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Breaking Defense

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Unified Quest

Tough Wargame Exposes Army Shortfalls

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


In the end, it was a near-run thing. The US-led coalition broke through to the refugee camps and began delivering aid. But their supply lines were stretched thin across land and sea, with an entire Army brigade embarked on rented cruise ships at one point. Ashore, the troops took heavy losses from local Islamic militants… Keep reading →

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Army Scrambles To Play Catch-Up On AirSea Battle

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


US ARMY WAR COLLEGE: While fictional wars set in the world of 2020 rage on the floors below, up on the third floor of the War College, Army generals wrestled with the budget battles of today. Topic number one: how to beat – or join – the bandwagon that is AirSea Battle. “You’re a couple… Keep reading →

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Islamic Militants Bloody US Forces In Big Army Wargame

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


US ARMY WAR COLLEGE: It’s a week into the war, and things are getting ugly. Fifty American and allied troops are dead, four hundred are wounded — some in city fighting against Islamic militants, some when the surprisingly sophisticated foe shot down their aircraft with shoulder-fired missiles and anti-helicopter mines. Now the US-led task force… Keep reading →

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Army Wargame Wrestles With The World After Afghanistan

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


All this week, at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the Army is conducting the latest iteration of its annual wargame. In the fictional future of the game, set in 2020, 120 players will wage a two-front war in the two regions that have come to dominate US strategy, with one scenario set in… 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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Army Targets AirSea Battle; Hungers For Pacific Role

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


With budgets falling and China rising, the U.S. Army wants in on the one theater where President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have promised to keep investing: the Pacific. The world’s largest ocean is not an obvious fit for America’s land forces. So far, it is the Air Force and the Navy that have… Keep reading →

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Army Seeks Answers, Combs Through ‘Alternative Futures’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Escalating cyber threats, a struggling economy, the rise of China, and the unpredictable impact of the Arab Spring will dominate the next decade. At least, that’s the best collective guess of a conclave of academic experts, government officials, and military officers from the U.S. and abroad, convened by the United States Army. Their objective: This… Keep reading →

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