Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

Naval Shipbuilding: Sinking Fast Issue Brief Like the people they employ and the products they produce, industries have a life-cycle. They are born amidst hope and uncertainty; they grow explosively in adolescence; with luck they reach stable maturity; and eventually they decline. There comes [Read More...]
Jeffords Defection May Be Good News for Defense Issue Brief Vermont Senator James Jefford’s decision on Thursday to exit the Republican Party and overturn President Bush’s majority in the upper chamber is being widely interpreted as bad news for the Pentagon. The assumption is that with Democrats in [Read More...]
Rumsfeld’s Travails are Temporary Issue Brief Sunday’s Washington Post contained a critique of how defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has conducted the Pentagon’s strategy review. The story made it sound like dissatisfaction is centered in the Army, but in fact all of the services are [Read More...]
Military Transformation: The Danger of Convenient Ideas Issue Brief In America’s centennial year of 1876, barely a decade after it had enrolled over a million soldiers in its ranks, the U.S. Army was cut to a postwar low of 24,000 personnel — in a nation of 46 [Read More...]
The Myth of Aircraft Carrier Vulnerability Research Study On the eve of America’s entry into World War One, Senator Hiram Johnson warned that “the first casualty when war comes is truth.” It turns out that the truth about some military programs is obscure even in peacetime. [Read More...]
Air Power’s Proponents May Be Its Biggest Problem Issue Brief You don’t need to be a Pentagon insider to know where the Rumsfeld defense review is headed. It’s going to nudge the military’s force posture in the direction of aerospace and sea power, at the expense of ground [Read More...]
The Limits of Transformation Op Ed The Washington Post Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has surprised almost everyone in the Pentagon by taking seriously President Bush’s campaign rhetoric about the need to transform the military. The conventional wisdom among defense pundits (including me) was that [Read More...]
Key Challenges Confronting Naval Shipbuilding II Research Study The Navy’s shipbuilding budget is underfunded. As a result, the service is only building enough vessels to sustain a 200-ship fleet over the long run, rather than the 300 ships called for in the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review. [Read More...]
“Most Expensive Fighter in History” – – The Making of a Myth Research Study The Air Force is developing a stealthy fighter called the F-22 Raptor. It is the only stealthy air-superiority fighter the U.S. is developing. The Navy’s F/A-l8 E/F Super Hornet is a fighter, but it isn’t stealthy. The Joint [Read More...]
Mr. Rumsfeld’s Five Most Urgent Investment Challenges Issue Brief President-elect Bush’s choice of a seasoned manager as Defense Secretary was a smart move, because the challenges the Pentagon faces are daunting. The Clinton Administration’s combination of global engagement with a “procurement holiday” has produced a rapidly aging, [Read More...]
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