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Robert Gates

What Election Will Mean For The Defense Budget

Posted by Mackenzie Eaglen on


No one has done a better job of predicting the final outcomes of deals on the defense budget since sequestration was made law than Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute. So we asked her to predict what this election will mean to the 2018 defense budget. With the election tomorrow, we couldn’t think of a… Keep reading →

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The F-35B: From ‘Probation’ To Transformation

Posted by Robbin Laird on


When Defense Secretary Bob Gates put the F-35B on “probation” and Sen. John McCain became his powerful echo chamber, we responded on the pages of Breaking Defense that these actions were misguided. We had spent many hours with the pilots, maintainers, builders, designers, and testers of the aircraft, and came to a very different conclusion: “The F-35B… Keep reading →

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A-10 Mess Worsens: ACC Deputy Canned For ‘Treason’ Comments

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Want to know how fractious the debate over the retirement of the A-10 has gotten? With an eye clearly on Congress, the canny head of Air Combat Command, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, today canned his deputy who had made dumb comments about the subject. They were especially stupid because Maj. Gen. James Post told the audience at an Air… Keep reading →

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Will Syrian Civil War Mark End to American Militarism?

Posted by James Kitfield on


This is James Kitfield’s first piece for Breaking Defense since his departure from his award-winning tenure at National Journal. As one of the best defense reporters around, Kitfield’s specialty has always been spotting the big strategic trend first and writing clearly, simply and persuasively about it. Following is a classic example of his work, which… Keep reading →

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Gates on Gates: Can We Overcome His Legacy?

Posted by Robbin Laird on


Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has done the nation a service by writing his memoirs, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” providing useful insights into his thinking and approach, as well as giving us a unique look at the working styles of two very different presidents. The book demonstrates why and how Gates has navigated… 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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Total Cost To Close Out Cancelled Army FCS Could Top $1 Billion

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: How much will it really cost to shut down the Army’s ill-fated Future Combat Systems program? Up to $1.5 billion, potentially three times the “special termination cost” reported by Inside Defense on Friday. Three years after then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates cancelled the sprawling FCS program — the Army’s ambitious attempt to build a… Keep reading →

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Obama to Gates: “One of the Best” SecDefs

Posted by Colin Clark on


Washington: On his last day on the job, Defense Secretary Robert Gates received the nation’s highest civilian honor and unstinting praise from President Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The initial and official view of Gates’ tenure as Defense Secretary was overwhelmingly positive, with President Obama leading the way.… Keep reading →

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America’s Third Air Force: Future of the Marines

Posted by David Axe on


The future of the Marines, which has been hotly debated ever since Defense Secretary Robert Gates referred to it as our “second land army” days after he announced the closure of Joint Forces Command, may well lie more in the air than on the sea. If you want to glimpse that future you could look… Keep reading →

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What Gates Didn’t Get Done

Posted by Winslow Wheeler on


Robert Gates has been called the best secretary of defense in recent memory. On the other hand, he has a reputation with some as a slick career bureaucrat with a knack for avoiding blame but pocketing credit. Both are true. “Best in recent memory?” It would have been hard for Gates to have been a… Keep reading →

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