By Loren Thompson, Forbes: " ... do you realize that many of the Navy’s surface combatants—its frigates, destroyers and cruisers—have almost no ability to engage hostile warships?"
Navy's New Anti-Ship Missile Dramatically Boosts Firepower
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: " ... do you realize that many of the Navy’s surface combatants—its frigates, destroyers and cruisers—have almost no ability to engage hostile warships?"
LIGHT ATTACK AIR POWER FOR COIN, HOW THE AIR FORCE ONLY WANTS SEXY BIG BUDGETS FOR THE LONG WAR & CAN THE ARMY HANDLE THE MIDDLE EAST?
Close Air Support Timeline Cut; Wait For Tech Was Too Long
By Paul McLeary
For too long, the CAS program “was falling on deaf ears, because it didn’t quite fit exactly in somebody’s nice little picture of a program, and it wasn’t funded” within a traditional acquisition program.
Air Force Preps Light Attack Plane for Combat Missions
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: "Despite the Air Force’s stated intention and the widespread assumption that a low-cost off-the-shelf Light Attack airplane would primarily perform counterinsurgency missions, it seems entirely conceivable that the plane could have limited uses for major power warfare as well."
Sikorsky Receives $1.3B For 12 CH-53Ks
By Lee Hudson, Aviation Week: "The U.S. Marine Corps awarded a $1.3 billion contract for 12 Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters May 17 while the program still needs to flight test a remedy of a critical design flaw by the end of this year."
SOCOM’s Iron Man Suit – A Worthy Moonshot
By Stew Magnuson, National Defense Magazine: “The Defense Department’s top procurement official is taking aim at watchdog-type laws that are put in place to discourage corruption in government.”
Upgrading Our Military’s Heavy Vertical Lift Capability
By George Landrith, RealClearDefense: "It is time to upgrade our military's heavy-lift helicopter capabilities. The current workhorse, the CH-47 Chinook, has served our country since 1962."
A Smart Acquisition Strategy That Can Revitalize the U.S. Amphibious Warfare Fleet
By Dan Gouré, RealClearDefense: "The Nation’s amphibious warfare fleet is in need of revitalization through the acquisition of new, more capable ships faster."
Army Can Manage Both Mideast & Great Powers: Sec. Esper
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
The Army can cope with regional dangers like Iran even as it refocuses on Russia and China, the secretary said. In fact, he said, the Army’s controversial modernization program will help with both sets of threats.
Navy Wary of Growing Costs While It Ramps Up Ops
By Paul McLeary
The Navy is adding more ships as quickly as possible, even as it grapples with how it’s going to pay the costs to keep them afloat once it gets them, a top officer said.
Marine Corps Identity from the Historical Perspective by Mark Folse
Countering WMD in the Digital Age: Breaking Down Bureaucratic Silos in a Brave New World by Natasha E. Bajema
How to End the Civil War in Somalia: Negotiate with al-Shabaab by Jason Hartwig
WAR OF ACQUISITION REFORMS: HOW VIABLE IS COMMERCIALIZATION & THE ENDURING CHARACTER OF THE MARINE CORPS
Will alternative acquisition methods become the norm?
(Federal Times) Recent research from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) raises some important questions about the direction and focus of Defense Department research and development funding.
3 takeaways from Thornberry’s 2020 DoD reform agenda
(Defense News) After years of pushing new reforms for the Pentagon, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee wants to ensure defense officials are following them.
Building a 21st Century Defense Acquisition Workforce by Peter Levine
War Of the Acquisition Reformers: 809 Panel Defends New Commercial Approach
By David Drabkin
When Washington heavyweights like Peter Levine, former Democratic staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Bill Greenwalt, former deputy undersecretary of Defense for industrial policy and longtime Republican acquisition expert on the SASC, say you got something wrong, people listen. That is especially the case if you were the folks who Levine and…
How To Make Sure The Army’s Big Six Get Built
By James Tinsley
If the Army wants to get its Big Six right, it must talk, and talk and talk with Congress and the press and industry. And be ready to drop failures.
The Marine Corps' Evolving Character and Enduring Purpose by Gordon Emmanuel and Justin Gray
Warfighters Need A New ‘Tested’ Helicopter Engine
By Dan Gouré, RealClearDefense: "Earlier this year, the Army declared General Electric (GE) the winner of the competition for the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), which will replace the existing power plants on Black Hawk and Apache helicopters and potentially power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). Yet, the award was based on a preliminary design review, essentially a paper description of the proposed engine."
