Showing posts with label defense-news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label defense-news. Show all posts

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Defense News

U.S. Defense Spending Woes. A recent news story by Matthew Gault examines the national defense stance of the presidential candidates and where they stand on defense spending. And naturally, the F-35 comes under intense criticism. Read "Donald Trump is right about defense spending - and that should scare you"Reuters, March 2, 2016.

Countering Adversaries without War. The Arroyo Center of RAND Corporation has published a new report (52 pages, 2016) that it prepared for the U.S. Army. It is entitled The Power to Coerce: Countering Adversaries Without Going to WarThis paper explores the space in between hard military power and soft power. Evidently the short acronym for "Power to Coerce" is known as P2C . . . a new acronym for me.

Another Attack on HTS. Tom Vanden Brook of USA Today just can't say enough bad stuff about the Human Terrain System (HTS). His misguided and uniformed attacks are inaccurate and an attack on a very valuable program. Read his latest in "$725M program Army 'killed' found alive, growing", USA Today, March 9, 2016.

F-35 - "Huge Mess". The U.S. Director of Operational Test and Evaluation - DOT&E - recently released a scathing assessment of the F-35 - sometimes referred to as a plane that can do anything but nothing very well. Read "The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Is Still a Huge Mess", War is Boring, March 9, 2016. See also "The F-35: Still Failing to Impress", Project on Government Oversight (POGO), March 7, 2016.

F-35 - "A Great Success". Air Force LTG Christopher Bogdan, the program executive for the F-35 Lighting II joint program office, provided his insight on the F-35. He says that we are having slow, steady progress with the questionable aircraft. If he can fly an airplane as well as he transitions his water bottle from hand to hand then he is quite an aviator. So . . . want to listen to a little spin? Watch a 60-minute long DoD News video posted on March 10, 2016 on DVIDSHUB.

Book Review - Selling War. A new book details how the U.S. military lost in the information war early on in Iraq. For a glimpse of what this book is about read a review by Adam J. Tiffen in "The Information War That the US Lost in Iraq", Task & Purpose, March 7, 2016. The book Selling War: A Critical Look at the Military's PR Machine is now available on

MISO and Marines. The USMC may soon be expanding its psychological operations (PSYOP) capabilities with the use of an expanded Military Information Support Operations (MISO) program. This is certainly a welcome move given the inability of the U.S. government and military to "control the narrative" in recent conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan. Read "Marines May Expand Psychological Operations With New Specialty",, March 11, 2016.

CA Papers. A Civil Affairs Syposium was held in November 2015. Various associations and agencies took part. Five papers are presented in this report entitled 2015-2016 Civil Affairs Issue Papers: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention. The papers cover topics on Counter-Unconventional Warfare, State Partnership Program, Conflict Prevention, International Police Engagement, and Developing Human Networks.

Paper - Enhanced Army Airborne Forces. Several authors have collaborated on a RAND Corporation paper (132 pages) that examines the role of the U.S. Army's airborne forces in the future, the challenges it will likely face, the capabilities that it will need to face those challenges, and how to prioritize those capabilities. (RAND, Mar 2016).

Navy Loosens the Rules. It appears that the Navy is going to be a little lax in the physical fitness category. It seems some are wondering why being able to do those pushups and run fast is important. The Navy's body fat restrictions changed in January and many sailors are getting second, third, and fourth chances to pass their physical fitness test. Read "Navy loosens body fat rules to retain sailors", Military Times, March 7, 2016.

Closing GITMO. Congress required the president to submit a plan for how to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Obama had made this a presidential imperative but up to now has not come up with an alternate plan (other than releasing terrorists) to downsize the population and to continue to detain those deemed too dangerous to release. The White House submitted a plan in early March 2016. You can read the 21 page document posted on entitled Plan for Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Defense News

McCain Slams Air Force. A Vietnam veteran, Navy pilot, and long-time Senator recently took aim at Air Force brass for their handling of the A-10 controversy. Read (and watch the video) more in "McCain slams USAF chief Welsh on A-10 effectiveness", Air Force Times, March 3, 2016.

Retire A-10? Hell No. Service leaders claim the decision to retire the very effective CAS aircraft is based on cost and effectiveness. Some critics say that a close analysis of the data says otherwise. I agree. Read "The Air Force's Argument for Retiring the A-10 Makes No Sense", Defense One, March 5, 2016.

Video - Army Budget Testimony. General Mark Milley and the Acting Secretary of the Army recently testified on March 3, 2016 before the House Committee on Appropriations on the Army Budget. You can watch the 1 1/2 hour long video on posted by House Committee.

