commentary

Coast Guard HQ DHS campus

A colleague and I wrote a 10-year retrospective assessment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2011, calling the organization a “colossal, inefficient boondoogle.” Amazingly, that didn’t land us on the no-fly list, probably because — even then — we weren’t the first, last or only critics of DHS. The actions and events that provided fodder for… Keep reading →

THAAD

Phil Coyle knows missile defense. He was director of Operational Test and Evaluation from 1994 through January 2001, during the darkest days of THAAD and when missile defense was a religious issue for both Republicans and Democrats. Thank goodness we had Coyle around to actually bring facts to the roiling debate then. Does Coyle think… Keep reading →

John Lehman fleet

It’s fair to say that John Lehman is the most influential Navy Secretary of the last half century. Under President Ronald Reagan, Lehman “had an almost revolutionary impact on the Navy,” according to naval expert Norm Polmar. Lehman drove hard and pushed to build what has become known as the 600-ship Navy. Lehman knows how a… Keep reading →

Poland suddenly reappeared in 1919, 120 years after it vanished from the map of Europe, sowing confusion at the Versailles Peace Conference as the great powers tried to heal the wounds of World War I. The British questioned the legitimacy of the new Polish State and the French were suspicious of Polish ambitions. Frustrated with… Keep reading →

Navy Tests Converted Guided Missile Sub

Nuclear modernization will receive at least $1.2 billion more this year than last year’s $23.5 billion if the president’s Defense Department budget request is approved. Modernization funding for nuclear weapons and their delivery systems comprise 4 percent of the defense budget and 0.6 percent of the Federal budget. These include : the Ohio-class submarine replacement program (ORP);… Keep reading →

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Bob Hale regularly demonstrated his better qualities during testimony before Congress, delivering highly complex facts and judgments about the Defense Department’s spending and budgets to the public with a knowing humor delivered with the sort of gravelly voice you’d expect from one of those old country lawyers.  Hale served as DoD comptroller from 2009 to 2014, and, before… Keep reading →

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The Chinese just walked out of Anthem’s enormous data warehouse (though without encrypting their data it might as well have been a troop of Girl Scouts) with personal data on a quarter of America’s population. Assuming that the pro forma outrage and denial is a confirmation of culpability, the People’s Liberation Army and its various subsidiaries will… Keep reading →

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

  In 1796 Thomas Jefferson said there were two types of American political parties, “One which fears the people most, the other fears the government.” In domestic politics the contemporary American political divide is equally wide and Americans should not expect their elected leaders to change course one iota. National defense is different. There is a… Keep reading →

An Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

The Ploughshares Fund shares the Obama’s Administration’s goal of eventually eliminating all nuclear weapons. Whether you agree with that goal or not, Tom Collina of the fund offers here a choice that those on the outer reaches of both political parties may agree on: forcing the Navy to live within its regular budget. The service, and… Keep reading →

DF-21 Chinese mobile missile

Adversaries mobile land-based missiles – surface-to-surface, surface-to-air, and anti-ship missiles mounted on transporter erector launchers (TELs) – oontinue to be an unsolved problem for American military planners and strategists. The success these weapons enjoy by hiding and moving to where they are needed means that virtually all new land-based missile systems, whether short-range anti-aircraft weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs),… Keep reading →

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