- September 7, 2017Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- A-29 Super Tucano – A Force Multiplier in COIN (From RealClearDefense)
The U.S. Air Force recognized the need to rebuild an Afghan Air Force (AAF) and provide it with a Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft suited to both that country’s operational environment and its limited financial, technical and human resources. The answer was the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano. The A-29 first began operating in Afghanistan in 2016. Twelve aircraft have [ Read More…]
- September 5, 2017
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- A Dozen Reasons Why Small Aircraft Carriers Don’t Make Much Sense (from Forbes)
As the Navy begins transitioning from its Nimitz-class aircraft carriers to the more capable Ford class, some critics are reviving an old debate about the supposed virtues of smaller carriers. Like Nimitz, the Ford class displaces about 100,000 tons of water and is nuclear-powered. The smaller carriers might be only half as big, and would run on fossil fuels. However, [ Read More…]
- September 3, 2017
- Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer
- New Jersey’s Opportunity to Advance Educational Outcomes (From the Bergen Record)
Recently, New Jersey’s new state school accountability plan earned strong marks from an independent, objective national panel of experts. Translating this encouraging development into improved student outcomes, and narrowing gaps in student achievement, will now depend on effectively getting schools the support necessary to accomplish this crucial work, and also monitoring their progress effectively. At the conclusion of a budget [ Read More…]
- August 31, 2017Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Air Force’s New ICBM Plans Could Damage Defense Industrial Base (From RealClearDefense)
The United States is not currently producing and deploying any new strategic nuclear delivery systems. There are programs in development for a new bomber, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) to replace the Minuteman ICBM and a new ballistic missile submarine. The reality is that for the next two decades at least, the United States will have to rely on an aging, even obsolescing strategic nuclear force posture to deter an increasing number of hostile nations with modern and growing nuclear [ Read More…]
- August 31, 2017Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Back On A War Footing: Five Capabilities The Army Must Have In A Decade (From Army Magazine)
The U.S. Army is rethinking its warfighting priorities in light of new threats posed by Russia and other potential near-peer enemies. There isn’t much that the service can do in the near term to alter the balance of forces in key theaters other than to increase the number of deployed combat units, but in the medium term — ten years out — there are several programs that could make a big difference. The latest version of the Warfighter Information Network [ Read More…]
- August 31, 2017Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- ISIS’ Terrorist Revolution: Sophisticated Drone Operations Pose Grave Threat to American Forces (From The National Interest)
One reason it has proven so difficult to defeat terrorist organizations such as ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban is that they are free of the burden imposed by a stultifying acquisition bureaucracy. Terrorist organizations don’t have military academies, national laboratories, large aerospace and defense companies or massive treasuries. The absence of formal institutions and traditional ways of thinking may actually give these groups an advantage. In the U.S. military, a service can’t even begin to develop a new weapons [ Read More…]
- August 30, 2017Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- What A Single North Korean Nuclear Warhead Could Do To Los Angeles (From Forbes)
As North Korea rapidly completes assembling all the pieces of a long-range nuclear arsenal capable of striking America, Los Angeles stands out as an obvious target. Pyongyang wants to hold high-value U.S. assets at risk to deter efforts at removing the Kim dynasty from power, and there aren’t many places more important to America’s economy and culture than Los Angeles. A single 500 kiloton warhead that manages to escape interception by U.S. missile defenses could wipe out downtown L.A., obliterating both [ Read More…]
- August 29, 2017Paul Steidler
- Will The STOP Act Soon Be Thrust Forward?
Following the “first and most urgent recommendation” of the Presidential Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, President Trump has indicated he likely will soon declare a national emergency regarding drug overdoses. In its interim report released on July 31, the Commission emphasizes that 142 Americans die every day from overdoses. From 2002 to 2015 there was a 2.8-fold increase in deaths from opioids, and the trend is accelerating. In 2015, the last year for which statistics are [ Read More…]
- August 25, 2017Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- U.S. Army Stryker Upgrades Show Just How Fast Industry Can Move (From The National Interest)
A poster child for fast acquisition of relevant capabilities for the Army is General Dynamics’ Stryker Combat Vehicle Program. The Stryker was initially intended as an interim solution to the need for a light yet lethal armored vehicle that could be rapidly deployed around the globe, particularly to places without massive logistics and transportation infrastructure. When the Future Combat System was cancelled, the Stryker became the long-term solution. With more than 4,700 vehicles in the Army and a hot production [ Read More…]
- August 24, 2017Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- BAE Systems, Inc. Plays Unique, Critical Role In Sustaining U.S. Nuclear Deterrent (From Forbes)
The U.S. subsidiary of Europe’s biggest defense contractor has carved out a unique niche in sustaining the long-range ballistic missiles of the U.S. Air Force and Navy — the parts of the nuclear “triad” where over 90% of the warheads in the strategic arsenal reside. BAE Systems, Inc. provides system engineering and sustainment services to both the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs Office and the Air Force’s Nuclear Weapons Center. It also supports the United Kingdom’s sea-based strategic deterrent. At the core of this unusual franchise [ Read More…]
- August 24, 2017Rathna K. Muralidharan
- Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal – A Historical Boost for U.S. Industry (From RealClearDefense)
President Trump’s commitment to support Saudi Arabia through arms sales is not only an investment in U.S.-Saudi relations but also in the American defense industrial base. Providing Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the Kingdom sustains manufacturing jobs in America and promotes American defense technology abroad. Giving American companies the chance to build their clientele offers them the opportunity to develop new solutions to different types of security problems. A strong, already trained and equipped workforce will be needed to design [ Read More…]
- August 23, 2017Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The U.S. Army’s All-But Forgotten Vehicle Fleet (From RealClearDefense)
The U.S. Army possesses many vehicles. There are fleets of main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, engineering support vehicles, mobile artillery, mine-protected vehicles, prime movers and trucks, light tactical vehicles and light utility vehicles. Of the Army’s various vehicle fleets, the largest today is the now all-but forgotten High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or Humvee. The Army operates approximately 120,000 HMMWVs across all echelons and in each type of brigade combat team. Today and for many [ Read More…]
- August 22, 2017Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Air Force ICBM Awards to Boeing, Northrop Grumman Keep Trump Strategic Plan On Track (From Forbes)
The Air Force’s announcement Monday that it is moving to the next step in securing a successor to the aging Minuteman III missile force is much more important than White House disclosure of a new strategy for Afghanistan the same day. Deterring the existential threat of nuclear war is our military’s most important mission, and Cold War ballistic missiles that help accomplish that goal won’t be able to function safely for much longer. By giving risk reduction contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman, [ Read More…]