commentary

Fast Missile Craft FMC for Egypt

The Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf doesn’t have an effective long-distance missile for ship-to-ship engagements. The Navy’s plans to eventually position eight Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in the gulf by 2018 will not alleviate this problem, given current armament and design. (Tarbi wanted to use the Arabian Gulf instead of Persian, but the… Keep reading →

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The Ukrainian crisis created by Russia’s aggressive adventurism has sparked much soul-searching among NATO’s commanders, western lawmakers and policymakers and the western defense world’s thinkerati. Should we bolster missile defenses in central Europe? What about the permanent US military presence in Europe? Has it gotten too small? Do we need to bolster America’s nuclear forces,… Keep reading →

swedish soldier in afghanistan

Sweden, long the major neutral power in northern Europe, has climbed quietly and elegantly out of its cozy perch to great effect since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, with Russia’s Vladimir Putin bearing his chest and threatening his neighbors with threats that sound awfully familiar to a lot of older Europeans, some commentators have… Keep reading →

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  If President Obama ever had a rationale for moving away from his personal belief in nuclear disarmament, Vladimir Putin has provided one in Crimea. Russia’s annexation is a game-changer that will likely change the strategic dynamic in Europe in ways that neither Putin nor Obama fully understands. If deterrence equals capability plus will, then… Keep reading →

Ukraine CIA map

The Crimean crisis continues to escalate. Ukraine’s interim government in Kiev and every country except Russia refuses to recognize the Crimean referendum. Ukraine’s interim defense minister Igor Tenyukh called on Ukrainian troops based in Crimea — some barricaded on their bases and some now held hostage by Russian forces — to prepare for war just… Keep reading →

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The US Navy needs more ships. The United States cannot protect the world’s sealanes, let alone “pivot to the Pacific,” if we further downsize our military. Especially given other nations’ growing anxiety about whether the US will still shoulder the leadership role of protecting them, the Navy must grow, not become smaller. Yes, individual ships… Keep reading →

The US Capitol seen from the Newseum this morning during a US Naval Institute conference.

After two weeks of covering the 2015 defense budget, I can assure you it is confusing. Every budget includes fudges, silliness and an enormous amount of information. They are hard to make sense of and often their import doesn’t become clear for a year or two. But this budget may be the most complex one… Keep reading →

First thermonuclear bomb test

Bob Butterworth knows nuclear weapons. He know cyber weapons. He knows space. He knows intelligence. And Butterworth cares enough to take public risks, to speak plainly in hopes others will do the same and thus help the country find the best answers to tough problems. While the American public has little idea it’s happening, a… Keep reading →

UN peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Islamists are regrouping in Mali, but France wants to draw its forces down to 1,000 troops, so who will fill the gap? The UN, which already has 5,500 soldiers on the ground? A fragile truce holds in the Central Africa Republic, where more than one million people have been displaced by gruesome fighting between Muslims… Keep reading →

Mackenzie Eaglen, defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

She’s baaack! After having the temerity to give birth to a child and thus deprive us of her insights for several months, Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute has penned an op-ed on the 2015 budget. She casts it in a fairly gloomy light, pointing to the haunting possibility of a hollow force in the… Keep reading →

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