Archive for December, 2009


I found the November issue quite stimulating. In particular the opening letter to the editor by Lt. Col. Ken Beebe and short commentary by the usually historically astute William Owens [“The war …

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War planning for wicked problems

Where joint doctrine fails

There is increasing awareness within the Defense Department that wars are interactively complex or “wicked” problems. A series of new publications and ongoing doctrinal revisions reveals a growing …

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Robotic contractors

Technically speaking, UAVs, guided missiles, torpedoes and unmanned submarines are robots. There are about 50 countries that have or are developing military robots. Many have chemical, temperature and radiation sensors, some are …

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In this issue

When Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced in April that he was canceling the vehicle part of the Future Combat Systems program, he pledged to protect FCS vehicle money so that it would …

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Prize words

TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA for a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech that did what his West Point Afghanistan speech failed to do: Show the spine of a commander in chief. Right at …

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True transformation

America’s military is overdue for a dramatic overhaul

The U.S. military, if it is to measure up to its future responsibilities as an effective instrument of statecraft and a trusted institution of …

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Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

Battlefield robots raise ethical issues for military

The 7-foot-7-inch humanoid robot in the 1951 film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” foreshadowed the ethical concerns facing developers of robots for the Defense …

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A vehicle for modern times

What the next combat vehicle should look like

The Army leadership will soon restart its stillborn effort to develop and produce a new family of fighting vehicles. More is at stake than …

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The unseen cost

Industrial base consequences of defense strategy choices

“If one examines U.S. national security or defense strategy documents, or the last three Quadrennial Defense Reviews (QDRs), there is almost no mention of the …

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No fix

TO THE PENTAGON for its new fixation on fixed-price contracts. DoD is quite right to focus on reining in preposterously out-of-control weapons programs that end up costing millions of dollars more than …

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