CNAS

Marines use off-the-shelf Samsung tablets to coordinate operations from the back of a V-22 Osprey in an Infantry Officer Course experiment.

WASHINGTON: High-ranking officials and blue-ribbon commissions have spent decades trying to reform how the Defense Department develops new technologies, buys them, sustains them, and controls their export abroad. Almost everyone has failed. Why? Ben Fitzgerald says they’re thinking too small. “Hey guys, this is actually a strategic issue. It’s not just an acquisition issue or… Keep reading →

Army Strykers in Baghdad Iraq -army.mil-2007-05-14-145757

High-tech warfare at knife-fight ranges: that’s the ugly future of urban combat. If you thought Baghdad was bad, with its roughly six million people, imagine a “megacity” of 10 or 20 million, where the slums have more inhabitants than some countries. Imagine a city of the very near future where suspicious locals post every US… 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 →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

THE WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM, CA. 2025: “Where are the carriers?” “In the scrapyard, Mr. President. How about some submarines?” That’s a parody, not a projection. But this hypothetical future isn’t that far off from what experts from four top thinktanks — AEI, CNAS, CSBA, and CSIS — presented this morning as the “least unacceptable”… Keep reading →

Cover art from the new CNAS study, "20YY: Preparing for War in the Robotic Age."

After our story yesterday on Robert Work and Shawn Brimley‘s disconcerting vision of future robotic war, we got a thoughtful response from Brimley that, with his permission, we’ve published below. The Editors. Bob and I wrote the paper because we feel strongly that there are some powerful trends affecting the relationship between technology and military… Keep reading →

A Croatian soldier and a Minnesota National Guardsman train together for Afghanistan.

Yesterday, four mid-grade military officers — one from each armed service – made a remarkable public recommendation to their boss, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel: It’s time to force the four services back into clearly demarcated “lanes” and reduce overlap between them as budgets shrink and competition escalates. They focused on three high-priority areas: Cybersecurity, the… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman's MADDS armed robot (based on an earlier unarmed 'bot called CaMEL) captured in the act of firing.

More robots, fewer people. That’s where the US military is headed in the future. But what kind of robots? Army Gen. Robert Cone, four-star commander of the powerful Training and Doctrine Command (aka TRADOC), said that the service is studying how robots could help replace 25 percent of the soldiers in each of its 4,000-strong combat brigades. That’s because the… Keep reading →

Air Force Cyber Command online for future operations

WASHINGTON: Hey, defense contractors! Open source software is not your enemy. In fact, far from undercutting your profits, it may increase them – and increase the US military’s capabilities at the same time. That’s a central concept in the Center for a New American Security’s recently established Technology and Security program, which aims to shake… Keep reading →

CNASreportgraphic_original

  WASHINGTON: Some of Chuck Hagel’s best friends in the defense world offered him a compelling report on how to save almost as much as the $500 billion that the Budget Control Act will force him and his successors to cut over the next decade. The wonderful title of the report, “The Seven Deadly Sins… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: In war, as in stand-up comedy, timing is everything, and Gen. Ray Odierno’s timing could hardly be worse.

This week, in the prestigious journal Foreign Policy, the Army Chief of Staff published an essay on “The Force of Tomorrow” that is long, thoughtful, a little bland –- and completely overtaken by events. It hit the Pentagon’s Early Bird news digest, for example, on Tuesday, when Washington policymakers were riveted by the back-and-forth between the White House and Republicans over how to fix sequestration and the continuing resolution, which the Army’s own (leaked) documents show could cripple training and readiness, making them by far the most urgent issue facing the service. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: The United States is still the world’s indispensable nation and we’ll probably avoid sequestration, albeit by the skin of our teeth. That’s the modestly reassuring message from the unlikely duo of Michèle Flournoy, who recently left her job as under secretary of defense for policy, and Dov Zakheim, Pentagon comptroller under George W. Bush. Keep reading →