- January 24, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How Top Military Contractors Raytheon And BAE Systems Are Drawing Non-Traditional Suppliers Into Defense (From Forbes)
There is concern in the Pentagon that China and Russia are catching up with U.S. warfighting capabilities. Many policymakers are convinced that a solution lies, at least in part, in tapping a wider range of sources for military technology–especially commercial tech companies. Unfortunately, many commercial enterprises lack the resources to deal with the Pentagon’s baroque acquisition system. One way around [ Read More…]
- January 24, 2020
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- JLTV Program Proves the Army Can Acquire a New Combat Vehicle (From RealClearDefense)
Last Friday, the Army announced that it was canceling the rapid prototyping phase of the new Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), intended to replace its aging fleet of Bradley Infantry Vehicles. This decision appears to be another in a series of acquisition missteps by the U.S. Army and a blow to the reputation of Futures Command. But before one judges the [ Read More…]
- January 24, 2020
- Paul Steidler
- Electric Grid Cyber Protection: Six Key Recent Developments
Below is a synopsis of six particularly notable developments since November 2019 re: steps being taken to protect the U.S. electric grid from cyberattacks and the evolving nature of these threats. National Security Council Report. On December 12 the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) provided a report to the President and the National Security Council urging that stronger steps [ Read More…]
- January 21, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How The U.S. Navy’s Aging Sealift Fleet Could Lose America’s Next War In Eurasia (From Forbes)
No matter how well trained America’s military is, it can’t win overseas wars unless it has a way of getting to the fight. Troops can be flown to war zones, but equipment and supplies need to go mainly by sea. The U.S. Navy, working with the Transportation Department’s Maritime Administration, has assembled a dedicated fleet of roll-on/roll-off carriers plus other specialized vessels for moving materiel forward. It also has 15 vessels prepositioned near possible war zones. But the fleet aging, [ Read More…]
- January 17, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Reasons The Army May Have Finally Found A Formula For Modernization That Works (From Forbes)
In the years since the Cold War ended, the U.S. Army has faced repeated setbacks in trying to modernize its weapons. Several major initiatives were canceled, and counter-insurgency campaigns in Southwest Asia distracted planners from the threat posed by near-peer adversaries. But today the Army has a modernization plan that shows greater promise than at any time since President Reagan left office. Five factors seem to be driving the improved outlook for recapitalizing aged warfighting systems: the availability of adequate [ Read More…]
- January 16, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The U.S. Army Is Moving Forward Smartly On Advanced Long-Range Artillery (From RealClearDefense)
It is generally recognized that the key to the U.S. Army’s efforts to prepare itself for a new era of great power conflict is a new set of long-range fire systems. General John Murray, the head of Army Futures Command, testified before Congress that “our first modernization priority is to restore the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) capabilities in order to regain our dominance in range, lethality, and target acquisition.” To that end, the Army has a plan to upgrade or [ Read More…]
- January 16, 2020Paul Steidler
- The Postal Service’s Strategic Plan – Five Things To Know
Yesterday the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) issued a legally required five-year strategic plan. Key information in the report and related observations are below. This is the most candid the Postal Service has ever been about its financial challenges. On page 12 USPS says, “We have an underfunded balance sheet, significant debt, and insufficient cash to weather unforeseen cyclicality or changes in business conditions.” Page 17 reads, “…we expect to run out of liquidity by 2021 if we pay all our [ Read More…]
- January 15, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- U.S. National Security Policy Needs To Open A New Chapter In The Transatlantic Alliance
NATO has a rich history to build upon but it needs to move its strategy center to the East. For fifty years NATO was focused on deterring the Soviet threat by zealously guarding the inner-German border. The threat is just as serious today, but its geographic focus has shifted eastward. The NATO members along the Russian border should be the focus of immediate U.S. and alliance engagement and support. Poland is the emerging economic magnet for Europe and demonstrates the [ Read More…]
- January 14, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Features That Make Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser Spaceplane Unique (From Forbes)
Sierra Nevada Corporation is developing a spacecraft for NASA that could change the face of America’s space program. Called Dream Chaser, the spacecraft is a lifting body that can maneuver within the atmosphere — sort of like a scaled-down Space Shuttle. That maneuverability enables it to land anyplace there is a 10,000-foot runway, unlike other spacecraft that typically must spash down in the ocean. Dream Chaser can carry bigger payloads than other spacecraft, up to six tons in a single [ Read More…]
- January 9, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Ten Reasons The F-35 Fighter Is Poised To Have A Super Year In 2020 (From Forbes)
There was a time when the Pentagon’s biggest weapons program, the F-35 fighter, was assailed on all sides by critics. Those days are long gone. Today the program is a smashing success, and 2020 looks likely to be another step forward in the plane’s rise to dominance of the global market for tactical aircraft. Nearly 500 F-35s have been delivered, the price of each variant is falling, all of the key performance objectives are being met, readiness is rising steadily, [ Read More…]
- January 9, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Pentagon’s Cloud Migration About More Than JEDI Contract
The Pentagon’s recent decision to award the hotly contested contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) system to Microsoft is seen by many observers as a major setback for Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is protesting the decision. But even if it should lose the protest, AWS will remain a premier, trusted cloud provider to the U.S. government, overall, and the Pentagon, in particular. For more than two years, media discussions of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) effort to [ Read More…]
- January 9, 2020Paul Steidler
- Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Test On Nuclear Power (From InsideSources)
For decades there has been strong bipartisan support for nuclear power plants among state and federal elected officials. These plants do not emit pollution, provide cost competitive electricity and have many other regional economic benefits. Among those supporting nuclear power, in an often very hostile environment, has been Michael Bloomberg, as Mayor of New York City and a climate change philanthropist. While Mr. Bloomberg has not been discussing nuclear power lately, he would be well served to do so. Lexington [ Read More…]
- January 8, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- NATO’s Anniversary Summit Was A Success For The Alliance And President Trump (From RealClearDefense)
In early December, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) celebrated its seventieth anniversary at a summit in London. Public reports of discord among NATO leaders dominated the headlines. Much of the U.S. press focused on President Trump’s sometimes critical attitude towards NATO and a relatively small number of testy interactions with a few of his counterparts. Defense spending by NATO members is up over $100 billion. NATO is also spending more on modern equipment such as the F-35 stealth fighter [ Read More…]