Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

Airborne Laser: A Ray of Hope for Missile Defense Issue Brief These are strange days for supporters of national missile defense. After years of resisting any defensive deployments, the Clinton Administration has acknowledged the need for some protection against rogue-state missiles. However, the range of disagreement between Democrats and [Read More...]
Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Access Problem Ignored Issue Brief A conservative think tank called The Project for the New American Century has completed a two-year study of U.S. defense needs. It is issuing a report entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” that clearly is aimed at influencing the next [Read More...]
Missile Defense Neglected Fundamentals Issue Brief There’s a growing debate about missile defense in the national media. Much of it is recycled from debates in the 1960’s (Sentinel/Safeguard) and 1980’s (Star Wars). Missile defense, it is said, may “destabilize” the nuclear balance or lead [Read More...]
Joint Strike Fighter Opportunity Costs Issue Brief The biggest program in the Pentagon’s weapons-purchasing plan for the next 20 years is the Joint Strike Fighter. The Clinton Administration wants to buy 2,852 of the stealthy fighter-bombers in three different versions for the Air Force, Navy [Read More...]
Joint Strike Fighter: An “Opportunity” to be Avoided Issue Brief If you want to understand why defense stocks often trade at a discount to other equities, take a look at the Joint Strike Fighter. The $220 billion program is supposed to replace Air Force F-16’s, Navy F/A-18’s and [Read More...]
Submarines and Intelligence (3): Bock Buy Saves Money Issue Brief The Lexington Institute has published several essays on the seldom-discussed subject of submarines and intelligence. The Navy’s nuclear-powered attack subs have a rapidly growing role in the collection of both tactical and strategic intelligence. Because this growth was [Read More...]
Submarines and Intelligence (2): Time to Rebuild Issue Brief Over the past ten years, the strategic intelligence taskings for the Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines have doubled. During the same period, the number of attack subs in the active fleet declined nearly 40% – from 91 in 1990 [Read More...]
Defense Industry’s Real Problem: Capricious Pentagon Article Published in the Aviation Week and Space Technology The Pentagon is sponsoring a study by the Defense Science Board (DSB) to figure out what has gone wrong with the defense industry. In the two years since senior policymakers blocked [Read More...]
Submarines and Intelligence: The Missing Link Issue Brief The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has completed a comprehensive study of attack-submarine requirements in the years 2015 and 2025. The study is a follow-up to the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review, which recommended the Navy reduce [Read More...]
Plan for Defense Spending Article Published in The Washington Post By Loren Thompson, Ph.D. David Ignatius really hit the nail on the head in his February 13 analysis of the defense industry’s decline. The industry’s problems can be succinctly summarized as depressed demand, uneven [Read More...]
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