillery-training-2010-0521-2

The Army announced new assignments for ten generals this afternoon, but two in particular stand out as signs of the times. They’re sending a battle-hardened artilleryman from the 82nd Airborne Division to the No. 2 job in South Korea and a veteran acquisition officer to Afghanistan. Moving Maj. Gen. Harold Greene from the Army’s acquisition… Keep reading →

ROK Korea - Utah Army National Guard training

WASHINGTON: Two years ago, the Obama administration announced its “Pacific Pivot” (hastily renamed a “rebalance”), but crises keep yanking US attention back from a rising China to the unstable cradle of civilization (as we predicted at the time): Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic, Syria disintegrated into an increasingly sectarian… Keep reading →

An A-10 "Warthog" firing its infamous 30 mm gun.

WASHINGTON: The A-10 Warthog is ugly, tough, lethal, and fairly flexible. Its famous 30mm gun can destroy tanks or other armored vehicles with remarkable efficiency, not to mention enemy troops. Its titanium tub of a cockpit protects the plane’s pilot from most ground fire. Its pilots are trained to fly low and slow and to… Keep reading →

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