Early Warning Blog

Why Does O&M Spending Keep Going Up? The Pentagon has requested $277 billion in fiscal 2010 to fund operations and maintenance (O&M) activities in the regular military budget and overseas conflicts. That's more than any other country spends on its entire military establishment, so you'd think pundits would be scrutinizing the account more closely. But they
The Army Needs A New Vehicle Strategy The U.S. Army deserves a lot of credit for the way it responded to defense secretary Gates’ decision to cancel the manned vehicle portion of the Future Combat System (FCS) program. Rather than seeing the decision as a defeat, the Army stood up a special task force to rethink its approach to future conflict and in that context
Lockheed Littoral Combat Ship Picture Brightens The construction of Lockheed Martin's first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was nobody's idea of a smooth sail. Although the vessel performed well in sea trials, there were production setbacks, cost overruns and other problems -- caused in part because construction began before the Navy had finalized its design goals and standards
New Plan Shows Air Force Gets It On Airborne ISR One of the most important lessons to emerge from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the importance of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Increasingly, U.S. forces are dependent on information acquired by and relayed from airborne platforms. The ability of ground troops to call on airborne ISR
Is Europe Souring On Free Trade? Global security is about more than military matters, and this week there was a development on the trade front that may have security implications. European Union officials imposed preemptive penalties on imports of Chinese steel pipes to prevent harm to indigenous producers. In the past, E.U. trade officials usually waited for
QDR (IV): Ignoring The Lessons Of Iraq And Afghanistan? As the White House and the Pentagon shift attention from Iraq to Afghanistan, our civilian and military leaders must grapple with the realities of trying to establish security and stability in a land that has never known much of either. The situation there is looking increasingly grim. In a Westmoreland-like moment, the general
Marines Facing Expeditionary Defeat In QDR Pentagon insiders know that a handful of Marine general officers such as Emo Gardner of the program analysis shop have a strong influence over the program views of defense secretary Robert Gates. However, the heavy Marine presence around Gates won't enable amphibious warfare capabilities to escape the budgetary guillotine
People Costs Squeezing Investment Out Of Pentagon Budget Congressional Research Service analyst Stephen Daggett had some stunning numbers about the rise in military personnel costs in testimony he gave earlier this year. In constant 2009 dollars, the cost of an average service member has risen from $55,000 per year in 1998 to $80,000 today. And that doesn't even include the cost of
QDR (III): Partnering Requires Streamlined Foreign Military Sales Process One of the Quadrennial Defense Review’s (QDR) central themes is the need to build partnership capacity. This means providing friends and allies with the capabilities and training needed to take greater responsibility for their own security. If senior defense leaders want to have a substantial and immediate impact on the
Defense Workforce: Graying, Not Greening Clinton-era defense acquisition czar Jacques Gansler gave a presentation in mid-July demonstrating the benefits of public-private partnerships in bolstering efficiency. But he also demonstrated something else: if you want to work with the Pentagon's civilian workforce, you better get used to dealing with old folks.
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