When James Kitfield contacted us last year about writing for us, we were pleased because few writers have such a gift for spotting major strategic issues and writing about them first and writing about them with grace and clarity. The following piece in which he asks the seminal question — is America in global retreat… Keep reading →
President Obama has made it clear that Syria crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons against its own people. The proposed remedy is to execute a limited strike to change the behavior of the Assad government, but without putting troops on the ground, without regime change or without an international stamp of approval. Congress… Keep reading →
As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →
This year’s Paris Air Show promises to be one of the most lackluster for the defense sector in at least a decade. America is sending virtually no military aircraft to fly the all-important afternoon displays: no F-22s, no F-35s, no C-17s, no C-130s. American companies have scaled back their executives’ participation, not because it saves any… Keep reading →
As the civil war in Syria escalates and threatens to overspill its borders, the US has held its hand from intervening — but not from reinforcing its frontline ally Turkey. We bring you this op-ed in praise of the Patriot missile’s role in Mideast Peace from former Rep. Geoff Davis, a former Army officer. Mr. Davis has no business connection to Patriot manufacturer Raytheon or to other companies working on the system, which is currently a contender for Turkey’s own missile defense program.
The news that the United States will send two Patriot missile batteries and 400 troops to Turkey to bolster defenses against incoming artillery from the escalating civil war in neighboring Syria is a testament both to our commitment to our allies and to our military’s readiness to deploy. It is also a testament to the success of Patriot as a proven missile system to deter attacks. Keep reading →
Yesterday, the House-Senate conference on the National Defense Authorization Act took steps to strengthen oversight of America’s nuclear arsenal, including reforms at the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration and new restrictions on the administration decommissioning more nuclear weapons. But there’s a deeper issue of whether our nukes still work as designed in the first place. Democrats have long tried to avoid all nuclear testing — the last US test was conducted in 1992 – while Republicans have been deeply skeptical of alternative means of ensuring the stockpile’s reliability through component testing and computer simulations. Having earlier given our readers the pro-disarmament perspective on the nuclear arsenal, today we bring you this op-ed by Heritage Foundation research associate Michaela Bendikova a specialist in missile defense and arms control. — Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Deputy Editor
What kind of shape are our nuclear weapons in? Used to be, you’d have to test them to find out. But the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance has some good news: Over the last decade, our ability to predict how our aging nukes will perform–without resorting to explosive testing–has greatly improved. Keep reading →
Despite international perceptions that the Turkey’s Islamic-oriented government has turned its back on its American ally, Ankara’s ambassador to the United States insists that “the relationship has never been so close.”
“That doesn’t mean that we don’t have any disagreements,” Ambassador Namik Tan told reporters this morning. “Turkey is, of course, an independent state.” But Tan affirmed the closeness between the two countries. He particularly emphasized defense procurement, saying that Turkey is still committed to buying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter despite cost and schedule problems that have caused other potential partners, such as Canada, to reconsider. Keep reading →
While other US contractors began emphasizing foreign sales in the last year, “54 percent of the revenue for the IDS business is from international [already],” said Kennedy, president of Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) division, in a breakfast with reporters on the sidelines of this week’s Association of the US Army conference. For Raytheon as a whole, he said, the percentage of foreign sales is a smaller but still impressive 25 percent, higher than (for example) Lockheed. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON MALL: The earliest tendrils of dawn were just stretching over the Washington Monument when we arrived here at 5:30 this morning.
Why, you are doubtless wondering, were my wife, myself and a friend standing in front of the Korean War Memorial at that hour? My wife is Australian. So’s the friend. And I’m pretty well tied up in the whole Antipodean thing. [Eds. note: the photo above was taken at the Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey on Anzac Day.] Keep reading →
ISTANBUL: For the six world powers negotiating with Iran, the crucial, perhaps 11th-hour meeting in Istanbul hinges on deciding whether the Islamic Republic is serious about making a deal on its nuclear program. No one expects a concrete agreement to come out of this effort on Saturday to revive a diplomatic process that stalled almost a year-and-a-half ago. Then, in January last year, also in Istanbul, the Iranians imposed preconditions that ended the discussion. The idea now is to get the process going again. The Iranians have to show they mean business in talks. So Iranian words and behavior will be evaluated by the diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
What does this mean? Can such a weighty matter hinge on how an Iranian diplomat acts and speaks at a meeting, rather than on whether agreement is reached? A bit of background might help. Keep reading →
UPDATED WASHINGTON: It’s been a good couple of weeks for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s international program.
Turkish military officials this week approved a deal with JSF prime contractor Lockheed Martin to buy two new A-model F-35s, according to recent news reports.Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed off on the deal late yesterday. Deliveries of the new fighters are expected by 2015. It remains unclear whether these initial Turkish fighters will be used for training or combat operations, according to those reports. Keep reading →