Tactical Risk in Multi-Domain Operations
By Kevin Benson, Modern War Institute: "I believe history does not repeat itself, but as Mark Twain pointed out at times it does rhyme. Once again in my life our Army is reassessing how it will fight large-scale ground combat operations against peer and near-peer adversaries, possibly while outnumbered."
Army Secretary Reveals Hidden Defect in Modernization Plans
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: “Last week, Army Secretary Mark Esper delivered what sounded like the definitive service position on planned upgrades to the Chinook helicopter. They aren’t going to happen, because the money is needed for other things. As a result, the most powerful helicopter in the Army’s fleet will be unable to lift its next-generation jeep, known as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)."
Esper: Chinook & JLTV ‘Designed For a Different Conflict’
By Paul McLeary, on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 5:15 PM
he Army’s rebuilding to face China and Russia. That may leave programs designed over the past decade for COIN operations in the dust.
After months of no-comment, the CEO of Bell Flight’s parent company revealed that Bell will offer a conventional helicopter for the Army’s new scout, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft. That’s a stark contrast from the high-speed, long-range V-280 tiltrotor that Bell is pushing for the larger Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, or from the propeller-plus-rotors compound helicopters that rival Sikorsky is offering for both FLRAA and FARA. – Breaking Defense
Mike Pietrucha and Jeremy Renken write: The scope of changes that the U.S. Air Force must undertake to meet the direction of the National Defense Strategy is difficult to overstate. Recent clear-eyed assessments of threats from great powers like Russia and China, combined with the opportunity to reduce U.S. military investment in the Middle East has given the service’s planners a window of opportunity to let intentional design, rather than events, drive how it organizes, trains, equips, and presents its force. – War on theRocks
Aging Sealift Fleet Is Achilles Heel Of Pentagon War Plans
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "A once-vast fleet of U.S.-flagged commercial ships has declined precipitously since the Reagan Administration eliminated construction subsidies three decades ago, and meanwhile the sealift vessels owned by the government have aged to a point where their availability in a crisis cannot be assured."
Trump Leaves Pentagon Power Vacuum
By Wesley Morgan, Politico: "A quarter of the Pentagon's most senior civilian posts remain filled by temporary personnel who are unconfirmed by the Senate – a high number that has slowed decisions, handicapped the department in policy disputes and shifted more power to the White House, according to recently departed Pentagon officials."
Tom Rogan writes: Thanks to his investments, China now retains ships and submarines that can operate far away from Chinese waters. […]All of this serves a clear strategic objective: establishing the military architecture to serve Xi’s mercantile empire. That is to say, establishing the architecture to displace and defeat U.S. efforts to defend our order against China’s aggression.We must get more serious about China’s growing threat. The U.S. Navy continues to overemphasize aircraft carriers as the linchpin of its naval-air battle doctrine. And the U.S. military command responsible for China-related operations continues to lack the tools it needs to win. President Trump should urgently remedy these issues. If not, he may preside over China’s global hegemony. – Washington Examiner
F-15EX vs. F-35A
By John A. Tirpak, Air Force Magazine: "Now the F-35 faces a new challenge from an old jet design, a variant of the F-15 Strike Eagle; an airplane from an earlier era, built for a different mission. Though the Air Force denies it, the two jets are competing for inevitably limited dollars within the service's fighter portfolio."
Bringing the Air Division Back to the Future
By Mike Pietrucha & Jeremy Renken, War on the Rocks: “The scope of changes that the U.S. Air Force must undertake to meet the direction of the National Defense Strategy is difficult to overstate. Recent clear-eyed assessments of threats from great powers like Russia and China, combined with the opportunity to reduce U.S. military investment in the Middle East has given the service’s planners a window of opportunity to let intentional design, rather than events, drive how it organizes, trains, equips, and presents its force."
Why is China Developing a New J-11 Variant?
By Abraham Ait, The Diplomat: “China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force recently unveiled the first high quality images of the J-11D “4++ generation” air superiority fighter — the latest derivative of the Soviet Su-27 Flanker design and the fifth to be manufactured in China."
WHAT HAS THE AIR FORCE LEARNED ABOUT INSURGENT NETWORKS, ELECTRONIC WAR OUTPACING DOCTRINE, VITALITY OF HEAVY LIFT CAPABILITIES & ARMY CHANGES MODERNIZATION PLANS WITH DOD
Rapid advancements in technology outpace military acquisition or doctrinal development, so Navy and Marine Corps officials are using a series of advanced naval technology experimentation exercises to shorten that timeline gap and ensure operational forces in the high-tech battlespace are equipped for the high-end future conflicts. – USNI News
What the Air Force learned from insurgents’ networks
(C4ISRNET) Air Force leaders plan to experiment this summer with a mesh network that would allow military users in hard-to-reach areas to connect to the service’s top secret network and share intelligence information without the fear of losing service.
