Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Defense Futures
News and documents tracking the future of national security
Inside the Air Force - 04/05/2013
A former Army secretary is the latest nominee for a commission that will study the structure of the Air Force and report its findings to Congress in 2014.
DefenseAlert - 04/03/2013

The Defense Department has assigned Christine Fox, the head of the Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation shop, a central role in its ongoing strategic-choices assessment, a move that underscores DOD's interest in maintaining its current strategy while revising related budget priorities.

DefenseAlert - 04/03/2013

The Pentagon's Strategic Choices and Management Review could fundamentally change the prioritization of Defense Department resources and fashion new structures and practices to address future challenges, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today.

Inside the Navy - 03/25/2013
The Marine Corps Combat Development Command is standing up a Futures Directorate this year that will be led by the commanding general of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab in an effort to better assess future operating environments and generate force development recommendations, Navy and Marine Corps officials said last week.
DefenseAlert - 03/18/2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week directed senior leaders to conduct a review of the choices that underlie the Defense Department's strategy, force posture, investments and institutional management -- including "all past assumptions, systems and practices," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.

Inside the Air Force - 03/15/2013
Air Force top brass will be meeting in April to address 28 strategic questions and develop "the bookends" for a look-ahead force-structure strategy, according to a senior official.
DefenseAlert - 03/04/2013

The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review should be steered by an up-front assessment of how diminishing resources might force the Obama administration to revise or rewrite its defense strategy, Maj. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the Marine Corps' lead officer for the QDR, said today.

Inside the Pentagon - 02/28/2013
While military leaders have said the spending reductions under sequestration would force a fundamental review of the nation's defense strategies, the extent to which the administration's high-profile "pivot" to the Pacific may be affected remains unclear, according to defense officials.
DefenseAlert - 02/21/2013

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will leave it to his expected successor, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), to issue guidance for the Pentagon's 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, a sweeping assessment of defense priorities that comes amid a national fiscal crisis.

DefenseAlert - 02/14/2013

Leaders of the Army, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command have formally agreed to develop a new concept for 21st century strategic landpower, but they remain undecided on Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno's proposal for a new landpower office.

Inside the Pentagon - 02/07/2013
The risk that U.S. adversaries will develop surprising weapons capable of challenging American military dominance -- perhaps by taking out U.S. military satellites or aircraft carriers -- calls for a new framework to guard against unexpected threats, according to a new study commissioned by the Navy.
Inside the Pentagon - 02/07/2013
U.S. Special Operations Command's chief, Adm. William McRaven, has asked combatant commanders to validate their anticipated special operations requirements for the coming years.
Inside the Pentagon - 01/31/2013
The Navy has formally established a new group to eye emerging technology and systematically evaluate, develop and implement innovative strategic concepts with the aim of informing naval strategy and operational doctrine.
Inside the Navy - 01/28/2013
While the Defense Department's next Quadrennial Defense Review has not yet started, possible topics for the Marine Corps may include executing the national strategy under budgetary reductions, force structure and force sizing, according to the service's QDR representative.
DefenseAlert - 01/04/2013

The Defense Department is contemplating a new legislative requirement to conduct an "end-to-end, full-spectrum" mobility review of its aircraft and ship needs in 2018, a mandate that comes just as the Pentagon is wrapping up a nine-month assessment on the subject -- but with a narrower scope -- designed to influence deliberations this year during the Quadrennial Defense Review.

DefenseAlert - 12/18/2012

The Defense Department is urging lawmakers to drop a House provision from the final 2013 defense authorization bill that would establish a bipartisan independent panel to conduct a strategic review of the Army's force structure in tandem with a recurring independent critique of the Quadrennial Defense Review.

Inside the Army - 12/03/2012
A senator's proposal to create a bipartisan commission to critique the Quadrennial Defense Review is drawing fire from the Pentagon, where officials argue the group would endanger the "integrity" of the QDR process.
DefenseAlert - 09/28/2012

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey's new vision for the U.S. military of 2020 carries with it significant risks, including the possibility that new communications capabilities deemed essential might be vulnerable to enemy action or too costly or complex to build in the first place.

Inside the Army - 09/24/2012
A draft of the Army's forthcoming capstone concept introduces austerity and a return of soldiers to bases in the United States as guiding principles for the ground service of 2020, mincing no words in portraying China's military growth as a source of "instability."
Inside the Army - 09/24/2012
Army intelligence analysts looking deep into the next decade have issued a "strategic estimate" document that envisions potential operational environments and related missions against adversaries in Iran, China, Yemen, North Korea, Pakistan and Nigeria.
Inside the Army - 05/14/2012
Joint Staff officials will soon begin asking combatant commanders and service leaders for their annual evaluation of national security risks and mitigation strategies, a process that will follow new, high-level guidance aimed at better melding a composite picture of risks the military can affect -- and those outside its sphere of influence, according to officials.
Inside the Pentagon - 04/26/2012
In a move that could strengthen Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno's ability to shape his service's long-term future, the general is creating a Strategic Studies Group modeled after a cadre of maritime-minded thinkers at the Naval War College.
Inside the Pentagon - 04/26/2012
The Joint Staff's effort to write a new vision of joint warfare for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey's signature is sparking fierce debate within the Defense Department.
DefenseAlert - 04/04/2012

Top Defense Department officials have hammered out a new ranking of the military's most acute capability shortfalls, a classified list of potential Achilles' heels intended to help drive investment decisions between fiscal years 2014 and 2018.

