army future

US Army photo

CAPITOL HILL: Where do ground forces fit in the Pentagon’s new offset strategy? The answer may be an intriguing mix of old-fashioned armored forces, mobile missile launchers, and lasers on trucks. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s remarks formally launching “offset” were frustratingly vague, we’ve heard plenty from other officials and outside thinkers about how the… Keep reading →

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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 →

Inside an Army electronic warfare testing facility at White Sands.

WASHINGTON: “Electronic warfare is a weapon,” fumed Col. Joe Dupont. But as the Army’s project manager for EW programs — and its recently declassified offensive cyber division — Dupont faces an uphill battle against tight budgets and Army culture to make that case. Whoever rules the airwaves will be able to keep their networks and sensors… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Congressional comment] Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reassured the Army today that its role is not “eroding” or “diminishing,” despite shrinking budgets, the rebalance to the watery Pacific theater, and the Obama administration’s commitment to “no boots on the ground” against self-proclaimed Islamic State. Instead, echoing comments by the Army’s own leaders, Hagel said… Keep reading →

The Sikorsky S-97 prototype.

The company that built the first workable helicopter rolled out a (potential) revolution in chopper technology yesterday: Sikorsky’s high-speed S-97 Raider. A year ago, Sikorsky made a splash at the huge Association of the US Army conference with just a life-size mock-up. Now, just in time to talk it up at AUSA 2014, they’ve built a working… Keep reading →

Army Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess (foreground) and CSIS scholar Maren Leed (background).

WASHINGTON: “Everybody’s got to change,” Army Gen. David Perkins told me last week. But can the biggest, most bureaucratic, and most fractious service really break a 12-year streak of cancelled multi-billion-dollar programs? It turns out the Army is already taking some important steps. A new doctrine and a long-range planning process instituted two years ago have begun to… Keep reading →

Gen. David Perkins, TRADOC commander.

WASHINGTON: “Everybody’s got to change.” That’s the message from Army Gen. David Perkins, about everything from concepts to training to weapons programs. “A couple of weeks ago, we had a meeting with the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff,” he said. “They said, ‘look, this is not business as usual.” “Everybody is going to have to… Keep reading →

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Russia casts a long shadow nowadays, especially if you’re a neighbor. Armed with heavy tanks, jet fighters, long-range missiles, and the world’s slickest state-sponsored cyber-criminals, Russia is a very different threat from the so-called Islamic State, the Taliban, or even China. So how must the US and its NATO allies change gears, mindset and tactics to cope?… Keep reading →

Bradley armored vehicles from the 1st Cavalry Division shipped out in August for a deployment to Eastern Europe.

WASHINGTON: The Mideast may have the spotlight right now, but it’s not the only area that has the Army of Chief of Staff worried. In an uncanny parallel to the 1990s, the end of a large-scale ground deployment — in Europe then, in Iraq and Afghanistan now — has led to steep Army budget cuts even as… Keep reading →

The Navy's "Laser Weapon System" (LaWS) prototype aboard ship for tests off San Diego in 2012.

CAPITOL HILL: Lasers that can shoot down incoming missiles have been a work in progress since Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” days. Now, the Army and Navy not only have working demonstration models but ambitions to field real-world weapons circa 2021. This time, insisted Pentagon science advisor Howard Meyer this morning, it’s really going to happen.… Keep reading →

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