Author Archives: Loren 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 [Read More...]
Pentagon Plan To Slash Industry Payments Appears At Odds With Trump Strategy and Economic Philosophy (From Forbes) The Department of Defense is proposing a major change in the way in which military contractors are paid for the work they do. The change ostensibly would link payments more closely to performance, but it would also discourage risk taking, [Read More...]
“Mad Dog” Defanged: How A Missing Missile Defense Report Explains Mattis’ Impending Departure (From Forbes) During his first month in office, President Trump directed separate reviews of the nation’s offensive nuclear posture and ballistic missile defenses.  The offensive forces review was done on time, in January of this year.  The missile defense review never was [Read More...]
Why Does The U.S. Army Need Ten Years To Begin Fielding A New Recon Helicopter? (From Forbes) The U.S. Army retired its last Kiowa scout helicopter last year, nearly 50 years after Kiowa first joined the force.  But the Army didn’t have a dedicated armed reconnaissance helicopter to replace the venerable airframe, because three attempts to find [Read More...]
U.S. Air Force Leaders Seek 24% Increase In Force Size To Support Trump Defense Strategy (From Forbes) The Secretary of the Air Force on Monday revealed her service’s internal estimate of how much it must grow to successfully execute the Trump administration’s defense strategy.  The Air Force needs to add 74 operational squadrons to the 312 it [Read More...]
U.S. Growing Dependent On Russia For Satellite Propulsion Systems (From Forbes) There was a time when America was the dominant global provider of thrusters for maneuvering satellites in space.  That time is long gone.  Other nations have subsidized their industry to catch up, and Russia seems to have established a clear [Read More...]
SpaceX Abandons Plan To Make Astronaut Spacecraft Reusable; Boeing Sticks With Reuse Plan (From Forbes) Elon Musk’s SpaceX has backed away from plans to build a reusable spacecraft that can carry astronauts to the International Space Station and then return to Earth in a powered touch down on land.  Instead, its Crew Dragon space capsule [Read More...]
As U.S. Army Rethinks How Soldiers Will Communicate In Future Combat, Harsh Realities Loom (From Forbes) The U.S. Army faces big challenges in trying to sustain tactical communications links during future conflicts.  Army leaders would like connectivity similar to that of an iPhone, but can’t count on access to cellular towers or buried fiber in war [Read More...]
Why Belgium’s Pick Of Its Next Fighter Is Pivotal For Europe’s Future Security (From Forbes) Belgium is about to select a replacement for its aging F-16 fighters.  As chance would have it, the same companies that built the F-16 airframe and engine — Lockheed Martin and United Technologies/Pratt & Whitney — also build the F-35 [Read More...]
JDAM: How Boeing’s Low-Cost Smart Bomb Revolutionized Strike Warfare (From Forbes) This year marks the 20th anniversary of the day in 1998 when Boeing delivered the first production model of the GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition to the U.S. Air Force.  JDAM has transformed strike warfare by enabling pilots to hit [Read More...]
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