- October 23, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Will President Biden Make The Same Mistake On Missile Defense That President Obama Did? (From Forbes)
When Barack Obama became president in 2009, he almost immediately set about scaling back missile defense efforts for protecting the American homeland that he had inherited from his predecessor. In the end, he killed almost everything. The only program that remained, Ground-based Midcourse Defense, languished for years. Then Obama’s team discovered that all the warnings they had received about North [ Read More…]
- October 20, 2020
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Get Ready For President Biden To Throw U.S. Security Policies Into Reverse (From Forbes)
President Trump’s national security policies are very different from the bipartisan posture that has prevailed in the postwar era. Having played a central role for decades in fashioning that postwar consensus, Joe Biden has left an extensive political record of how he would modify the Trump approach if elected president. In essence, Biden would revert to the Obama agenda. Alliances [ Read More…]
- October 20, 2020
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Force Multiplier: U.S. Fleet Of Air-Capable Amphibious Warfare Ships (From RealClearDefense)
The Navy and Marine Corps are proposing radical changes to their force structures in line with new concepts for maritime and expeditionary operations. All eyes are on what is new, such as the Navy’s desire for fleets of unmanned surface and subsurface vessels and, with respect to amphibious warfare, at least two new proposed ship classes. What has gotten relatively [ Read More…]
- October 16, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Will The Pentagon’s Bold Battle Force 2045 Plan Finally Fix Sealift? (From Forbes)
There are reasons to suspect that the Battle Force 2045 plan for remaking America’s Navy will not come to much. It’s too ambitious and the timing is all wrong. However, there are elements of the plan that are both affordable and enjoy broad political support. One of those elements is sealift, the mission of expeditiously transporting U.S. military supplies to distant war zones. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper stated in unveiling Battle Force 2045 on October 6 that sealift would [ Read More…]
- October 14, 2020Paul Steidler
- AED: The Big Postal Issue That Needs More Attention
For all the political controversy surrounding the U.S. Postal Service in recent months, there is one issue on which Democrats, Republicans and Independents should be able to come together: the need to better track packages from overseas so that opioids are intercepted, rather than delivered. On October 24, 2018, President Trump signed the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention, or STOP, Act. A centerpiece of the law is a provision to require advanced electronic data (AED) on all incoming packages by [ Read More…]
- October 13, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why Secretary Esper’s Call For Light Carriers Would Make The U.S. Navy Weaker (From Forbes)
On October 6, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper unveiled his outline of what the future U.S. naval fleet should look like. Called Battleforce 2045, there would be more of everything, except for large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. When it comes to big carriers, Esper thinks the Navy might get by with as few as eight, rather than its present 11. That would mean only two supercarriers forward on a typical day, but Esper says the Navy should fill the resulting gap [ Read More…]
- October 13, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Army Modernization’s Day Of Reckoning Is At Hand (From RealClearDefense)
Despite its successes, Army modernization now faces a day of reckoning. Regardless of who wins the November election, the flow of resources which has undergirded modernization is almost certain to decline. The Army’s leaders will have to conduct serious triage on its portfolios of priority modernization efforts. It will also have to revise its modernization strategy overall, in order to achieve a better balance of upgrades and new starts. I have written more on this subject here.
- October 9, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Report: A Robust Tech Sector Is Critical To U.S. National Security (From Forbes)
Technologies spawned by the information revolution are transforming every facet of the global economy. Like any other upheaval, the information revolution will produce winners and losers. If Washington does not want its military to be one of the losers, it must do more to assure the health of the domestic technology sector. Many of the tax, trade, immigration and regulatory policies bearing upon the sector’s wellbeing seem to assume that no matter what the government does, America will always be [ Read More…]
- October 8, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why U.S. National Security Requires A Robust, Innovative Technology Sector
Every nation strives for security. Although the phrase “national security” in common usage has military overtones, there are other elements as well—economic, demographic, cultural. For instance, energy security was a major concern of U.S. policymakers in recent decades, and environmental security related to climate change now garners similar interest. What every facet of national security has in common, though, is that it is shaped by technology. The wide oceans separating North America from the Eurasian land mass were once thought [ Read More…]
- October 7, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why The President Is The Weakest Link In U.S. Nuclear Strategy (From Forbes)
The president of the United States has unilateral authority to order the launch of nuclear weapons. It is a paradox of the modern age that the most fearsome power the nation’s chief executive possesses is the one power not subject to checks and balances. So when a president’s capacity to function is constrained by medical or psychological issues, there is cause for concern. President Trump’s hospitalization following a positive test for Covid-19, and the administering of powerful drugs to fight [ Read More…]
- October 7, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Why The U.S. Military Needs Long Range Precision Fires (From The National Interest)
Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) are the U.S. Army’s number one modernization priority. The immediate goal of this program is to restore the Army’s erstwhile advantage in indirect fires, both artillery and rockets/missiles. Even more importantly, the program has a long-term goal of having LRPF play a central role in a new American way of war, based on achieving an information advantage in order to conduct coordinated fires of all types across multiple domains. Reinforcing this ability will pose multiple [ Read More…]
- October 3, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- High-End Warfare in the Indo-Pacific Theater Will Require Distributed Sensing (From RealClearDefense)
The United States’ military is evolving towards a new way of warfare designed to counter adversaries’ efforts to develop a dominant anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capability. This new approach focuses on the proliferation of land units and air, sea and space platforms employing rapid maneuver, long-range fires, and non-traditional effects such as electronic and cyber warfare to confuse, degrade and eventually disintegrate opposing forces. The pace and intensity of combat will be greater than ever before. This means that U.S. forces [ Read More…]
- October 2, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Raytheon Defines First Principles For Building A Space Sensor Layer (From Forbes)
The defense department plans to build a Space Sensor Layer to track hypersonic weapons. It will likely be concentrated in low earth orbit and be able to track hundreds of incoming weapons simultaneously. Raytheon Technologies is among the companies vying for the contract to architect the system. This week I talked with one of the company’s experts and discovered that the core principles governing its approach are similar to those shaping the approach to other military missions. The system must [ Read More…]