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Airpower at Work in Iraq

Follow Rebecca Grant’s comments in the New York Times Room for Debate discussion on the role of airpower in Iraq. From the tactical perspective, the sustained ISR, humanitarian airdrops and limited support tactical strikes are the best option for taking action right now.   Its the most effective and acceptable use of military power in a situation all agree is most unfortunate.  

American Seapower in Decline

America’s dominance at sea is slipping,  writes Rebecca Grant in a July 11, 2014 piece for the Washington Times.  Since 2001, the US Navy’s shipbuilding program has been preoccupied with light, small ships for the near-coastal areas or littorals.  Meanwhile, threats ranging from sea mines to proliferating anti-ship missiles to China’s aircraft carrier have tilted the balance. As Samuel Locklear, the admiral in charge of United States Pacific Command, recently put it, the “historic dominance that… More >>

Autonomous Weapons 2021

The U.S. military has greatly expanded its use of autonomous weapons over the past decade, but the true revolution in autonomy lies just ahead.  Last year, the Department of Defense issued a directive authorizing combatant commanders to incorporate more weapons systems with autonomy into their operational missions.  Technology in hand could enable the Department of Defense to increase levels of autonomy in many types of weapon systems and combat support systems. Autonomy is the ability for machi… More >>

Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and an urgent national threat — from Space

Gravity, one of the big movies at the Oscars, won rave reviews for Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and the space junk that imperils their mission.  And you thought trash here on earth was bad. Space junk consists of debris, tools and even a missing glove moving at 24,000 mph in prime real estate known as LEO (Low Earth Orbit.)  China added significantly to the mess by smashing one of its own satellites in LEO back in 2007.  That’s why the Pentagon is building a Space Fence.  The Hill’s Congress B… More >>

For F-35 Fighter, Numbers Do Matter

Experts who propose budget cuts at the Pentagon often single out one especially big program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  That’s bad, because the F-35 is a top priority and its already been slowed down too much.  See the full piece here.  Recall teh background.  The Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy are all purchasing the stealthy, information-savvy fighter as they retire older planes.  The idea for the program goes back to the Clinton administration and ended the practice of the three service… More >>

China’s Air Force

Found: a basic guide  to China’s air force courtesy of Air Force Magazine.  The article “Meet the New PLAAF” goes beyond the trade press headlines on China’s stealth fighter demonstrators and new aircraft carrier.   Think of it: when the old Soviet Union was a superpower, Western analysts combed every detail of its air forces.  Today, the defense and security community is just beginning to follow China’s airpower evolution.   China will have one of the word’s foremost air forces by 2020, accordi… More >>