- October 16, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Critics Are Wrong: A Single Award For The JEDI Contract Is The Right Approach
The bids are in for the Pentagon’s latest major contract to provide the U.S. defense establishment with cloud services. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program is part of the effort by the Department of Defense (DoD) to bring its information technology (IT) infrastructure and acquisition practices into the 21st Century. This new contract will help the Department access the [ Read More…]
- October 16, 2018
- T. Connor Weiss
- Lexington Fall Intern — T. Connor Weiss
Hi, My name is T. Connor Weiss and I am a research assistant at the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Virginia. I am currently in my final semester at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and am majoring in Economics with a concentration in Data Science. Prior to joining Lexington, I was primarily interested in a few fields of economics; specifically, labor market [ Read More…]
- October 15, 2018
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- L3-Harris Merger May Signal Pentagon Demand Is Approaching Peak (From Forbes)
Harris Corporation and L3 Technologies announced this weekend that they will enter into a “merger of equals” creating the sixth biggest U.S. military contractor. The transaction appears to raise minimal antitrust concerns, but the timing suggests defense companies are beginning to react to the prospect of flat domestic demand going forward. They have benefited handsomely from the Trump defense increases, [ Read More…]
- October 15, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Modernization the Army Needs Can Be Found at the AUSA Annual Conference (From RealClearDefense)
The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) held its annual meeting and exhibition last week in Washington, DC. Walking the exhibit halls, one can see and even touch examples of the most advanced platforms and systems the Army is deploying, considering acquiring, or has in development. Industry used the event to showcase many innovative technologies, concepts and even prototypes of future platforms and weapons systems. This experience led me to ask a simple question: is it possible that the [ Read More…]
- October 11, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Inspector General Attack On NASA Super-Rocket Marred By Mistakes, Omissions (From Forbes)
NASA has embarked on an epic quest to build the biggest rocket ever constructed, with an eye towards one day sending astronauts to Mars. The space agency’s Inspector General says the effort is not going well due to poor performance by Boeing, which is lead contractor for the rocket’s core stages. The I.G. is wrong. The effort, known as the Space Launch System, is progressing steadily. NASA has consistently rated Boeing’s performance as “excellent” or “very good.” So how did [ Read More…]
- October 11, 2018Paul Steidler
- Scrutinize Postal Service On New Opioid Law
The centerpiece of new opioid legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate is a requirement to have advanced electronic data (AED) on all incoming mail from China by January 1, 2019. This will enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seize more fentanyl and other opioids from China, the worldwide manufacturing hub for this poison. For public safety and respect for the broad, bipartisan will of Congress, the Postal Service must meet this deadline. There is ample reason to [ Read More…]
- October 9, 2018Paul Steidler
- Fortifying the Electric Grid (From InsideSources)
Amid superstorms and hurricanes, Americans are increasingly concerned about the state of the electric grid. There have been many positive, ongoing developments in recent years that are strengthening grid reliability and reducing the likelihood of outages from day-to-day events to larger catastrophes. I have written commentary for InsideSources about this topic here.
- October 4, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- White House Report Warns “All Facets” Of U.S. Defense Industrial Base Are At Risk (From Forbes)
The White House on Thursday rolled out a long-awaited assessment of the U.S. defense industrial base that painted an alarming picture of secular decline. The assessment traces the sources of industrial decay not just to the mercantilist behavior of China, but also counterproductive federal policies and failure to invest in critical skills. It recommends a series of changes aimed at revitalizing the industrial base and removing impediments to competitiveness. And it does not propose to address the defense industry in [ Read More…]
- October 4, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Winning Future Wars: Modernization and a 21st Century Defense Industrial Base (From The Heritage Foundation)
The United States desperately needs to modernize its military forces and the industrial base that supports it. Great power competition has returned as a driving force in inter¬national relations. While this country spent 20 years in the modernization wilderness, in¬vesting in capabilities to defeat low-tech insurgencies and building capacity over capability, competitors targeted modernization efforts intended to undermine U.S. military-technological advantages. Modernization requires the ability of the military to keep place with the technological evolution of the battlefield. A force [ Read More…]
- October 4, 2018Paul Steidler
- Administration’s Push To End UN Subsidies For China’s Packages: A Bellwether Trade Issue
Why does it cost less to send a small package from Beijing to New York than to send that same package a short distance within the U.S.? The short answer is because the U.S. has allowed this to happen for decades. In doing so, we have placed many businesses, especially e-commerce and light manufacturers, at a significant disadvantage to their Chinese competitors. Fortunately, the Trump administration is taking action. At issue is an arcane and opaque matter pertaining to international [ Read More…]
- October 2, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Could Air Force Bargain Hunting In Weapons Competitions Backfire? (From Forbes)
The Air Force seems to have gotten a good deal on its next-generation training system, awarding the program to Boeing for a price that is less than half of what the program was expected to cost. It got a similar deal only days earlier from a Boeing-Leonardo team for helicopters used in securing missile fields. But is there a danger is driving competitively-sourced weapons prices to the lowest possible level? Boeing has barely begun to deliver the Air Force’s aggressively-priced [ Read More…]
- September 28, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Improved Turbine Engine Program Is Key To The Army’s Modernization Plan
Sometime in the next few months, the U.S. Army will make an award in one of its most critical modernization efforts: the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP). In 2006, the Army began an effort with the aerospace industry to design and develop a new engine primarily intended to replace the existing power plant in its fleets of 1,300 Blackhawk and 600 Apache helicopters. The winning candidate may also power some or all of the products of the Future Vertical Lift [ Read More…]
- September 26, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Ways U.S. Nuclear Strategy Might Fail — Maybe Soon (From Forbes)
U.S. nuclear strategy seeks to deter aggression by threatening attackers with massive retaliation. It seems to work, but deterrence is a psychological state and we aren’t mind readers, so there are uncertainties. Even if it is working as intended, there are ways in which a strategy of deterrence might go awry. Technological failure. Strategic miscalculation. Crisis escalation. Siege mentalities among decision makers. And of course, the possibility of sheer irrationality on the part of those leading nuclear powers. When you [ Read More…]