- May 8, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Rocket Motors On Nuclear Missiles Become A Test Case For Trump Industrial Policy (From Forbes)
The White House will soon release a comprehensive study of the defense industrial base that warns against letting domestic sources of vital military items shrink to a “single point of failure.” However, that is precisely where the industrial base for large solid rocket motors may be headed if the Air Force doesn’t adjust its approach to competing a replacement for [ Read More…]
- May 7, 2018
- Paul Steidler
- The President’s Postal Service Task Force: Seven Things To Know And Watch
Through executive order, President Donald Trump has created a Postal Service task force to “develop recommendations for administrative and legislative reforms” and to report its findings by August 10. The task force is comprised of senior administration officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Postal Service reform is long overdue and should [ Read More…]
- May 3, 2018
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Navy’s Next Generation Network Will Not Meet Warfighters’ Needs (From RealClearDefense)
The leadership of the U.S. Navy is virtually unanimous in identifying their networks as one of the linchpins for success in future high-end warfare. Admiral Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), recently expressed the view that “there are plenty of examples in history where just the power of networking [platforms] together creatively, adaptively, brings actually more power to that force.” [ Read More…]
- May 2, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Time Is Already Running Out On The U.S. Army’s Long-Delayed Modernization Surge (From Forbes)
The U.S. Army is missing the opportunity that President Trump’s election has provided to thoroughly modernize its combat systems. Rather than moving out quickly to accelerate the procurement of new weapons already in the pipeline, it is frittering away time reorganizing and transforming its business practices. By the time the Army gets around to bending metal in a big way, the Trump defense buildup will be over and another modernization opportunity will have been lost. I have written a commentary [ Read More…]
- May 2, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- A Real Missile Gap Is Looming In Hypersonic Weapons (From The National Interest)
A new “missile gap” is emerging, one that is based in fact. This is the disparity between the United States and its main competitors, Russia and China, in the field of hypersonic weapons systems. A hypersonic vehicle is one that moves through the atmosphere at a minimum speed of five times that of sound, or Mach 5. Hypersonic weapons systems could dramatically alter the existing balance of conventional military power forces between the United States and its major competitors. They could [ Read More…]
- April 26, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Has A Strategy That Will Work In Good Times And Bad (From Forbes)
Boeing’s impressive earnings beat in the first quarter of 2018 reflects a company that is operating at the top of its game. However, there is a lot more to the Boeing story than what is happening right now. CEO Dennis Muilenburg has fashioned a long-term strategy for the company that will minimize cyclicality in revenues and returns while growing the enterprise across all of its addressable aerospace markets. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
- April 26, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Modernizing NATO’s Nuclear Capabilities Must Outweigh Industrial Base Considerations (From RealClearDefense)
Germany is a key player in NATO’s nuclear-sharing arrangements. In order to maintain this role, the Luftwaffe needs to acquire a nuclear-capable F-35 to replace its aging fleet of Tornado strike aircraft. The Russian threat is too dire and the need to restore the credibility of NATO’s extended deterrent too pressing to tolerate industrial base arguments, however specious. NATO solidarity, the sanctity of the collective defense commitment and the need to prioritize modernization of the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent trump outdated [ Read More…]
- 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 the Air Force buys satellites is ill-suited to restoring America’s edge in space because it can’t keep up with moves [ Read More…]
- April 20, 2018Loren 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 of the administration’s broader effort to stimulate economic growth and shrink trade deficits. Rather than being held at arm’s length [ Read More…]
- April 19, 2018Paul 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 10. I discuss these issues in an Op-Ed for InsideSources here.
- 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…]