op-ed

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

The U.S. defense industry, being reshaped by declining post-war budgets, globalization, and the increased pace of technological change, must work with the Pentagon and take proactive steps to maintain our historic preeminence on the battlefield. Our industry does not easily embrace change. In fact, history demonstrates that shifts in the defense industry have largely been… Keep reading →

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Marion C. Blakey, a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors, is president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association. The U.S. aerospace and defense industry will be out in full force at this year’s Farnborough International Air Show (July 14-20), demonstrating the aircraft and equipment that is helping our nation and our allies… Keep reading →

F-35A launches 1st missile AIM-120 C5

One does not build military aircraft to fly at air shows. It is fun to see the planes, to visit static displays and to talk with manufacturers and users. But the reality of what a plane can do is only seen in battle and advanced training, where operators, maintainers and leaders in real world combat… Keep reading →

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The F-35 Lightning II European debut in July will be welcome, but it remains the Punch and Judy program of the defense aerospace sector, with boosters and detractors taking turns to bash each other’s argument as to the project’s value — or lack thereof. The debate, though sometime not worthy of the word, has risked… Keep reading →

rachelkleinfeld

For years, “realists” in foreign policy claimed that the kind of government inside another state didn’t matter – foreign policy was only about what countries did outside their borders. As Iraq and northern Syria join in a de-facto jihadist statelet, Ukraine’s east is dismantled, and Central American refugees pour into Texas, it might be time… Keep reading →

IMCMEX 13

What’s in a name? A lot, especially for the military. Over the next decade, the Navy will take delivery of at least 32 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS); 10 Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV); three Mobile Landing Platforms (MLP); several Afloat Forward Staging Bases; and new versions of amphibious assault ships and Ship-to-Shore connector craft. New… Keep reading →

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Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security at the Naval War College and a member of our Board of Contributors, is one of the world’s experts on international space cooperation.  Decoding this stuff can get very complicated since many of those involved in international space issues toss around terms like COPUOS, IADC, apogee, LEO, GEO… Keep reading →

Pentagon civilian workers

The Pentagon’s civilian workforce is too big and has been virtually untouched since defense budgets started falling four years ago. It’s grown so much, in fact, that the Air Force’s civilian workforce is just 1,400 people shy of matching the entire Air Force National Guard and Reserve combined. It’s time to shrink the Defense Department’s… Keep reading →

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Here’s the final piece of Bill Greenwalt’s blueprint for a new defense acquisition system. As Bill points out in this, the third piece: “now comes the hard part.” Congress and the Pentagon have proven clumsily adept at tinkering with the acquisition system over the last 20 years. But no matter how well intentioned, weapons just… Keep reading →

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