Russia

SD spoke at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON: None of us knows many details about what’s in the last of the Obama defense budgets, but House Republicans are criticizing the sketchy outlines of the 2017 budget offered by Defense Secretary Ash Carter today. In particular, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry is raising concerns that the Pentagon is not asking Congress… Keep reading →

pentagonaerial

PENTAGON: After 25 years of war in the Middle East, the Pentagon’s 2017 budget is the first driven by Russia and China. “The program has been shifted to a more acute focus on the two high-end competitors, Russia and China,” a senior defense official told Sydney in an interview ahead of Secretary Ash Carter’s budget speech this… Keep reading →

US power output satellite view

A blizzard slams the East Coast and the lights go out. Then they stay off. Is it an attack? How do we figure out who’s behind it? What do we do in retaliation? These are all questions that need answering since what looks like the first successful cyber attack on an entire nation’s power grid. Ukraine says that… Keep reading →

army-ah-64e-apache-guardian-helicopters

UPDATED: Retired Gen. Ham Adds Apache Cost Info At Friday breakfast WASHINGTON: The congressionally chartered National Commission on the Future of the Army recommends splitting the difference between the regular Army and the National Guard in a bitterly polarizing dispute over AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. That’s the most politically high-profile recommendation out of dozens, many of them… Keep reading →

Russian-made RD-180 engines propel an Atlas V rocket heavenward.

WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain continued his crusade to stop the Pentagon from using Russia’s highly reliable and cheap RD-180 rocket engines to launch American military satellites during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today. The Arizona senator and the House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, introduced a bill today designed to overturn language in… Keep reading →

The USS Ohio being converted from a nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) to a conventional missile one (SSGN). By 2028, all four SSGNs will have retired.

[UPDATED with total hiring figures] WASHINGTON: Navy demand for submarines is so strong that sub-builder Electric Boat is betting on growth, despite the bleak budget outlook for defense in general. Connecticut congressman Joe Courtney, the top Democrat on the House seapower subcommittee, exulted in a statement this morning that his home state yard expects to add… Keep reading →

Terminator army: Warner Bros.

WASHINGTON: The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called today for an international debate about the use of intelligent weapons and of boosted human beings. “Where do we want to cross that line, and who crosses that first?” asked Gen. Paul Selva — considered one of the brainier occupants of an office that… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

CRYSTAL CITY: Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley offered insight this morning into how the leader of the largest service is racking and stacking the Four Horseman of Pentagon analysis. Miller didn’t explicitly rank them, other than repeating that Russia is Threat No. 1, but the order of danger was pretty clear: Russia, China, North Korea, and… Keep reading →

USS Independence, LCS-2

WASHINGTON: Is the Littoral Combat Ship a real warship? That question has bedeviled the small, sleek, lightly armed ships for years. Now it’s taken on new urgency as the Defense Department and the Navy both refocus on high-intensity, high-tech warfighting against “great powers” — i.e. China and Russia. Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to cut… Keep reading →

SINGAPORE (April 18, 3013) Sailors attached to Forward Liason Element, USS Freedom (LCS 1), observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore during an eight-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Fast, agile, and mission focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this deployment to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

WASHINGTON: “I guess I’m going to have to attack your question on almost every aspect,” Adm. John Richardson told me. As an analyst, it’s unnerving to have the Navy’s top admiral tell you to your face, albeit politely, that you’re just plain wrong. (I’d politely disagree, though I did miss some important nuances in an earlier story). I had asked… Keep reading →

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