The National Defense Strategy Commission identified Electronic Warfare (EW) as a critical capability to ensure the U.S. military remains competitive. In its FY2019 and FY2020 Defense Budget overview documents, the Department of Defense (DOD) identified EW as a priority to improve platform and network survivability; provide advanced jamming techniques to disrupt radars, communications, and command and control systems; and provide measures to defend the space domain and maintain power projection forces. – USNI News
Bryan McGrath writes: As the United States winds down from two regional land conflicts that have dominated the 21st century, great power competition with China and Russia rightly dominates defense planning and operations. Consequently, American seapower must once again evolve to meet the challenges of sustaining America’s prosperity and security in a multi-polar world. […]Renewed great power competition calls for a closer look at the Navy and Marine Corps team’s operational approach, one that stresses the integrated nature of American seapower and leverages a tried and tested command and control (C2) structure. – Center for International Maritime Security
If there’s one thing Russian Helicopters wants you to know about the Mi-26, it is that this monster of a machine is the largest helicopter in the world. Bigger than the Chinook, and bigger than the Sea King. When it comes to helicopters, the Mi-26 rules the skies, and Russia is looking to leverage this unique capability to dominate the heavylift market. – Defense News
The U.S. Army’s aviation program office has decided not to modernize certain platforms, but rather divest or sustain them as part of an effort to realign resources toward the service’s vision for its future force, the Army’s program executive officer for aviation told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit. – Defense News
Rhys McCormick, Samantha Cohen, Gregory Sanders, and Andrew Philip Hunter write: Defense Acquisition Trends, 2018: Defense Contract Spending Bounces Back is the latest in an annual series of report examining trends in what DoD is buying, how DoD is buying it, and whom DoD is buying from. This report analyzes the current state of affairs in defense acquisition by combining detailed policy and data analysis to provide a comprehensive overview of the current and future outlook for defense acquisition. – Center for Strategic and International Studies
Marine CH-53K King Stallion, Most Powerful U.S. Helicopter Ever
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: “The U.S. Marine Corps wants something nobody else has: a helicopter that can lift 18 tons in a single flight. And it wants the helicopter to be capable of carrying most of that weight over a hundred miles between ship and shore, back and forth, day or night."
Beyond Chinook: Army Secretary Challenges Industry To Revolutionize Heavy Lift
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
A light scout and a mid-size transport remain Army aviation’s top two priorities, Secretary Mark Esper said, but industry needs to start thinking about the next heavy-lift aircraft and stop fighting against cuts to the venerable CH-47.
SPECIAL OPS REMAINS HUMAN TERRAIN, CLOSE AIR SUPPORT STILL RULES & ARMY REVEALS FUTURE WEAPONS LIST FOR FUTURE WARS
Positive Objectives, Maximum Leverage: Allied Force and Air Power Strategy
By Michael Trimble, Strategy Bridge: “Most wars are limited wars, with significant political restraints on military force. Such restraints create conundrums for military strategists. “The less intense the motives,” wrote Carl von Clausewitz, “the less will the military element’s natural tendency to violence coincide with political directives.”"
Operationalizing the Science of the Human Domain for Special Operations Forces
By Aleks Nesic & Arnel P. David, Small Wars Journal: "Woven through contemporary debate are threads of different schools of thought that cross but lack a central thread which closes the seam. One school of thought sees a return of great power competition and argues for an emphasis on lethality and warfighting competency."
The U.S. Is Losing a Major Front to China in the New Cold War
By Lulu Yilun Chen & Yoolim Lee, Bloomberg: "A swathe of the world is adopting China’s vision for a tightly controlled internet over the unfettered American approach, a stunning ideological coup for Beijing that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago."
An Assessment of the Threat Posed by Increased Nationalist Movements in Europe
By Jeremy Lawhorn, Divergent Options: "Leveraging nationalist sentiments, Russia is waging a hybrid warfare campaign to support nationalist opposition parties and far-right extremist groups to create disengagement among EU and NATO members."
What Army, Marines, and SOCOM Want in Next Helicopters
By Todd South, Army Times: “The program aims to replace the aging UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter fleet on the Army side and the newer UH-1Y Venom utility helicopter on the Marine Corps side."
Baby steps for Defiant as Army accelerates FVL
(Breaking Defense) The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant has finished its first two flight tests and will do a third next week, Sikorsky test pilot Bill Fell told reporters here.
Esper: Chinook & JLTV ‘designed for a different conflict’
(Breaking Defense) The Army appears likely to cut more funding from the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program as the service pivots from counterinsurgency to staring down China and Russia.
