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Special Ops Office Needs To Grow; Meet Adm. McRaven’s Favorite Pundit, Linda Robinson

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: When Linda Robinson speaks, special operators listen. The “silent professionals” are — for good reason — traditionally tight-lipped. The chief of Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven, proved that again today during a panel at the Wilson Center, giving eloquent non-answers to questions about what might transpire in Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. But McRaven… Keep reading →

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Unclassified Net Assessment of China, US And Japan Released By Carnegie

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace just released what a spokesman calls the “the first and only unclassified strategic net assessment of the future security dynamic between China, Japan, and the United States-including relative military capabilities and domestic and external variables.” For those who don’t wallow deeply in the Pentagon’s unique world, a net… Keep reading →

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What Will F-35 Costs Be In New SAR Estimate; Do They Matter?

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Acquisition experts agree that accurate cost estimates can be devilishly difficult to get right. The Pentagon’s top cost estimator, Christine Fox, says current cost estimates are often accurate within several percentage points. That’s impressive, but on programs measured in the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, a few percentage points can mean a… Keep reading →

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Syria, North Korea, China & Beyond: Does Army’s Future Lie In ‘Messy Middle’?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: What does America need an army for, anyway? The question has bedeviled policymakers since the Founding Fathers, who wrote their distrust of large ground forces into the Constitution. The question returns as budgets come back down after every land war. This time around, the Army leadership has not given the country a clear answer,… Keep reading →

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Sec Army McHugh Says No Choice But Accept Apache Transmission Swaps; Line Would Have Shut Down

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Secretary of the Army defended today what he admitted was “an unconventional approach” to fielding the service’s cutting-edge AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter, saying the only alternative to the current complex workaround would have been to “shut the line down” for a time. “I will grant the unconventionality of it,” John McHugh said.… Keep reading →

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Army Releases The Kraken To Protect Foreign Fire Bases; ‘I’d Like To See The Taliban Try To Attack This Place’

Posted by David Axe on


ZARI, Afghanistan: On March 3, 2008, a Taliban suicide bomber driving a green truck packed with explosives barreled through the front gate of a small U.S. outpost in Sabari district, Afghanistan, and blew himself up next to the dining facility where American soldiers were just sitting down to dinner. Taliban foot soldiers streamed in, firing… Keep reading →

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Army Plays Shell Game With Unfinished Apache Helicopters: Put The Transmission In, And Pull It Out Again

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: The Army’s problem with its new Apache helicopters isn’t as bad as we thought when we first wrote about it last week. It’s worse. We knew that Northstar Aerospace, the subcontractor making the transmissions for lead contractor Boeing, had fallen behind on building that crucial component. We knew at least seven of the latest… Keep reading →

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Air Force Secretary Donley Resigns; Female SAIC EVP Rumored Next In Line

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: SAIC‘s Deborah Lee James Rumored To Be Strong Contender For Secretary WASHINGTON: The longest serving Secretary of the Air Force, Mike Donley — harbinger of changing times for the service — is leaving his post after almost five years. [Click here to read a series of op-eds Sec. Donley wrote for Breaking Defense on… Keep reading →

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Army: AH-64E Apaches Are A-OK; Transmission Problem Didn’t Hit Cost Or Schedule

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


The Army’s newest attack helicopter is on track, the colonel in charge said in response to congressional concerns: Delays in manufacturing transmissions for the Boeing-built AH-64E Guardian have neither driven up the price nor slowed its fielding to combat units. [But there are still unflyable AH-64Es on the Army’s hands: click here to read the… Keep reading →

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Navy’s Ray Mabus: ‘Sequestration Looms Over Everything’ On Shipbuilding

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration is not the Navy’s only shipbuilding problem. In the near term, the automatic cuts to the 2013 budget are bedeviling efforts to save money by buying ships in bulk. Negotiators are racing the clock to salvage a multi-year procurement contract to buy 10 DDG-51 Aegis destroyers for the price of nine; Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told reporters today he was “optimistic.” In the longer term, however, after the 10-year, $500 billion cut in defense spending required by sequestration, the Navy has dug a different hole for itself. The service has crafted a 30-year shipbuilding plan that requires massive increases in funding to levels that the Navy’s acquisition chief Sean Stackley admitted to Congress had not been seen...

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