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Show Me The Money: What’s Missing From The National Defense Strategy

Posted by Seamus Daniels on


The Trump Administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy was remarkable for its candor in identifying China and Russia as America’s chief “strategic competitors.” But unlike earlier, relatively anodyne strategy documents from the Obama Administration, the 2018 strategy didn’t specify the forces required, let alone how much they might cost — at least, not in the unclassified… Keep reading →

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Bye Bye QDR; Hello Stand-Alone Cyber Command: HASC Markup

Posted by Colin Clark on


CAPITOL HILL: The Quadrennial Defense Review is dead. Long live a unified combatant command known as Cyber Command. Ok, it doesn’t quite ring like Long Live The Queen, but you get the idea. House Armed Service Committee staffers briefed reporters on some of the more important bits of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Top… Keep reading →

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National Defense Panel Slams Sequester – But Can It Change Minds?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: This afternoon, a congressionally chartered panel of prestigious defense experts denounced sequestration as “self-defeating” and a “serious strategic misstep” that “Congress and the President should repeal…immediately.” But will it preach to anyone not already in the choir? While bipartisan, the National Defense Panel is most heeded by House Republicans. They see it as a valuable… Keep reading →

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Christine Wormuth Defends Her QDR: Strategy-based, Forward Looking

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: “Being a global leader does not come cheap.” “At a certain point, we’re going to have to ask ourselves what kind of nation we want to be and what role we want to play,”  Christine Wormuth, soon to be the Pentagon’s top policy official, said this afternoon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.… Keep reading →

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Hagel, Dempsey Cut OSD Staff, Reorg Homeland & Cyber

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: The world’s biggest office building is about to get a little less busy. Starting today, the Office of the Secretary of Defense is going to shrink by about 200 government personnel and a to-be-determined number of contractors by 2019, Sec. Chuck Hagel announced this afternoon. Reducing OSD’s staff below 2,200 is just the start of… Keep reading →

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Big Army For Big Wars? Yes! GCV? Probably Not.

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: Do we still need a big Army that can wage big wars? Hell yes, the Army generals say. Will the Army get a new Ground Combat Vehicle to replace the 1981-vintage Bradley Fighting Vehicle that currently carries foot troops into battle? Probably not for a long, long time. That’s my assessment based on an exclusive… Keep reading →

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Hagel Warns Congress Against Isolationism; Renews Call For Soft Power

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Adds Details, Context From Hagel’s CSIS Speech WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel grabbed the bull by the horns and warned Congress and the American people against slipping into isolationism as we withdraw from the wars we have fought for the past dozen years, saying “looking inward is just as deadly a trap as hubris.” “More Americans,… Keep reading →

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Shutdown Hits Military Thinkers, Planners

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


So how hard is the federal shutdown hitting the US military? “Walking around the building, I would say we’re probably at about a third of our staff right now,” said one military officer. (About half the Defense Department’s civil servants have been furloughed, but military personnel are still on duty). Of 26 people in her… Keep reading →

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QDR: Air Force Circles Wagons Around F-35; No Big Push For Drones

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: The head of the Air Force’s Quadrennial Defense Review office made very clear today that the service will do all it can to protect the F-35 for a pretty compelling reason: “We must be able to project power in contested environments (A2/AD) and the Joint Strike Fighter is that machine.” Kwast told reporters after his public… Keep reading →

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Transformation Resurfaces As Pentagon Gropes For Strategic Answers

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Transformation is back! Sort of. The pursuit of transformation, affiliated with the concept known as a Revolution in Military Affairs, became associated with the failed tenure of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and was publicly dropped as a central organizing concept of the military for that reason. The decade-long pursuit of counter-insurgency warfare didn’t… Keep reading →

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