Army Secretary Reveals Weapons Wishlist for Future Wars
By Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One: “U.S. Army leaders revealed Tuesday that they are briefing top military commanders about new weapons being built specifically for “high-intensity conflict” against China and Russia, in a new effort to assure that they could provide vital firepower for those potential battlefields of the future."
The Hidden Costs of Strategy by Special Operations by Walter Haynes
One Year On, Should India Rethink Its Reset with China? by Atman Trivedi
The Limits of 'Embracing the Suck'
By Craig Bullis, War Room: “Life is too short for bad beer. People of all ages pass such truths through generations, peers, and organizations. However, the Army may be developing junior leaders with a habit of not only drinking, but also appreciating, bad beer. Lest you think I am impugning the discernment of the Army's young officers, “bad beer” is in this case a metaphor symbolizing a willingness of those same leaders not only to accept but somehow to endorse nonsensical decisions under the guise of being tough."
Marine Corps Suffers Identity Crisis
By Carlos Munoz, The Washington Times: “Many of the Marine Corps‘ iconic battles such as Iwo Jima and Inchon are decades in the past, and the amphibious assaults that were once the service’s calling card seem to have fallen by the wayside in a world of artificial intelligence weaponry, cyberwarfare and the Pentagon’s strategic focus on outer space and great-power rivals."
All this ‘innovation’ won’t save the Pentagon
(Defense One) I recently had the privilege of attending a Silicon Valley conference attended by leaders across the national security “innovation ecosystem.”
Failure IS An Option: Army Gen. Murray
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
The Army must take risks to modernize, the Futures Command chief said, and the modernization effort will survive the inevitable failures along the way.
China Rising in the Caribbean by Gordon G. Chang
The Hundred-Year Marathon
By John F. Sullivan, Strategy Bridge: “Western strategic thinkers have been the victims of a massive deception campaign perpetrated by a group of Chinese hardliners (called the yingpai, or literally, the “hawk party”) who have convinced the West that China’s intentions are benign, but who are, in fact, driven by one overriding goal—for China to rise to the number one global power position and overthrow the U.S. as the world’s sole superpower."
HOW CHINA IS CLOSING THE INNOVATION GAP WITH US & SOLIDIFY RELATIONS WITH TAIWAN NOW WHILE TRANSFORMING MARINE CORPS
The Taiwan Relations Act at 40: It’s time to deepen ties
Gary J. Schmitt and Jamie M. Fly | The American Interest
The geostrategic rationale for keeping Taiwan at arm's length no longer applies. We need to revisit the Taiwan Relations Act not just in terms of security, but across economics, politics, and society as well.
China Is Closing the Innovation Gap: Report
// Brandi Vincent A leading tech-policy think tank says the United States needs a national strategy of its own to compete in advanced technologies.
The US Can't Out-China China on 5G. We Need a National Strategy.
// Dan Mahaffee A recent report from the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Board should be a wakeup call about today's most important emerging technology.
Discarding the Ptolemaic Model of the Marine Corps by Mark Nostro
CHINA FIELDS DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS, WHY WE NEED A SECRETARY OF DEFENSE & RUSSIA'S 200 KNOT TORPEDO AND PORT KILLER SUB FOR MOSCOW
Shanahan: China Is Deploying Directed Energy Weapons
By Theresa Hitchens, Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:04 PM
Help wanted! Secretaries of defense apply here
Mackenzie Eaglen | RealClearDefense
The president may prefer to delay his nomination for secretary of defense, but it is potentially harmful to those in uniform, for the bureaucracy, and for Congress. A confirmed appointee will have greater freedom to set a clear agenda and hold the department accountable to it.
China Tests Laser Weapon Similar to U.S. Navy Prototype
From Maritime Executive: “China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) is testing a tactical laser system that bears remarkable similarity to the U.S. Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS), an anti-surface / anti-air defensive weapon which has been in development since 2014."
Seth Cropsey writes: The large problem is that the military service best suited to deter China’s regional and global ambitions — the U.S. Navy — is not being funded at a level commensurate with the reemergence of great-power competition. The U.S. needs both enough ships to meet its global commitments and advanced technology to equip them. Cutting either to fund the other is like giving up your health insurance to replace a leaking roof. – National Review
The U.S. Navy has nothing like Russia's 200 knot torpedo
(The National Interest) Imagine the sudden revelation of a weapon that can suddenly go six times faster than its predecessors. The shock of such a breakthrough system would turn an entire field of warfare on its head, as potential adversaries scrambled to deploy countermeasures to a new weapon they are defenseless against.
