August 18, 2019

Esper is Sworn in as DefSec

Esper

Mark Esper is sworn in as US Secretary of Defense during an Oval Office ceremony. Esper supports former DefSec Jim Mattis’ National Defense Strategy to maintain preparedness for conflict with capable adversaries like Russia and China.

$738B for DoD Not Enough, Says GOP

DoD

The nearly $1.4 trillion spending plan — which would prevent a government shutdown this fall and do away with the final two years of budget caps known as sequestration — includes about $738 billion for DoD in FY2020, a 3 percent increase from current year levels.

Navy’s Aviation Accidents Keep Rising

aviation accidents

Manned aviation accident deaths across the services continue to break records, but the steady six-year climb finally halted this year. Only the Navy did not improve in the total accident categories from 2017 to 2018 and is still 83 percent higher than in 2013.

Drones Change the Battlefield & Bases

drones

Drones are already changing the battlefield and impacting US strategy. Increased robotic controls of drones will likely also reduce the human footprint of counterinsurgency as the technology advances.

Trump Considering Space Force in DoD

Big Pricetag for Space Force

President Trump, honoring Army for its football team and praising all five branches of the military, suggests discussions are ongoing about a sixth branch — a space force.

Self-Driving Cars in Terrorists’ Future Also

self-driving cars

The future is bright for self-driving cars, but credible reports out of Finland show terrorist groups considering how autonomous vehicles can replace suicide bombers and conduct ramming attacks.

Lawmakers Propose $700 Billion Defense Bill

DoD

House & Senate negotiators agree on a FY18 defense policy bill authorizing $700 billion for the Pentagon, much larger than the administration’s budget. Sixteen years of overseas wars have cost the US nearly $6 trillion so far.

Mattis Says 16-Year-Old War Authorization Sufficient

war authorization

Despite bipartisan unease with the 2001-2002 war authorization allowing the military to continue to fight the Islamic State forces, there is no congressional agreement on a path forward to address an update.

US & Allies Warn China About South China Sea

US, France, Japan, and Britain navies plan a joint exercise as a “show of force” to tell China, the South China Sea is an international sea open to all commercial and military vessels.

Dropping Wall Funds Could Keep Government Open

Government Open

Dropping funds for a US border wall from their spending proposal could net the Republicans the Democratic votes needed to keep government open beyond Friday.