- April 23, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- As Space War Looms, Air Force’s Biggest Weakness May Be How It Buys Satellites (From Forbes)
Air Force leaders are expressing grave concern about recent Russian and Chinese initiatives aimed at negating America’s national-security space capabilities. The satellite constellations on which the U.S. currently depends for communications, recon and warning of attack are not equipped to deal with space as a contested environment, and changes will need to be made. Unfortunately, the plodding way in which [ Read More…]
- April 20, 2018
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Trump Drone Decree Signals Arms Exports Are Now A Key Feature Of U.S. Economic Policy (From Forbes)
On April 19, the White House gave the defense industry long-sought relief from regulations limiting the export of drones. A presidential memorandum loosened restrictions and committed the federal government to playing a more active role in promoting U.S. arms exports. But the most important aspect of the memorandum was largely overlooked. Arms sales are now to be treated as part [ Read More…]
- April 19, 2018
- Paul Steidler
- Breaking Gridlock: The Postal Service Task Force (From InsideSources)
With 11 consecutive years of losses, no turnaround plan and more than $121 billion in unfunded liabilities, the U.S. Postal Service is a major liability to taxpayers and faces serious challenges that threaten its future. President Trump has taken an important step to break the gridlock around postal policy and operations, creating a task force whose recommendations are due August [ Read More…]
- April 18, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Mega-Base: What Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Means For The Economy of Ohio (From Forbes)
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio is the largest single-site employer in the Buckeye State and the center of Air Force innovation. It is also a driver of regional growth, accounting for 14% of economic activity in the Dayton area. That has implications for national elections, because no Republican has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio, and Wright-Patt’s funding from Washington is a litmus test of whether administrations are helping or hurting local voters. I have written [ Read More…]
- April 18, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Army Needs To Maintain Momentum On APS Technologies (From RealClearDefense)
U.S. ground forces deployed in Europe had been reduced to a faint shadow of their former greatness. They lacked heavy armor, combat aviation, long-range fires, short-range air defense and electronic warfare. In addition, historically low rates of investment left the Army without the modernization portfolio needed to regain its erstwhile dominance in maneuver warfare. General Milley instituted a crash program to fill a number of critical capability gaps. Among the bold decisions the Army made was to initiate a rapid [ Read More…]
- April 16, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The U.S. Is Building Its Own Anti-Access Air And Missile Defense System (From RealClearDefense)
Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on efforts by this country’s competitors to create an anti-access/area denial environment (A2/AD) designed to defeat U.S. power projection capabilities. A central feature of the canonical A2/AD threat is an integrated air and missile defense. Since the 1960s, first the Soviet Union and now Russia has invested in a layered system of sensors and interceptors to counter U.S. airpower. Current Russian air and missile defenses consist of multiple overlapping systems, many of which are [ Read More…]
- April 13, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How Boeing’s KC-46 Next-Gen Tanker Will Set The Global Standard For Aerial Refueling (From Forbes)
Boeing is developing a versatile aerial refueling tanker for the U.S. Air Force that will be a game-changer for the joint force and overseas allies. The tanker is critical to future military operations because many key destinations in Europe and Asia cannot be reached by U.S. aircraft without aerial refueling, and over 80% of the tankers in the current Air Force fleet exceed 50 years of age. The new refueler, designated KC-46, will be by far the most capable tanker [ Read More…]
- April 9, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Biowar: A Guide To The Coming Plague Years (From Forbes)
Threats to national security aren’t as predictable now as they were during the Cold War. The one thing many recent threats have in common is that they are “asymmetric” — they aim to attack America where it is least ready to respond. Given that fact, it seems likely that biowar — the military use of pathogens against target populations — lies in our future. Why? Because the nation is dreadfully unprepared, the means for engineering novel microorganisms is becoming accessible [ Read More…]
- April 5, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Winning the Great Power Competition: Better Logistics And Sustainment (From RealClearDefense)
Logistics and sustainment are what makes the difference between a military that can fight and win wars and one-trick ponies that give out as soon as they have to operate beyond their immediate support facilities. This is an area in which the U.S. military excels, due almost entirely to the support of the private sector. Russia has built a rather formidable first strike conventional military capability but it lacks adequate logistics and sustainment. Similarly, China is building a large Navy, but [ Read More…]
- April 5, 2018Paul Steidler
- The President’s Wake-up Call to the Postal Service (From The Hill)
The President’ Amazon tweets have kicked off a much-needed debate about the dire straits of the Postal Service’s finances. With 11 consecutive years of losses totaling $65 billion, and no signs of a turnaround, taxpayers are clearly on the hook. I discuss these matters for The Hill in the Op-Ed here.
- April 5, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why Trillion-Dollar Estimates To Keep The F-35 Fighter Flying Are Really Misleading (From Forbes)
The tri-service F-35 fighter is wrapping up a very successful development program. All key performance requirements have been met, the cost of each variant is coming down, and the fighter wins every overseas sales competition in which it is entered. So the F-35 is finally getting some positive media coverage, right? Well, not exactly. Now reporters are starting to focus on how much it will cost to keep the plane flying through 2070. The most commonly heard figure is a [ Read More…]
- April 5, 2018Rathna K. Muralidharan
- To Support Africa, Build Infrastructure (From RealClearDefense)
The African continent is a rapidly growing market. Foreign direct investment (FDI) patterns are steady, if not growing, as countries around the world invest in Africa. However, the U.S. is woefully behind. This is due in large part to a lack of investment incentives for American companies. Washington’s strategic interests are linked to FDIs because they make Africa more accessible and easier to operate in without requiring the U.S. government to take on a long-term, extensive commitment in leading and managing [ Read More…]
- April 4, 2018Constance Douris, M.A.
- Russia Attacked The U.S. Power Grid For Two Years. Now What? (From RealClearEnergy)
The Trump administration has accused Russia of a two-year cyberattack campaign against the U.S. electric grid. This is the first time the U.S. has openly accused Moscow of threatening America’s energy infrastructure. And it demonstrates why the grid must be able to resist cyberattacks on networks and ensure customers have stable electricity access. I have written a commentary on this topic for RealClearEnergy here.