Russia Scrapping Its Legendary Nuclear-Powered Battlecruisers
From Defence Blog: T"he Russian Navy with state-owned nuclear power company Rosatom decided canceling planned service-life extensions and modernization on its two legendary nuclear-powered Kirov-class battlecruisers or heavy missile cruisers, according to Izvestiya newspaper."
Russian Navy Ever Less Capable of Supporting Putin's War Plans
By Paul Goble, Eurasia Daily Monitor: “The Russian navy, the Military-Maritime Fleet, always a poor relation to the Russian Land Forces given geography and national traditions, has been contracting in size since 1985. Now, as Izvestia announced last week, it is going to decline still further because of a decision by the Ministry of Defense to scrap two major surface vessels and four submarines rather than modernize these aging Soviet-era naval assets."
Matthew Bodner writes: Russian naval activity in the Mediterranean goes beyond the presence of American carriers. Revival of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet — and, by extension, the old Mediterranean flotilla — was one of the key provisions of Russia’s updated naval doctrine in 2015. The annexation of Crimea the year before gave Moscow unhindered access to the key naval base at Sevastopol and opened the door to modernization of that fleet, once prohibited under an agreement with Ukraine. – Defense News
LASER BASED DRONES TO DESTROY ICBM'S, WHAT NATO SHOULD LOOK LIKE & WHY CLOSE AIR SUPPORT MATTERS WITH F35
Pentagon Pursues Drone-Fired Lasers to Destroy Nuclear-Armed ICBMs
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: “The Missile Defense Agency is engineering air-launched, high-powered, long-range laser weapons to destroy attacking nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles during launch and even as they travel through space -- bringing new levels of offensive and defensive layered firepower to existing missile defense technologies."
Air Force Considers Networking, Not Recapping, Aging ISR Planes
By Rachel S. Cohen, Air Force Magazine: “Legacy big-wing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance planes like the RC-135 variants could go the same way as the E-8C Joint STARS, which the Air Force is replacing with a network of sensors and satellites instead of a dedicated jet."
GPS Has Its Own 19-Year Cicada Problem
By Gopal Ratnam, Roll Call: “Most people of a certain age remember the Y2K problem that worried digitalists worldwide when we transitioned from 1999 to 2000 on the night of Dec. 31, 1999. What would happen to computers and systems when the last two digits on the date went from 99 to 00?"
The U.S. Air Force is preparing for the next A-10 Warthog contract to re-wing more of the close-air support aircraft. The next contract for the “A-10-Thunderbolt II Advanced-Wing Continuation Kit,” known as “ATTACK,” is going through source selection and is expected to be awarded this fall, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Monday. – Military.com
For months, many in Washington have been scratching their heads over the Air Force’s fiscal 2020 budget submission requesting fourth-generation F-15s — a design first flown in 1972. Ever since F-117 stealth fighters amazed the world in Operation Desert Storm, the service committed to fifth-generation fighter modernization via the F-22 and F-35. Their stealth designs and information gathering capabilities reset the rules of the air superiority mission for friend and foe alike. – Defense News
CHINA RESEMBLES WILHEMINE GERMANY'S EXPANSIONIST DREAMS THAT COLLAPSED; PUTIN SELLS CHINA FIGHTER JETS TO COMPETE AGAINST US (SU-57); CHINA CONTINUES TO TEST US WAR POSTURE
The Deeper Meaning of China's Base in Tajikistan
By Emil Avdaliani, April 2, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: It is au courant among analysts and scholars to compare modern-day China to early 20th-century Germany, in that it too is a rising power that desires a larger role for itself in world affairs. But a better comparison might be with the United States of the late 19th-early 20th century. The US of that era presented itself as non-interventionist, but it also proclaimed a “manifest destiny” to expand its influence.
Continue to full article ->
Russia to Offer China Su-57 5th Gen. Stealth Fighter
By Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat: “The Russian government is expected to offer the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) an export variant of the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft, Russia's first purported indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, in the near future, according to Chinese media reports."
China Is Testing the United States
By Seth Cropsey, RealClearDefense: “On Saturday 30 March, Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force dispatched four long-range bombers, electronic jamming and intelligence planes, and two or possibly more fighter aircraft over the international waters of the Miyako Strait, the approximately 175-mile gap between the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako. It cannot be a coincidence that two days earlier the Chinese navy, according to Japan’s Defense Ministry, sent two guided-missile frigates and a logistics ship from the East China Sea into the Central Pacific."
