army

Army Secretary John McHugh

WASHINGTON: The top question on defense lawmakers’ minds right now is: “Can we trust you with the people’s money?” And no large military organization has a worse record in that respect than the US Army, with its unhappy track record of canceled programs and wasted billions dating to before 9/11. It’s such a sensitive and high-stakes question that, when I started to ask Army… Keep reading →

Russian Spetsnaz

WASHINGTON: Vladimir Putin won’t blitzkrieg the Baltic states any time soon. It’s not his style, said the commander of the soldiers sent to the three small NATO nations last year to reassure them. That’s good news — especially in light of the bad news: The US effort to shore up its eastern allies and Ukraine,… Keep reading →

Amphibious operation  Exercise Cobra Gold 97

WASHINGTON: The conservative Heritage Foundation has published an ambitious Index of Military Strength, which — not surprisingly — finds that the United States military is not beefy enough to manage the many threats it faces around the world. The core finding of the well-written analysis is that the US military could handle two major theater wars… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster

WASHINGTON: After two decades of procurement disasters, the Army is finally overhauling how it buys new weapons. The service is starting with a difficult test indeed: the new light armored vehicle to provide mobile protected firepower to the 82nd Airborne and other light infantry forces — a role unfilled since the temperamental M551 Sheridan retired in… Keep reading →

Afzal Rob LMCO laser fellow

CRYSTAL CITY: In three years the US military could have a prototype laser weapon blasting out 300 kilowatts of energy, a jump that could ignite a revolution in missile defense, a Lockheed Martin engineer told me today, A 300-kw laser could kill cruise missiles. For comparison, that’s 10 times the power output of the Laser Weapons System… Keep reading →

Dyson LTG Karen Army budget IMG_1870

ARLINGTON: No one knows what the 2016 budget is really going to be. In fact, no one can even plan properly for what it might be, the highest-ranking budgeteer in Army uniform made clear this morning. The uncertainty is coming at the Pentagon from two sides at the same time. On the demand side, there’s… Keep reading →

Army Patriot missile launch

ARLINGTON: Hitting a bullet with a bullet is an astounding feat. But now that US missile defenses can do it routinely, we’re realizing it’s not enough. As technology spreads around the world, more countries are getting larger numbers of more capable missiles. A cash-strapped America can’t afford to shoot down each incoming threat with a… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →

Missile Defense Agency photo

ARLINGTON: There’s no peace dividend in missile defense. While most types of Army units don’t deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan anymore, some scarce specialties are in increasing demand worldwide, such as special operators, division staffs, and missile defense forces like the famous Patriot. As long-range missile threats increase from Iran and North Korea, China and Russia,… Keep reading →

abrams-tank-teetering-1337297377

PENTAGON: After years of cuts and cancelled programs, tanks and other armored vehicles are beginning a comeback. In contrast to other investments in the 2016 budget request released today, the ground vehicle increases have so much congressional backing — and involve such relatively small amounts — that they’re actually likely to happen. Four tracked vehicle… Keep reading →

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