Carly Fiorina at CSIS

We are approaching the presidential primaries, the silliest of the political silly seasons. Magical thinking abounds as candidates appeal to their bases with few constraints on the promises they make or the sentiments they espouse. So it is with defense issues, as the presidential candidates, a group of highly accomplished people (yes, even Donald Trump),… Keep reading →


With the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act completed and headed to the president’s desk likely sometime next week, it’s useful to summarize the biggest policy changes therein. While most Republicans do not take the veto threat seriously, Mr. Obama will surely do just that. Still, when this bill eventually receives his signature later this year… Keep reading →

Full Moon Rises Above U.S. Capitol

Defense reform has gotten a lot of attention around Washington—from members of Congress and senior Pentagon leaders as well as the usual policy mavens and influencers. Lately, though, whispers wafting from the Pentagon have suggested that perhaps defense reform has peaked, that Congress won’t support meaningful reform. Bushwah! Defense reform is far from dead in… Keep reading →


When Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work unveiled what we are now, unfortunately, calling the JICSPOC, there were many many questions and few answers. Among the most important questions was: if spy and military satellites are being flown and monitored from the same place and a satellite appears to be under attack, who will command — the Intelligence… Keep reading →


Congress comes back after Labor Day and its 535 lawmakers will face one of the most convoluted legislative tangles in recent memory. While there is no clear endgame yet, all parties know what must be done and — roughly — by what time. Up first is the resolution of disapproval for the administration’s Iranian nuclear deal,… Keep reading →


Canada-based Bombardier joined the Lockheed-Raytheon team to build a replacement for the aging JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System) aircraft during the Paris Air Show. Northrop Grumman, announced the week before that it would team with General Dynamics, Gulfstream, and L-3. Boeing is going big, with a 737. The Air Force recently announced the first JSTARS contracts, and… Keep reading →

SBIRS GEO satellite

Monday marks the beginning of the Army-centric Space and Missile Defense Symposium, an annual conference in Huntsville, Ala.  Here are a few topics likely to generate conference buzz. Missile Defense The Obama administration’s 2016 budget request for missile defense investments went up slightly to $9.6 billion for missile defense development and operations, of which $8.1 billion is for the Missile Defense… Keep reading →

F-35B with asymmetric weapons load

When Defense Secretary Bob Gates put the F-35B on “probation” and Sen. John McCain became his powerful echo chamber, we responded on the pages of Breaking Defense that these actions were misguided. We had spent many hours with the pilots, maintainers, builders, designers, and testers of the aircraft, and came to a very different conclusion: “The F-35B… Keep reading →

Hiroshima after the bomb

A new era of warfare began when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima 70 years ago. While ordinary Japanese had grown used to seeing American bombers overhead, the hell on earth that was unleashed on August 6, 1945 eclipsed anything anyone had seen before. Estimates suggest that at least 90,000 of Hiroshima’s 380,000… Keep reading →


The House and Senate Armed Services committees are locked in an important battle to determine how much acquisition reform this year’s National Defense Authorization Act will embrace and what kinds of changes the Pentagon will be subject to. Sen. John McCain is pushing sweeping changes to how the Pentagon buys its weapons, including provisions that… Keep reading →

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