Tom Rogan writes: The U.S. military is battle hardened, and the Chinese military is not. We also find increasing support for our Indo-Pacific strategy (thanks, Jim Mattis) from Britain and other close allies. China is also not-so-cleverly pushing the world’s most populous democracy, India, closer to America. But Davidson’s words demand action. On our current course, if America is forced to fight China next week, there is a very real possibility we’ll run out of weapons, and find ourselves unable to maximize our submarine warfare advantage. Trump likes to win. This ain’t winning. – Washington Examiner
More than Planes and Pickle Buttons: Updating the Air Force’s Core Missions for the 21st Century by Heather Venable
The Developing Fight for Tactical Air Control by Jules Hurst
Army to Replace Nearly Half of Apaches With Future High-Speed Armed Recon Helo
By Joseph Trevithick, The WarZone: “The U.S. Army says it plans to replace nearly half of its AH-64 Apache gunship helicopters with a new pilot-optional attack reconnaissance rotorcraft, which could be either an advanced helicopter or a tilt-rotor design."
FVL: Next Steps For UH-60 & Shadow Replacements In ‘Weeks’
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Thursday, March 28, 2019 7:00 AM
How can Army accelerate its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft when one leading contender started flight tests just seven days ago?
BEIJING WAS NEVER A SUPERPOWER; CHINA'S MARITIME GRAY ZONE EXPOSES US PACIFIC POLICY IN SOUTH CHINA SEA
China Never Was A Superpower-And It Won't Be One Anytime Soon
by Gordon G. Chang via Strategika“The world by 2049 will be defined by the realization of Chinese power,” write Bradley Thayer and John Friend, referring to the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic. “China,” these American academics tell us, “will be the world’s greatest economic and political force.” Must Americans accept the inevitability of Chinese dominance of the international system?
China's Tide Is High, But Is It At High Tide?
by Michael R. Auslin via Strategika If China’s explosive economic growth since the beginning of reform in 1979 is a unique success story, no less impressive has been the concomitant growth of its military and political power, as well as its global influence. Few could have predicted that within one generation of Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972, China would vie with the United States for the banner of global leadership. By any measure, China’s efforts to surpass American predominance in the world must be taken seriously, and in some cases, may even seem to have succeeded.
An Inflection Point In U.S.-China Relations
with Michael R. Auslin via Powerline Michael Auslin, an Asia expert at the Hoover Institution, examines what I consider the most important foreign policy issue of our time — U.S. relations with China. Auslin believes this may be “crunch time” for these relations.
‘How Is Yoda?’: An Appreciation Of Andy Marshall
By Andrew Krepinevich, Wednesday, March 27, 2019 6:18 PM
Last year while in Japan for a meeting with senior defense and military leaders, the question most often posed to me was, “How is Yoda?” The questions were in reference to the nickname given to Andrew Marshall, arguably the foremost defense strategist of the past sixty years, who passed away this week at the…
Andy Marshall, the futurist who led the Pentagon's secretive Office of Net Assessment died this week. Here's an obituary written by the New York Times' Jullian Barns.
Andy Marshall's Century
By Paul Bracken, FPRI: “Born in the shadow of World War I, Andrew Marshall lived through World War II, and contributed to the avoidance of World War III. His long life is a review of civil-military relations in the advanced countries over the past hundred years."
Keep those Iraq War notes handy: Small wars, not great power battles, still the most likely future fight
(Military Times) The findings in the long-awaited Iraq War Study at first glance appear to not be in lockstep with the Pentagon’s new focus on China and Russia, but are perhaps more important than ever.
Just Andy Marshall
By Jerry Hendrix, National Review: “Andrew W. Marshall, the eminent defense strategist, spoke sharply to me only once in the ten years I knew him. A remarkably kind and humble man, Andy Marshall was successful for over four decades in the Pentagon and, more broadly, in Washington, D.C."
THE GAO EXPLAINS PENTAGON ACQUISITION REFORM; LIMITATIONS OF GOLDWATER-NICHOLS ACT ON DEFENSE REFORM, THE REALITY OF UNFUNDED MANDATES FOR THE NAVY & LASERS
Net Assessment: The Pentagon Can Count Ships (But Not Much Else) by Melanie Marlowe, Bryan McGrath, and Christopher Preble
Navy Unveils $3.2B Unfunded List: 2 F-35s, New Laser & More Precision Strike
By Paul McLeary, Monday, March 25, 2019 4:57 PM
The Navy tells Congress it wants to get more deadly, and sail longer. Quickly. Can you say unfunded requirements?
Lasers: Beyond The Power Problem
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Monday, March 25, 2019 7:31 AM
Miitary lasers are getting more and more powerful, fast. But raw power isn’t all you need for a workable weapon.
What The 809 Panel Didn’t Quite Get Right: Greenwalt & Levine
By Peter Levine, Thursday, April 4, 2019 7:11 AM
Every word is worth reading to find out what the 809 Panel did right and what needs to be done to fix some of its missteps. Read on! The Editor.
