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Breaking Defense

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Gen. Robert Cone

Bird Dogs & Drones, Terminators & Swarms: The Race Towards Robotic Warfare

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


More robots, fewer people. That’s where the US military is headed in the future. But what kind of robots? Army Gen. Robert Cone, four-star commander of the powerful Training and Doctrine Command (aka TRADOC), said that the service is studying how robots could help replace 25 percent of the soldiers in each of its 4,000-strong combat brigades. That’s because the… Keep reading →

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People, Cyber & Dirt: Army & SOCOM’s ‘Strategic Landpower’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


AUSA: The word “cyber” is everywhere these days. It’s an all-purpose adjective slapped onto any concept to attract money and make it sound sexier, from cyberwar to cyberschoolbus to, well, cybersex. (We are not making that last term a link). Cyber and SOF – the Special Operations Forces – are the only parts of the… Keep reading →

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X-47B: Navy Drone Launches Off Aircraft Carrier; A New Tailhook Era

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


It’s hard enough for a human pilot to take off from the cramped and pitching deck of a US Navy aircraft carrier. Today, for the first time in history, a Remotely Piloted Aircraft did it. You can bet that military leaders in Beijing and Tehran sat up and took note as the batwinged X-47B drone… Keep reading →

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Army Brass On Iraq Anniversary: Shock And Awe? Never Again

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC: Ten years to the day after the US invaded Iraq with shock, awe and too few ground troops, the Army is anxious never to repeat the errors of the past. Yet as policymakers not only cut the defense budget — the Army’s portion most of all — but also emphasize… Keep reading →

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Army Generals Detail Huge Sequestration Impacts On Retention, Morale

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT LAUDERDALE: When war comes down to boots on the ground, the Army’s greatest asset is its people. But in fiscal terms people are also its greatest liability. And now some procedural peculiarities of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to start on Friday, will make personnel costs much harder to handle in… Keep reading →

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You Gonna Buy That Or What? Industry, Army Fight To Fix NIE

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT LAUDERDALE: It’s unnerving when you learn your program’s fate from the small print in a presenter’s PowerPoint slides. But that’s how difficult government-industry communications can get in the Army’s ambitious attempt to inject innovative technology into its cumbersome procurement process, the twice-yearly Network Integration Evaluations. “A question we’ve been asked many times over: ‘Have… Keep reading →

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Army Attendance At AUSA Winter Conference Slashed 95 Percent: The Drawdown Begins

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT LAUDERDALE: A scratchy, glitchy recording of the national anthem that repeatedly paused and skipped opened the Association of the US Army’s much-downsized annual winter symposium, the latest conference to feel the budget axe. It’s the 14th and last AUSA Winter to be held here in Florida before the association moves to locations more conveniently… Keep reading →

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First Look: New Army Capstone Concept Takes On Cyber, Hybrid Warfare — And Marines

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


America still needs us. That’s the fundamental message of the first top-level Army document to address the post-Afghanistan era. It’s a shot that will be heard round the Beltway in the coming budget wars. “From Yorktown to Sadr City, the men and women of the Army demonstrated the ability to force terms upon our enemies… Keep reading →

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The Army’s Vision Thing: The Biggest Service Struggles To Define Itself

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The U.S. Army has always struggled with what the elder George Bush once called “the vision thing.” Now that struggle is boiling over. At the latest of a series of conferences on the future of the Army, junior officers openly debated with top generals over how to sell the service to the Congress, the country,… Keep reading →

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