NATIONAL HARBOR: As the US shifts its focus from low-tech Taliban “cavemen” to an aggressively modernizing China, the Air Force has launched an urgent effort to find near-term countermeasures against a foe that can jam sensors, hack networks, disrupt communications, and shut down GPS.
“Mostly we’re looking at the next three to five years,” said Randall Walden, the director of information dominance programs under the service’s assistant secretary for acquisition. On that schedule, he said, “you’re not talking about a brand new system. You’re not even talking about cutting a hole in a current plane [to modify it]. You’re talking about pods and concepts.” Keep reading →
US ARMY WAR COLLEGE: It’s a week into the war, and things are getting ugly. Fifty American and allied troops are dead, four hundred are wounded — some in city fighting against Islamic militants, some when the surprisingly sophisticated foe shot down their aircraft with shoulder-fired missiles and anti-helicopter mines. Keep reading →
All this week, at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the Army is conducting the latest iteration of its annual wargame. In the fictional future of the game, set in 2020, 120 players will wage a two-front war in the two regions that have come to dominate US strategy, with one scenario set in the Middle East — which I’ll get to sit in on — and another in the Pacific — which is classified. In the real world of here and now, however, what’s at stake is how the largest but least glamorous of the four military services plays catch-up to the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marines in reinventing itself for the post-Afghanistan era. Keep reading →