Inside the Pentagon - 03/29/2012
A new Army-Marine Corps warfighting concept is designed to strengthen joint military operations and complement the AirSea Battle plan, while laying out plans to gain and maintain operational access in the face of area-denial strategies.
Inside the Army - 03/12/2012
While the next Quadrennial Defense Review is only a glimmer in most people's eyes, an Army official last week said the complex issue of sorting out the operational modes and associated cost of the active-duty and reserve components could evolve as a key theme for such an exercise.
Inside the Pentagon - 02/02/2012
In a major policy shift, the Defense Department has overhauled the way it sets requirements for all new U.S. military capabilities, revamping the process to quickly field urgently needed weapons.
Inside the Pentagon - 02/02/2012
The Pentagon's next Quadrennial Defense Review will be shaped largely by how Congress grapples with the federal debt and who wins the White House in 2012, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy said this week.
DefenseAlert - 01/30/2012

The Pentagon's next Quadrennial Defense Review will be shaped largely by how Congress grapples with the federal debt and who wins the White House in 2012, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy said today.

Inside the Pentagon - 01/26/2012
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert has launched a series of classified discussions, including secret-level meetings this week, to update the 2007 maritime strategy signed by the chiefs of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, according to sources and documents.
DefenseAlert - 01/20/2012

The Pentagon's new Joint Operational Access Concept will serve as a guide for the services when developing capabilities, Lt. Gen. George Flynn, the Joint Staff director of joint force development, told reporters today.

Inside the Navy - 11/21/2011
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) has asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta along with Navy and Air Force officials that Congress be briefed on the newly announced AirSea Battle office, writing in a letter that congressional involvement would be necessary for proper funding and support.
Inside the Pentagon - 11/03/2011
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has launched a new effort to determine if the Pentagon should rewrite his predecessor's vision for the future joint force.
DefenseAlert - 10/12/2011

The Pentagon has established a new high-level council -- the "Strategic Choices Group" -- to provide a strategic policy framework for deliberations over how to cut more than $450 billion in planned spending over the next decade, according to Defense Department officials.

Inside the Pentagon - 09/29/2011
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has signed classified guidance advocating increased investment in military capabilities designed for high-end war among major powers, according to sources familiar with the document.
Inside the Pentagon - 09/29/2011
Responsibilities for information operations, military deception and operations security previously assigned to U.S. Strategic Command were recently handed over to the Joint Staff in order to maintain the "peer" dynamic among the combatant commands, according to a Joint Staff spokesman.
DefenseAlert - 09/23/2011

The military services next week are scheduled to begin briefing combatant commanders on their revised five-year spending plans as the Office of the Secretary of Defense begins its fiscal year 2013 budget review, a process expected to be influenced by new mandatory spending caps as well as a revision in strategy dubbed "QDR Minus."

Inside the Army - 09/12/2011
Adam Smith (D-WA), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said last week that he believes the government should review its "entire national security strategy" -- and many of the premises upon which Defense Department budgets are based -- as it searches for ways to cut spending and deficits.
Inside the Army - 07/18/2011
Gil Decker, a former Army acquisition chief and the co-author of an internal study criticizing the Army's acquisition process, said last week that the service should make the review public, and he questioned whether recent high-level leadership turnover had caused a "hiccup" in implementing the study's recommendations.
Inside the Navy - 07/18/2011
The Navy will have to accept "increased risk" in the coming years due to growing fiscal pressures, and one of the service's top challenges will be to balance procurement while dealing with rising operations and manpower costs, according to a memorandum the service sent to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Inside the Navy - 07/18/2011
A Navy research advisory panel that has been in limbo for months recently moved one step closer to resuming activities when the service asked the Office of the Secretary of Defense to approve the board's roster.
Inside the Army - 07/11/2011
Joint Staff officials readying their annual Operational Availability study have been instructed to identify force cuts that could be made following the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan and to assume that the U.S. military may no longer take up the hugely expensive mission of rebuilding wartorn nations, Inside the Army has learned.
Inside the Navy - 07/04/2011
While the Marine Corps became involved in AirSea Battle discussions only in January, the concept is set to be a major focus in an upcoming exercise, a three-star Marine Corps general told reporters last week.
DefenseAlert - 06/30/2011

While the Marine Corps became involved in AirSea Battle discussions only in January, the concept is set to be a major focus in an upcoming exercise, a three-star Marine Corps general told reporters today.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/09/2011
While defense officials publicly insist that the military's new AirSea Battle concept, a study meant to reshape the way the U.S. military fights future wars, is not focused on China, one Navy team is quietly contradicting their claims. The group, called the China Integration Team, is hard at work applying the lessons of the study to a potential conflict with China, say sources familiar with the effort.
DefenseAlert - 06/08/2011

Three strategic warfare trends will guide future Defense Department investment and divestiture decisions, the deputy defense secretary said today -- increased lethality across the threat spectrum, longer duration of warfare and the growing prevalence of asymmetric threats.

Inside the Navy - 06/06/2011
The Defense Department's current plans for force posture in East Asia lack "comprehensive" estimates and the "financial context" necessary for Congress to make fully informed decisions over the long-term future of U.S. military posture in the region, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office.
DefenseAlert - 06/03/2011

An influential Pentagon advisory panel is wrapping up its study of new ways to organize and package naval expeditionary capabilities in as part of an assignment to consider how the service might adjust its force structure once the U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are scaled back.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/02/2011
Defense Department advisers have launched a new study on corporate downsizing to glean lessons on maintaining performance while cutting costs as the Pentagon's budget faces increasing downward pressure.
Inside the Army - 05/30/2011
A draft version of Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey's "Intent for the Army" lays out a host of markers for the service on everything from acquisition to uniforms, while sketching a narrative about the need for flexibility in the face of budget constraints.