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Breaking Defense

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Fort Belvoir

ATLAS: Killer Robot? No. Virtual Crewman? Yes.

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Alarming headlines to the contrary, the US Army isn’t building robotic “killing machines.” What they really want artificial intelligence to do in combat is much more interesting.

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War Games: Army Deletes Bureaucracy To Get Sims Fast

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


There is real uncertainty whether such things as robotic tanks and high-speed scout helicopters are possible on the Army’s timeline. But if there’s one area where a high-speed approach can work, it’s training simulations, where the Army can piggyback on the rapid development in commercial gaming.

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Army Under Secretary Scopes Out Sensors: Fielding Fast

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


“It’s very encouraging,” McCarthy said. “It gives you high confidence in some of these investments we’re going to make….We’ve got these decisions coming up here by the middle of the summer for the POM 20” — the five-year budget plan (Program Objective Memorandum) for 2020-25.

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The Fiddler Crab Effect: State, AID, NSC Can’t Keep Up With DoD

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED with Gen. Hayden’s comments] Frantic diplomacy seems to have forestalled US military action in Syria – for now. But we stumbled into negotiations at the last minute, only after President Obama had threatened strikes and asked for a vote authorizing the use of force, when Secretary of State John Kerry made an off-the-cuff, off-message… Keep reading →

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Why The Army Matters: Human Factors And Killing

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT BELVOIR: The intellectual ice is beginning to break. You could see it at the Fort Belvoir Officers’ Club on Tuesday afternoon, where the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) hosted a three-day, tri-service conference on “Strategic Landpower.” The US Army is wrestling with how to stay relevant once large-scale counterinsurgency in Afghanistan comes to… Keep reading →

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After ’10 Years Of Abject Failure,’ Army, SOCOM, Marine Leaders Focus On ‘Strategic Landpower’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT BELVOIR: Under the shadow of sequestration and a Navy/Air Force-dominated “Pacific Pivot,” representatives of the Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command met to discuss the future of what they’re calling “strategic landpower.” Before I sat in on the first session of the conference, I’d thought “strategic landpower” boiled down to the conventional “Big Army”… Keep reading →

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NGA Rejects IG Finding That It ‘Wasted Millions,’ Violated Base Closure Law

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: NGA RESPONDS WASHINGTON: It’s not a lot of money in the Pentagon’s scheme of things, but the Defense Department’s Inspector General has found that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) wasted millions because it did not close a rented building and made improvements to a building when it was supposed to leave the facility.… Keep reading →

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