Innovation Talk is Cheap—Start Innovating
By Richard Kuzma, Drew Calcagno, Zac Dannelly & Ian Shaw, Proceedings: “The Navy’s commitment to an “innovation” culture is mostly hollow rhetoric. Seemingly endless talk using words such as “rapid” and “innovative” serves bureaucratic goals such as securing funding for programs, but truly innovative outcomes are rare and almost never rapid."
By Jim Golby, Strategy Bridge: “The Goldwater-Nichols Act reduced the power of the service components to their lowest levels in the modern era."
THE FUTURE IS HERE: LIGHT INFANTRY, THE ROLE OF 5G IN WAR & OPTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA'S MODERNIZATION PROGRAMS
How the Army Can Fix the Infantry’s Anti-Armor Problem
By Brandon Morgan, Modern War Institute: “By design, light infantry forces sacrifice certain capabilities in order to maximize flexibility and mobility. But when the capabilities sacrificed leave American light infantry forces particularly vulnerable to a potential adversary, change is required."
5G and Battlespace Dominance
By Chet Nagle, European Security & Defense: “The global rollout of 5G, the replacement for the existing 4G mobile communications network, will cost service providers the enormous sum of $325 billion by 2025. Millions of dollars have already been spent to tout the benefits 5G will deliver to individual and commercial users, but little attention is paid to the role of 5G in the future world of defense and national security."
Options for the West to Address Russia’s Unconventional Tactics
By Jesse Short, Divergent Options: “The Russian Federation’s limited forms of warfare against western states and associated influence in other regions challenges the world as it is conducted below the threshold of war."
Russia Develops Niche Military Capabilities for 21st-Century Warfare
By Roger McDermott, Eurasia Daily Monitor: “While there are certainly tensions between Russia and NATO in the Black Sea region, it is also worthwhile to note the growing level of confidence in Moscow about niche military capabilities being developed for the Russian navy, the Military-Maritime Fleet"
SB>1 Defiant Takes Flight: Can It Catch Bell?
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., Thursday, March 21, 2019 6:34 PM
The thing that delayed Defiant, it turns out, is the same thing that makes it really attractive to the Army.
A Rockin’ Year For Breaking Defense, With More To Come!
By Colin Clark, Friday, March 22, 2019 7:01 AM
Sometimes you’ve just gotta crow when things are going well and tempt the gods who’ve granted you the favor. We’ve had a huge year at Breaking Defense. On the editorial side we’ve boosted our reach considerably. First, we hired the excellent Paul McLeary, formerly of Foreign Policy, Defense News and Aviation Week, last February…
CHINA KNOWS US WEAKNESSES IN THE PACIFIC, A LOOK AT BEIJING'S WAR BUDGET, THE DECLINE OF DETERRENCE & US AIR FORCE SEEKS TO CLOSE THE TYRANNY OF DISTANCE IN THE PACIFIC
From Hardware to Software: China’s 2019 Military Budget and Priorities
By Ankit Panda, The Diplomat: “Growth in military budget may have slowed slightly, but funding leaves plenty of room for the vital job of developing personnel."
Andrew Philip Hunter and Maura Rose McQuade write: There is truth to the argument that defense acquisition must change in the face of a new national security environment, but many current acquisition critiques are strangely incomplete. […]Success will ultimately depend on DoD’s ability to rapidly adjust to uncertainty in threats—nimble adversaries, new domains, and unanticipated applications of technology utilization. Our current acquisition debate fails to directly address the changing nature of what we need to be buying, and as a result, we may be heading towards another round of acquisition reform recriminations in a few years. Center for Strategic and International Studies
Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. writes: This study finds that changes in the geopolitical and military-technical environments are eroding the effectiveness of strategies based on deterrence. Moreover, relatively recent revelations of Cold War history and advances in the behavioral sciences raise important concerns regarding our understanding of how deterrence has worked in the past, as well as its limitations going forward. In brief, the efficacy of deterrence is being challenged across multiple fronts. – Hudson Institute
Air Force Arms B-52 With Nuclear-Armed LRSO Missile
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: "The Air Force is now arming its fleet of B-52 Bombers with prototype nuclear-armed cruise missiles to prepare the aircraft for the possibility of launching the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) weapon."
THE ARMY WANTS TO FOREGT SMALL WARS-INSURGENCIES, WHY CHINA WORRIES ABOUT THE F35, NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR TEAM TRUMP & A LOOK AT SERVICE RIVALRIES
The US Army Is Trying to Bury the Lessons of the Iraq War
// Frank Sobchak By scuttling plans to help its leaders understand what went wrong, the service is turning a blind eye to insights of enduring relevance.
