- August 6, 2021Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How Election Politics Could Shape Pentagon Weapons Spending In A Biden Presidency (From Forbes)
The ultimate customer for defense-industry output is the U.S. political system. That’s who pays the bills. So we shouldn’t be surprised if electoral politics influences how much money goes to weapons, and where the weapons are made. President Biden will likely be no different from his predecessors in trying to leverage weapons spending to win votes for his party. That [ Read More…]
- August 4, 2021
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- It’s Electric: The Coming Revolution In U.S. Naval Power Systems (From 1945)
Electric power is the Navy’s future. New technologies, evolving operating environments, and more stringent policies on pollution and climate change are driving the demand for more power. The Navy is investing in new ways of managing and storing power to address the growing demand. Several classes of ships are already employing either hybrid-electric or electric integrated propulsion systems. Future classes, [ Read More…]
- August 3, 2021
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- The Navy Says It Can’t Afford To Fully Modernize. So What Should It Give Up? (From Forbes)
The Navy’s budget guidance says it can’t afford to modernize all of its combat systems, and the Chief of Naval Operations says at current funding levels, the fleet can’t grow much beyond 300 warships. Clearly, the service will have to abandon some of its ambitions for the future. The first item to go is force structure–fleet size will be more [ Read More…]
- August 3, 2021Sarah White, M.A.
- Eastern Europe’s Strategic Balance Is Shifting (From RealClearWorld)
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on July 19, a conversation she described as very friendly and warm, and one that seemed to promise meaningful U.S. action on Belarus in the near future. Blinken is the most senior U.S. government official to meet with Tsikhanouskaya. The meeting is the clearest signal of Washington’s support of her against Belarus’ authoritarian president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, who is being propped up by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Given [ Read More…]
- July 30, 2021Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The U.S. Army Has a Good Modernization Strategy—It Must Stick With It (From RealClearDefense)
The Army is about to see critical parts of its modernization effort come to fruition. Despite anxiety from within and criticism from the outside regarding its ability to bring its modernization agenda to fruition, the Service must press ahead. Without modernization, the Army could find itself irrelevant in future high-end conflicts. Army leaders acknowledge that their efforts to find savings for modernization by trimming existing programs are reaching an end. There is no more low-hanging fruit. Without more robust defense [ Read More…]
- July 30, 2021Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Space Force’s Missile Warning System Needs To Explore All Options For Tracking Threats (From Forbes)
The U.S. Space Force is developing a next-generation orbital architecture for tracking nuclear and other threats. The first step will be to replace geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites in the current system with spacecraft that are more resilient, capable and affordable. But that apparently is just the beginning. The Space Force also wants satellites in lower orbits that can track and characterize threats more precisely. Most observers think that means low-earth orbit (LEO). However, satellites in medium-earth orbit (MEO) have unique [ Read More…]
- July 28, 2021Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Administration Should Provide States With Technology To Secure Their Borders (From The National Interest)
When the Biden administration took office and canceled the Trump wall, it inherited a lot of state-of-the-art surveillance equipment that was going to be employed alongside the physical barrier. This equipment, bought and paid for, now rests in warehouses, piling up monthly storage charges. The situation on the southwest border is serious, some say critical. States and localities are responding to a wave of border crossings by implementing local surveillance and security measures. Much of the excess equipment could be [ Read More…]
- July 28, 2021Paul Steidler
- Attorneys General and the Postal Service’s Expected September 1 Mail Slowdown
Barring intervention by state Attorneys General (AGs) by September 1, mail delivery in the United States will soon take longer than it has in 50 years and slow even further. This will be particularly burdensome to senior citizens, the disabled, and rural Americans. As part of its 10-year strategic plan, the U.S. Postal Service wants to slow mail delivery on 40 percent of first-class mail. In a July 20 Advisory Opinion, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) raised strong concerns with [ Read More…]
- July 27, 2021Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How The Air Force’s LRSO Missile Could Prevent A Crisis From Escalating To Nuclear Annihilation (From Forbes)
On July 1 the Air Force awarded a contract to Raytheon Technologies for development of a new air-launched nuclear system called the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) weapon. LRSO will replace the aged cruise missiles currently carried on U.S. bombers with a munition that is much more likely to penetrate future enemy defenses. It will also extend the range of bombers to reach multiple targets. Bombers can play a unique role in crises by signaling resolve without committing to attacks. That [ Read More…]
- July 27, 2021Sarah White, M.A.
- Russian Encroachment In Eastern Europe Drove Poland’s Purchase Of Abrams Tank (From RealClearDefense)
This month, the sale of 250 U.S.-produced Abrams tanks to Poland was officially announced. The sale, valued at USD $5.9 billion, is positive news for Polish national security. Though it had already purchased the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the Patriot air defense system, and the coveted F-35 fighter from the U.S., Poland’s acquisition of the M1—technically the M1A2 SEP v3—means that it will become a more secure buffer on NATO’s eastern front. Poland has been long overdue for an [ Read More…]
- July 23, 2021Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- U.S. Shipbuilding Is At Its Lowest Ebb Ever. How Did America Fall So Far? (From Forbes)
There was a time within living memory when America was the world’s biggest builder of commercial oceangoing vessels, and its ships carried a third of global trade. Those days are long gone. The U.S. now typically produces less than ten such vessels annually, compared with over a thousand in China. And barely one-percent of U.S. trade is carried on U.S.-registered ships. The U.S.-flagged commercial fleet consists of less than 200 oceangoing vessels, in a global fleet of 44,000 vessels. As [ Read More…]
- July 23, 2021Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Light Amphibious Warship: A Mistake For The U.S. Marine Corps And Navy? (From 1945)
The Marine Corps and Navy are moving aggressively to redefine how they will conduct amphibious operations and reshape their fleets of amphibious warships. Perhaps they are moving too fast. The Sea Services are conducting wargames, exercises, and experiments to validate a radically new approach to amphibious operations. However, the Navy has already awarded concept design studies for a new Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) and plans to procure the first of this new class in FY2023. The trouble with this acquisition [ Read More…]
- July 20, 2021Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why We Know F-35 Support Costs Will Fall In The Future (From Forbes)
The Government Accountability Office put out a report earlier this month purporting to show that the F-35 fighter costs more to operate and sustain than U.S. military services can afford to pay. Somehow, though, the report failed to mention that F-35 is already more reliable and maintainable than the aircraft it will be replacing–not to mention more effective at executing key missions. This is just the latest in a long series of GAO products criticizing the most successful military aircraft [ Read More…]