WASHINGTON: For those who aren’t part of the insular space community, you need to know that the National Space Symposium is the most important conference on space issues in the world. Everyone goes: the intelligence community; the Air Force; Army; Navy; industry; allies; even senior Chinese officials show up fairly regularly these days. Some 9,000 people attend in a good year.

But this year no one from NASA – that’s right, those people who gave us the Moon landings, Mars Rover, Voyager and are sort of synonymous with space — will attend NSS at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs next month. Keep reading →

AUSA: The Association of the US Army’s annual meeting was smaller this year, but when it comes to AUSA — like most things Army-related– small is a relative term.

The conference, held this week, engulfed the entire Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Defense industry displays ranging from rifles to huge armored vehicles sprawled over 198,000 square feet of exhibit halls. Counted country-style, that’s four-and-a-half acres, enough for a modest farm, only packed with weaponry instead of wheat. 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 →

WASHINGTON: It’s still DC’s largest conference of the year, but the 2012 annual meeting of the Association of the US Army is smaller than it was. Most obviously, all the Army branches, tribes, and fiefdoms that normally fly their own individual banners at AUSA have been consolidated into a single, relatively modest exhibit.

“You’ll notice as you navigate the displays this year that the Army footprint is somewhat smaller,” Army Secretary John McHugh told the audience at this morning’s opening ceremony. “But I firmly believe the impact… will be as great as ever.” Keep reading →