Rep. Randy Forbes

US Army photo

CAPITOL HILL: Where do ground forces fit in the Pentagon’s new offset strategy? The answer may be an intriguing mix of old-fashioned armored forces, mobile missile launchers, and lasers on trucks. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s remarks formally launching “offset” were frustratingly vague, we’ve heard plenty from other officials and outside thinkers about how the… Keep reading →

UCLASS General Atomics

PENTAGON:  For decades the tech gurus of Silicon Valley have pretty much left Pentagon business alone, letting the military stumble along and try to buy their wares within five years of their coming out. Take the story of former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, hungry for an iPad that could handle classified information. Couldn’t be… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

In an era of partisan bitterness and gloom, Rep. Randy Forbes is feeling good. “Maybe I’m just too optimistic,” the chairman of the House subcommittee on seapower told me over the phone on his drive back to Washington last night. But after some positive feedback from GOP leadership, he said, “I’m incredibly optimistic” that Congress… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: Someone shoots a cruise missile at you. How far away would you like to stop it: over 200 miles out or less than 35? If you answered “over 200,” congratulations, you’re thinking like the US Navy, which has spent billions of dollars over decades to develop ever more sophisticated anti-missile defenses. According to Bryan… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Congressional comment] Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reassured the Army today that its role is not “eroding” or “diminishing,” despite shrinking budgets, the rebalance to the watery Pacific theater, and the Obama administration’s commitment to “no boots on the ground” against self-proclaimed Islamic State. Instead, echoing comments by the Army’s own leaders, Hagel said… Keep reading →

An Air Force test of anti-small-boat weapon.

WASHINGTON: China has an arsenal of long-range ship-killing missiles, based on land but able to hit US warships hundreds of miles offshore. Now the chairman of the House seapower subcommittee suggests we give them a taste of their own “anti-access/area denial” medicine. Why shouldn’t the US Army develop its own land-based anti-ship missile force? Rep.… Keep reading →

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Despite concurrent crises in Ukraine and Iraq, defense issues will hardly decide the November elections — but the outcome of those elections will prove decisive for defense. The top candidates for the chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee both told me that they have their fingers crossed for a GOP takeover of the Senate… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

WASHINGTON: August is the month of decision for UCLASS, the Navy’s controversial program to build armed drones that fly off aircraft carriers. At stake: whether the “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance & Strike” aircraft will be primarily a scout (surveillance) or a bomber (strike). The new Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work, delayed the Navy’s release of… Keep reading →

Rep. Randy Forbes

WASHINGTON: This afternoon, a congressionally chartered panel of prestigious defense experts denounced sequestration as “self-defeating” and a “serious strategic misstep” that “Congress and the President should repeal…immediately.” But will it preach to anyone not already in the choir? While bipartisan, the National Defense Panel is most heeded by House Republicans. They see it as a valuable… Keep reading →

Forbes & Langevin @ Carnegie IMG_8319

WASHINGTON: “We have the presumption we’re going to have the competitive edge when it comes to technology,” said Rep. Randy Forbes, “[that] just because we’ve had it in the last several decades that somehow or other we’re destined to have it in the future.” That’s a dangerous mistake, Forbes said Thursday at the Carnegie Endowment,… Keep reading →

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