WASHINGTON: The American military isn’t ready “at all” for an “era of radical transparency…. where every single thing a US soldier or Marine does on the ground is recorded and tweeted,” Paul Scharre says. In the past, I’ve mostly talked to Scharre about drones. He’s a technophile who thinks mini-robots, exoskeletons, and precision-guided rifles could revolutionize… Keep reading →

guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto and Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Chebanenko

WASHINGTON: “We are observing the manifestation of a more aggressive, more capable Russian navy,” the US Navy’s top commander in Europe said today. And if that fleet is Putin’s seagoing hammer, missile bases ashore are his land-based anvil. Complementing Russian naval modernization, Adm. Mark Ferguson said, we have seen “the construction of an arc of… Keep reading →

Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations.

WASHINGTON: The annual defense bill authorizes $411 million to upgun the Army’s Stryker vehicles. The compromise goes with the Senate’s higher funding levels: $314 million for modification work and $97 million for R&D. That’s a heady increase from the $0.00 the president’s budget included for the initiative, which emerged mid-year as a response to Russian aggression… Keep reading →

Syria Airstrike map Sept 24

WASHINGTON: In keeping with its increasingly aggressive behavior over the past two years, Russia is deploying lethal and long-ranged anti-aircraft defenses to keep Western forces out of three key regions: the Baltics, the Black Sea, and, now, the Levant. From where NATO’s top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove sits, the Russian forces flowing into Syria don’t look… Keep reading →

A B-1 bomber test-fires a LRASM missile, the anti-ship variant of Lockheed's JASSM

[Updated with Bryan Clark analysis] Lockheed Martin doesn’t like to say it, but their best salesman isn’t getting a bonus this year. That’s because his name is Vladimir Putin. An increasingly aggressive and well-armed Russia is clearly driving its neighbors to build up their own arsenals, and in highly specific ways. Thus the international success of… Keep reading →

NATO photo

RESTON, VA: US command and control networks take too long to link to allies and respond to Russia’s rapid-fire aggression. In Ukraine, “we’ve had at least two, maybe three of these cycles [already, where] they’ll back off, and there’ll be a long kind of quiet period, and then they’ll spike back up,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges… Keep reading →

GSAP satellite

AFA CONFERENCE: One of the rules that goes with a Continuing Resolution is that no new weapon programs can be started — unless Congress comes up with money and provides a waiver. And it looks as if Congress is likely to adopt a CR at the end of the month unless we all get very lucky.… Keep reading →

Ash Carter Defense Secretary

Updated with Pacific Air Forces comment AFA CONFERENCE: Just as the White House confirmed Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit at the end of this month, Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued a clear call for “an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants” in the South China Sea. China, of course, has done the vast majority of the… Keep reading →

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter

AFA CONFERENCE: China’s increasing assertiveness and modernizing military are “concerning,” even “disconcerting,” the head of the US Air Force in the Pacific said today. But there are still strong prospects for military-to-military ties, Gen. Lori Robinson told the Air Force Association conference here this morning. Increased Russian patrols complicates US strategy more, Gen. Robinson told me… Keep reading →

A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber being escorted away from US airspace by an F-22 in a 2007 incident.

AFA CONFERENCE: “The alarming thing,” said the commander of US Air Forces in Europe, is that the Russians are catching up. “They’ve closed the gap.” “The advantage that we had from the air I can honestly say is shrinking,” Gen. Frank Gorenc said, “not only with respect to the aircraft that they’re producing, but the… Keep reading →

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