- February 16, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Air Force Data Grab Raises Doubts About Its Acquisition Culture (From Forbes)
Lockheed Martin took the unusual step this week of protesting an Air Force competition long before the winner is due to be selected. The company complained that it was being pressed to provide technical data about its entry in the UH-1N helicopter replacement program in a manner inconsistent with current law or regulation. Making such demands as a condition for [ Read More…]
- February 16, 2018
- Paul Steidler
- Save Lives, Restore Congressional Respect by Strengthening Opioids’ Seizure (From The Hill)
Opioids are easily coming into the country, via the mail, from China. The time has come for Congress to adopt a common-sense, bipartisan, and widely supported solution – advanced electronic data to better track all international mail. I discuss these matters for The Hill in the Op-Ed here.
- February 14, 2018
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Tanks To Ohio: How Trump’s Industrial Policy Shop Leverages Pentagon Spending To Create Jobs (From Forbes)
One of the oddest features of policymaking in the federal government is that little effort is made to connect defense goals with economic goals. Decisionmakers have often behaved as if there was no connection between the two areas. Now the Trump administration is trying to change that. Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade and industrial advisor, has worked with Vice President [ Read More…]
- February 13, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Defense Firms Are Ready To Invest But Pentagon Must Make Good On Acquisition Reforms (From The National Interest)
For years, senior Pentagon officials have been hectoring defense companies to put more “skin in the game” by increasing their spending on research and development and investing more of their own money on infrastructure and production technologies. The Pentagon wanted these companies to spend more of their own money to develop next-generation products. But without a reasonable prospect of a production program that generates a revenue stream and profits, what incentive is there for a company to risk its own [ Read More…]
- February 12, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Reasons The Army Must Keep Modernizing Today’s Weapons While It Tries To Leap Ahead (From Forbes)
The U.S. Army is finally getting enough money to fund an adequate modernization program. Army leaders have big plans for how they will build a more lethal, survivable and mobile force. However, it would be a big mistake to try leaping into the future without continuing to upgrade the service’s existing combat systems. First, wars could occur long before next-generation weapons are fielded. Second, bold ideas for how to equip the future forces could falter and never come to fruition. [ Read More…]
- February 12, 2018Paul Steidler
- Don’t Bail Out the Postal Service for Missing the Bull Market (From Investor’s Business Daily)
The U.S. Postal Service has serious financial problems, much of which stems from its $73 billion in under-funded retirement plans. While the Postal Service has been aggressively seeking federal legislation to effectively offload at least some of these liabilities on taxpayers, its retirement plans would be quite strong if it invested as state pension plans do. I discuss these matters for Investor’s Business Daily in the Op-Ed here.
- February 8, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Drones Will Surpass IED Threat In Future Conflicts (From RealClearDefense)
The weapon system that personified the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and shaped the behavior of the U.S. military for almost fifteen years was the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). IEDs were responsible for approximately two-thirds of U.S. and Coalition casualties suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Civilian casualties from IEDs number in the tens of thousands. The important lesson to draw from the experience dealing with IEDs in Southwest Asia is the way a single instrument of war, no matter how [ Read More…]
- February 7, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Textron’s Scorpion Jet: Disruptive Technology, Disruptive Business Model (From Forbes)
Textron’s Scorpion armed recon jet is unique. There’s no other plane like it in the world — which in a way is why the company developed it. After conducting a market survey at the beginning of the decade, Providence, RI-based Textron concluded there was an unaddressed global market for about 2,000 low-cost, multi-mission jets that could perform both reconnaissance and strike missions. So it set out to develop such an aircraft with its own money, avoiding the use of U.S. [ Read More…]
- February 6, 2018Constance Douris, M.A.
- Cyber Assault On Electric Grid Could Make U.S. Feel Like Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico (From Forbes)
If a mass power outage were to result from a successful cyberattack on the electric grid, national security and economic stability would be threatened. This is because hospitals, banks, factories, pipelines, financial networks, water systems, telecommunications and military bases would simply not function without electricity. Policymakers and industry need to work together to identify weaknesses and deploy technologies to prevent malicious attacks from compromising critical infrastructure. Citizens should not have to worry about surviving without electricity due to a successful [ Read More…]
- February 5, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- U-2 Versus Global Hawk: Why Drones Aren’t Always The Best Solution For Warfighters (From Forbes)
The Air Force has been struggling of late to determine whether manned or unmanned aircraft are best-suited to generating useful high-altitude intelligence and recon. The answer isn’t so obvious. On the one hand, the service’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft can stay aloft for 30 hours, collecting a diverse array of information with its on-board sensors. On the other hand, its U-2S spy plane can fly higher and thus see further, carries a much bigger payload, generates a lot more power, [ Read More…]
- February 2, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Boeing Views Navy’s MQ-25 Carrier-Based Drone Contract As A Must Win (from Forbes)
After two decades of experimenting with how unmanned aircraft might fit into a carrier air wing, the Navy has settled on a concept: it wants an aerial-refueling drone that can extend the reach of carrier-based fighters to 1000 nautical miles. At present, it has to rely on some fighters to fuel others; if drones can take over that role, then all of the strike fighters in an air wing can be dedicated to tip-of-the-spear combat missions. The program to develop [ Read More…]
- February 1, 2018Constance Douris, M.A.
- Backup Charging Is Essential As More Electric Vehicles Are Adopted (From InsideSources)
A recent analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that EVs could account for half of all new cars sold by 2040. This begs the following question: as electric cars become more popular, how would a driver charge an EV when electricity is unavailable? The aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico demonstrates the potential devastating consequences of not having electricity for an extended period of time. Thus, backup charging infrastructure is necessary so that EVs are able to operate [ Read More…]
- February 1, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Speech: Trump’s Nuclear Posture Affirms Obama Framework
The following remarks were delivered by Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson to a deterrence forum sponsored by the Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance in Washington on January 31.