- July 23, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Using Commercial Satellites To Control Nuclear Weapons Is A Bad Idea — But It’s Being Discussed (From Forbes)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at a June meeting that his service might consider using commercial satellites to assure connectivity with strategic nuclear forces. The basic idea is to have as many pathways for controlling the weapons as possible, so that command relationships are sustained even in the midst of a war. However, commercial satellites lack [ Read More…]
- July 19, 2019
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Problems That Could Torpedo America’s Naval Shipbuilding Capability (From Forbes)
The U.S. Navy’s shipbuilders are currently awash in business thanks to a sizable increase in the Pentagon budget under President Trump. However, defense buildups typically don’t last long, whereas some of the the naval shipbuilding sector’s problems have been chronic for decades. An inter-agency task force last year identified five such problems: unstable demand, capacity shortfalls, lack of workforce skills, [ Read More…]
- July 18, 2019
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- How To Protect The Growing Internet Of Battlefield Things (From Fifth Domain)
Soon, everything and everyone on the battlefield will be connected, often carrying multiple sensors, computers and communications devices. This emerging Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) will transform the American way of war. But at the same time, it could create enormous cyber vulnerabilities for DoD as unauthorized and insecure devices are connected to defense networks. It is imperative that the [ Read More…]
- July 15, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Congress Should Fully Fund The Air Force’s Long-Overdue Competition For A Safer Ejection Seat (From Forbes)
The Air Force determined in 2010 that its combat pilots needed better ejection seats for coping with on-board emergencies. Heavier headgear was increasing the neck and head stress associated with ejections, while an increasingly diverse population of cockpit occupants didn’t always fit so well into legacy ejection seats. Today, the Air Force is finally prepared to conduct qualification testing for a next-gen ejection seat, but the effort is underfunded. If it is to be ready to commence production and installation [ Read More…]
- July 13, 2019Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Warfighters Need a War Cloud Now (From RealClearDefense)
Advances in networking and computing are driving modern warfare away from its centuries-old segmentation based on domains – land, sea, air, outer space and, most recently, cyber – and towards what has been called multi-domain operations (MDO). To win a multi-domain fight will depend to a large degree on superior command-and-control and battle management. This, in turn, will be a function, largely, of the cloud architecture that supports U.S. warfighters. Such a cloud must connect the entire war waging enterprise, [ Read More…]
- July 11, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Basic Facts About Boeing Missing From Coverage Of The 737 MAX Story (From Forbes)
Loss of two 737 MAX jetliners has unleashed a media assault against Boeing, maker of the planes. Some of the issues raised in the reporting are important, but much of it is herd-instinct overkill. The most important angle that is missing concerns the importance of Boeing to the U.S. economy, and the economic fallout that would result if the company’s most important product does not return to service quickly and safely. In thinking through how to respond to the MAX [ Read More…]
- July 9, 2019Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- TRANSCOM’s Plan To Reform The Movement Of Household Goods Will Benefit All Stakeholders
U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) is responsible for the global movement of military personnel, equipment and supplies across the United States and around the world. It is also the largest shipper in the world of household goods (HHGs) for military families. Currently, TRANSCOM runs the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) to manage HHG movements. This program relies on a disaggregated and inefficient system based on dozens of separate offices awarding individual contracts to hundreds of private transportation service providers (TSPs, or [ Read More…]
- July 8, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Money-Pit Projects The U.S. Air Force Can Do Without (From Forbes)
The U.S. Air Force is struggling to overcome two decades of depressed investment in new technology by simultaneously purchasing new bombers, new tankers, new fighters, and new trainers. It also needs to re-architect satellite constellations that are too vulnerable to interference from China or Russia. With investment accounts unlikely to rise much in the near future, the service must focus its modernization outlays on the highest priorities rather than being distracted into dead-end projects. Five projects it can do without [ Read More…]
- July 5, 2019Paul Steidler
- The Postal Service Is Undercutting US Trade Interests — It’s Time To Level The Playing Field (From The Hill)
Because of international postal rates, it costs far less to send small packages (4.4 pounds or less) from China to the United States than to send those packages within the U.S. This means U.S. manufacturers, retailers and e-commerce companies lose out on tens of billions of sales annually and the Postal Service must deliver these packages at a loss. The Trump Administration is seeking negotiate a new international shipping agreement whereby foreign shippers would pay the same as U.S. shippers. [ Read More…]
- July 4, 2019John Cicchitti
- Trump’s 4th Of July Celebration Shows Off U.S. Aerospace, Defense Manufacturing (From RealClearDefense)
President Donald Trump knows how to put on a show, and this Independence Day, he will personally commandeer traditional festivities in Washington, D.C. for his own grand display. A Trump speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial will accompany fireworks, concerts, and parades across the D.C. area. But the celebration, dubbed “Salute to America,” will also feature a significant amount of defense and aerospace hardware manufactured in the USA. I have written a commentary for RealClearDefense here.
- July 3, 2019Paul Steidler
- Postal Service Losses Sharply Accelerate
The U.S. Postal Service had a net loss of $5.2 billion through May for fiscal year 2019, nearly $2 billion, or 61%, worse than budgeted. Even more disconcerting, the Postal Service, whose fiscal year ends September 30, is on track for a fiscal year 2019 net loss exceeding $10 billion. In November, the Postal Service adopted an integrated financial plan projecting a $6.6 billion fiscal year 2019 net loss. The current losses are $2 billion of schedule, and the Postal [ Read More…]
- July 2, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Principles That Will Power President Trump’s Reelection (From Forbes)
The entire field of candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination seems to be trending leftward in the run-up to primary season. If history is any guide, that will enable President Trump to win a second term despite his manifest eccentricities. Five themes capture the tenor of Trump’s likely reelection bid–peace, prosperity, sovereignty, self-sufficiency and energy (meaning activism). It’s unlikely any progressive candidate can beat that lineup in 2020, assuming the economy remains strong. While Democrats will focus their message [ Read More…]
- June 30, 2019Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- How To Secure The Internet Of Battlefield Things From Cyber Attacks (From The National Interest)
DoD also has a litany of consumer devices running on its networks, from printers to video monitors and cameras to refrigerators. These devices are continually communicating with one another, as well as with higher headquarters all the way back to the Pentagon. Some observers call this the “Internet of Battlefield Things” (IOBT). The exponential growth of the IOBT is creating new vulnerabilities to cyber attacks at an alarming rate. Compromised IOT/IOBT devices are increasingly the “easy” way for attackers to [ Read More…]