warfighting

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WASHINGTON: In a move with major implications for the defense budget, defense contractors, and inter-service politics, the Marine Corps is set to publish a new “capstone concept” — leaked to Breaking Defense – that will guide the entire service for the next decade. From the title on, Expeditionary Force 21 paints an emphatic, uncompromising picture of a future Marine… Keep reading →

South Dakota National Guard soldiers on duty in Afghanistan.

The battle between the regular Army and the National Guard, which we all knew would blow up one of these days, has blown up. At 3:30 this afternoon, the spokesman of the 54 state and territorial Guard commanders, Kentucky Adjutant General Ed Tonini, raised the standard of revolt against the active-duty leadership who had, he said, “slammed their… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  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 →

An Army M2 Bradley trains at the National Training Center in California in January. Since then, budget cuts have forced the Army to cancel most such exercises.

UPDATE: Odierno Clarifies. It May Be Three Brigades WASHINGTON: The Army has had to cancel so much training that only two of its 42 combat brigades are ready for combat, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Association of the US Army conference here today. It’ll take until June to get a… Keep reading →

A US Army Apache helicopter lands on a Navy ship in the Persian Gulf region.

CAPITOL HILL: With half a million soldiers on active duty, you’d think the Army would be hard to overlook. When the House Armed Services Committee organized a hearing on the hot interservice concept known as “Air-Sea Battle,” though, they kind of forgot to invite the Army. But the largest service elbowed its way onto the… Keep reading →

Gen. Norton Schwartz after his final flight as an active Air Force officer.

CRYSTAL CITY: Don’t think Beijing. Think Abottabad. The evolving concept known as Air-Sea Battle isn’t all about a war with China, nor a budget war with the US Army, said the former Air Force chief of staff who is one of the concept’s founding fathers. Instead, said Gen. Norton Schwartz, who retired just last fall,… Keep reading →

An Army M2 Bradley trains at the National Training Center in California in January. Since then, budget cuts have forced the Army to cancel most such exercises.

Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. (1 Samuel 18:7) The web is abuzz over Dillard Johnson, a retired Army sergeant first class whose newly released memoir, Carnivore, claims he killed 2,746 enemy combatants in Iraq with everything from a .25 mm chain gun to a sniper rifle to a hunting knife.… Keep reading →

35 ships, 70 aircraft, and 6,500 personnel from 41 countries participated in the exercises.

Just nine months after hosting the biggest multinational mine-warfare exercises “ever” to be held in and around the Persian Gulf, the Navy’s 5th Fleet and its foreign partners outdid themselves with a second, even larger wargame. More than 20 nations participated in September’s International Mine Counter-Measures Exercise 2012, collaborating against fictional ecoterrorists whose capabilities were suspiciously… Keep reading →

CAPITOL HILL: The commandant of the Marines told Congress today that his service could not handle even one major war if Congress doesn’t undo the $500 billion, 10-year cut to defense spending known as sequestration. The Navy, for its part, would have only one aircraft carrier ready to “surge” in a crisis instead of two or three, allowing it to reinforce only one war zone at a time.

A central tenet of American strategy has been the ability to fight and win two major wars in two theaters at the same time since World War II. How well the military could actually meet that requirement has been open for debate, but it was always upheld as the official ideal — until January 2012, when the Obama administration’s Defense Strategic Guidance downgraded the goal to, in essence, win one, hold one. Keep reading →

Seoul on alert. Pyongyang declares “state of war” w South, "has blocked access to Kaesong and threatened a nuclear attack on America: FT sez @colinclarkaol

WASHINGTON: “Pure intimidation” is how one of America’s most respected analysts of the Chinese military characterized the act of a Peoples Liberation Army Navy skipper who “painted” a Japanese naval ship with his fire control radar.

The action raises the stakes in an already troubled dispute between the two Pacific powers as they maneuver for influence in the South China Sea, with the current focus being on the uninhabited Senkaku Islands. What’s particularly worrying is the involvement of warships, when previous confrontations were largely limited to Japanese Coast Guard and Chinese non-military “maritime surveillance” vessels. Keep reading →

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