SOLLIMS Sampler - "Building Stable Governance". The Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) has published the March 2016 issue of SOLLIMS and there are several articles about governance in Afghanistan that could be of interest to some.

Coalition Operations. Mark A. Carter, a government civilian employee of DoD and retired military, provides his thoughts on the challenges faced by Geographic Combatant Commanders when operating as part of a multinational force and makes some suggestions to improve multinational and interagency operations. Read his analysis in "Future Conflicts: The Risks and Rewards of Coalition Operations", Small Wars Journal, March 4, 2016.

SOF Mag - Online Only. The print magazine Soldier of Fortune, established in the mid-70s is ceasing print operations and will be available online. Read more in "The Greatest Mercenary Magazine of All Time is Folding", by Adam Linehan, Task & Purpose, March 1, 2016.

Closing Bases? The military would love to cut down on the number of bases across the country but it runs into opposition from Congress. Read more "Latest DoD plan to close U.S. bases gets mild response in Congress", Military Times, March 3, 2016.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Defense News

Preserving COIN as a Capability. As the military moves away from the Iraq and Afghan conflicts (although the move is slower than we thought) it will be leaving some military capabilities behind (like counterinsurgency). Read Steven Metz's comments on how to preserve some of those capabilities in "How the US Military Can Preserve Seldom-Used Capabilities"World Politics Review, Friday 26, 2016.

"Force of the Future" - Rough Landing. "Defense officials' hopes for sweeping personnel reforms were crushed by Senate Republicans on Thursday who attacked the ideas as 'an outrageous waste of time' and the Pentagon's pick to implement them as unfit to serve".  Read "The Pentagon's 'Force of the Future' plan just got trashed in Congress"Military Times, February 25, 2016.

Combat Vet Now at HMS Works to Improve Life for Amputees. A combat medic with a tour in Iraq is now at Harvard Medical School and is working to bring relief to war vets with amputations. Read more in "Veteran wants to improve the quality of life for amputees", Harvard Gazette, February 18, 2016.

India's Military and Women in Combat. The United States is not the only military conducting social experiments with women in combat units. India is joining a handful of countries that permit women to take on combat roles. Read more in "India's Military to Allow Women in Combat Roles", The Diplomat, February 26, 2016.

Future of the Army. Conrad Crane provides us his thoughts on the report done by the Commission on the Future of the Army in "7 Issues the Future of the Army Commission Should Have Spent More Time On"War on the Rocks, February 25, 2016. 1) Once cut, the Army is not easily expandable, 2) how to better integrate active and reserve components, 3) deficiencies in force structure and capabilities, 4) an expanded discussion of stability operations and counterinsurgency (my note: the most important failure in my view), 5) explicit analysis of force size and structure recommendations, 6) real discussion of risk, and 7) contractors on the battlefield.

Do We Still Need the Draft? David Barno and Nora Bensahel says Yes! Read "Why We Still Need the Draft", War on the Rocks, February 23, 2016.

Military Terminology. Ever wonder what a military term or phrase mean't. Know you can know. The Department of Defense just updated Joint Publication 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, 15 January 2016.

Conscription - Fact and Myth. The defense community is buzzing about the draft (selective service) now that women are able to fully-integrate into combat and SOF units (equal rights, equal responsibility thing). So lots of commentary about it. Read Phillip Carter's thoughts in "The Zombie Myths of Conscription", War on the Rocks, February 25, 2016.

Contractors - Denied Benefits & Care. Contractors who work in war zones (I am one of them) are covered by medical insurance under the Defense Base Act. This insurance pays for medical care and disability benefits for workers injured on the job as well as death benefits for those killed. While the insurance companies reap millions of dollars in profits every year they are very stingy in paying out benefits to deserving contractors. Read more in "Injured war zone contractors fight to get care", Los Angeles Times, Feb 27, 2016.

Journal of Strategic Studies. This new issue (Volume 39, Issue 1, 2016) is now available. Articles include China's strategic Air Force, an anatomy of authoritarian counterinsurgency, contractor support to US and UK military operations, impediments to fighting the Islamic State, and civil-military relations in Pakistan and India.

Learn about the U.S. Army's Acting Secretary. Patrick Murphy got out of the Army as a Captain after having done a tour in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was one of the first veterans elected to Congress in the post-9/11 era. He is now the Acting Secretary for the Army. Big move up! Read "Army's new top civilian leader: former paratrooper, congressman"Army Times, February 24, 2016.