Mullah Omar 'Lived Close to U.S. Bases'
From BBC News: “Fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar lived within walking distance of U.S. bases in Afghanistan, a new book has claimed."
It’s Sun Tzu’s Time in the Barrel
By John F. Sullivan, Small Wars Journal: “Insurgents seeking to spark a revolution in the rather staid field of military strategic theory often unwittingly follow the logic of the used car."
Is the Pentagon Truly Committed to the National Defense Strategy?
// Elbridge Colby and James Mille
rAs Senate and House committees examine the Trump administration’s proposed defense budget for fiscal 2020 — it totales three-quarters of a trillion dollars — the first and most important question they should ask is: Does this budget decisively improve the U.S. posture for great-power competition with China and Russia?
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The Army Rapid Capabilities Office has already had a major metamorphosis since its inception in 2016, shifting from a focus on just three near-term challenges to an emphasis on a broader portfolio that aligns with the Army’s major modernization efforts. – Defense News
Really Best Military Advice
By Tadd Sholtis, Words at War: “Last month, the RAND Corporation issued a report intended to help the Department of Defense “understand the current character of interservice competition and how service culture impacts the ways in which the military services posture themselves to secure institutional relevance.”
WHERE'S THE MONEY: WAR BUDGETS MATTER & FORTRESS AMERICA GETS DESTROYED IN WAR GAMING; HOW MULTI-DOMAIN WINS BIG
2020 Budget: One Half Step Towards A Great Power Strategy
By Mark Cancian, Monday, March 25, 2019 7:01 AM
The Trump defense budget takes significant steps to move from a focus on regional conflicts and counter-insurgency to a focus on great power conflicts. But the Army, Navy Air Force and Marines clearly are struggling with this balance.
2020 Budget Request Reveals Slow Shift Toward Great Power War
// Marcus Weisgerber and Patrick Tucker If there’s been one theme at the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, it’s a desire to move fast, particularly when it comes to buying new weapons. The changes are necessary, officials argue, to keep pace with Russia and China, the two countries singled out as “great power” competitors in last year’s National Defense Strategy. Defense leaders urged Congress to allow the Pentagon to remove layers of bureaucracy in order to buy and develop new weapons faster.
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Donald Trump's Defense Budget Masks a Problem
By Rick Berger & Mackenzie Eaglen, The National Intererst: “President Donald Trump’s latest budget merely keeps the military treading water."
What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Defense Budget Masterpiece by Susanna V. Blume and Christopher Dougherty
US ‘gets its ass handed to it’ in wargames: Here’s a $24 billion fix
(Breaking Defense) The US keeps losing, hard, in simulated wars with Russia and China. Bases burn. Warships sink. But we could fix the problem for about $24 billion a year, one well-connected expert said, less than four percent of the Pentagon budget.
Navy Learning to Accelerate Acquisition Priorities
By Connie Lee, National Defense Magazine: “The Navy is leveraging rapid acquisition authorities provided by Congress to push out new weapons faster."
Here's What We Know About the Pentagon's 2020 Budget Request
// Marcus Weisgerber Money to extend border barriers and lavish use of the war fund are already drawing bipartisan fire.
Trump's Budget Harms National Security
// Kori Schake
The Trump administration has delivered its behemoth $4.5 trillion budget. Even if one accepts the 3 percent GDP growth the administration anticipates (which neither the Federal Reserve nor the Congressional Budget Office does), the plan would not produce an end to the deficit profligacy that is a yawning vulnerability for America’s national security. Even its calculations see deficit spending continue for more than a decade while interest rates magically remain unaffected. There is no averting our eyes: We Republicans have become the party of fiscal insolvency.
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2020 defense budget top 5 issues to watch
Mackenzie Eaglen | AEIdeas
The good, bad, and ugly of the latest request shows five key issues for policymakers to address this cycle.
New budget, same story
James C. Capretta | RealClearPolicy
The primary value of most presidential budgets is political, and this one is no different.
2020 BUDGET: Airpower Wins Big; ‘Multi-Domain’ Emerges By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:00 PM
For all the talk of major changes, the Pentagon is pouring money into some pretty traditional priorities.
US Air Power: The Imperative For Modernization (Buy The F-35)
By Lani Kass, Monday, March 18, 2019 7:01 AM In 2006, a relatively obscure book caused a major stir among the U.S. Air Force leadership. Why Air Forces Fail, edited by Robin Higham and Stephen J. Harris, lays out the determinants of failure: deficiencies in the industrial base, misguided technology and tactical picks, inattention to logistics and neglect of training. The case studies are broken…