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Breaking Defense

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strategic landpower

Hard Corps: Marine’s ‘Expeditionary Force 21’ To Be ‘Fast, Austere, & Lethal,’ And Expensive

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: In a move with major implications for the defense budget, defense contractors, and inter-service politics, the Marine Corps is set to publish a new “capstone concept” — leaked to Breaking Defense — that will guide the entire service for the next decade. From the title on, Expeditionary Force 21 paints an emphatic, uncompromising picture of a future Marine… Keep reading →

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Cyberwar: What People Keep Missing About The Threat

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


“Cyber” is the buzzword of the decade in the defense world, so overhyped and overused it has lost almost all meaning. Intelligent discussion of cyber threats is a rare gem indeed. But even experts who shed real light on the dark corners of cyberspace consistently miss a crucial dimension of both the threats and the… Keep reading →

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Amos & Dempsey: Don’t Just Stop Sequester, Save The Ground Force

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


REAGAN LIBRARY, SIMI VALLEY, CA: Sometimes you have to listen closely to the soft-spoken Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sometimes the Commandant of the Marine Corps says “hey, Sydney!” and hands you his message on a plate. But this Saturday, both Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and Marine Gen. James Amos were talking about… 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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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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Gen. Odierno: Budget Crunch Will Render Army Unready For Syria & Hybrid War

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: While the Army can keep troops headed for Afghanistan trained up and ready to go, the ongoing budget gridlock threatens its ability to prepare for crises around the world — from North Korea to Syria – conflicts that would require a very different kind of training than the counterinsurgency tactics the force has focused on… 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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Marine QDR Rep: Small Is Beautiful For 2014 Strategic Review

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


PENTAGON: Even the name is cumbersome. The congresionally-mandated strategic exercise known as the Quadrennial Defense Review has a reputation, hardly undeserved, for being ponderous, bureaucratic, and irrelevant — to the point that some policymakers want to kill the QDR altogether. But the QDR chief for the smallest of the services, Marine Maj. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie,… Keep reading →

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