Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

The Military: Is Help on the Way or on the Wane? Article Published in the Los Angeles TimesLike the San Gabriel Mountains emerging from the morning haze, the dim outlines of a Bush administration defense posture have begun to appear through the fog of bureaucratic warfare at the Pentagon. It [Read More...]
B1 Versus B-2: A Defining Moment for Donald Rumsfeld Issue BriefShortly after the Kosovo air war ended, a senior Air Force officer called me into his office, closed the door, and said, “The B-1 bomber is a piece of shit. We ought to get rid of every one [Read More...]
Stormy Seas: U.S. Shipbuilders Face Big Challenges Article Published in the San Diego Union TribuneDuring America’s long ascent to global economic dominance, many industries have been left behind. Whaling. Footwear. Transistor radios and televisions. Economists say that such industrial evolution is inevitable as once-thriving enterprises are [Read More...]
Aircraft Carrier (In)Vulnerability Research StudyThe Navy’s twelve nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are among the most potent expressions of American military power. In recent years, though, there has been growing concern that changing mission requirements and enemy capabilities may make carriers more vulnerable to [Read More...]
Rumsfeld’s Reformation: The New Defense Secretary Faces Tough Choices Article Published in the San Diego Union TribuneThese are difficult days for Donald Rumsfeld. A quarter century after serving as the nation’s youngest defense secretary in the years following the Vietnam War, he has returned to the Pentagon to [Read More...]
Naval Shipbuilding: Sinking Fast Issue BriefLike 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 BriefVermont 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 BriefSunday’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 BriefIn 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 StudyOn 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...]
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