The Mitchell Institute will host a live virtual Nuclear Deterrence Forum event with retired Maj. Gen. Michael E. Fortney, former vice commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, and former director of operations and nuclear support at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, on June 29 at 10 a.m. EST. Fortney will share his insights into how the GBSD and B-21 programs will enhance nuclear deterrence capabilities, as well as how the principles of deterrence have not fundamentally changed, despite a rapidly changing global nuclear landscape.
The U.S. stands alone as the only tier-one cyber power in the world, but China will rise as a highly capable peer competitor over the next decade, a new International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) report concludes. “Dominance in cyberspace has been a strategic goal of the United States since the mid-1990s,” the report notes. “It is the only country with a heavy global footprint in both civil and military uses of cyberspace, although it now perceives itself as seriously threatened by China and Russia in that domain.”
Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is holding up a high-level Pentagon nominee in an attempt to push the Navy to commit to buying more amphibious ships, according to two people familiar with the situation. The nominee on hold, Susanna Blume, had been tapped to run the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, which would give her a central role in assessing new weapons systems proposed by the armed services.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act, a bill that would shift the decision to prosecute rape, sexual assault, and many other felonies from the chain of command to actual prosecutors, now has 66 cosponsors, and 70 total supporters, including lawmakers who opposed her earlier efforts. Gillibrand told Military.com she isn't done adding supporters. The wide bipartisan backing is virtually unheard of on Capitol Hill with bills of any real consequence.
The United Arab Emirates is evicting Italian aircraft and personnel from a key military base in retaliation for an arms embargo slapped on the UAE by Rome in January, an Italian politician said. Matteo Perego Di Cremnago, an Italian member of parliament and member of the parliamentary defense commission, said Italy had been given until July 2 to leave the Al Minhad air base in the UAE.
In the upcoming budget debate, a group of moderate Democrats are trying to set a floor for 2022 defense spending before progressive Democrats try to push it lower. Leaders of the House’s Blue Dog Coalition say they oppose calls to fund any less than the requested $753 billion national defense budget for fiscal 2022—which included $715 billion for the Pentagon. The stance adds fuel to an already complicated budget debate, where Democrats are split and key Republicans are pushing for a boost.
The Biden administration is making a big push for hypersonic-related research funding in the fiscal year 2022 budget. The administration has requested $3.8 billion, almost 20 percent more than the Trump administration’s allocation of $3.2 billion for fiscal year 2021. There is no guarantee that this will encounter smooth sailing in Congress, considering that one of the two hypersonic missile prototypes had to be cancelled last year after criticism from the House appropriations defense subcommittee. This is the latest indicator of a spiraling arms race in this new technology.
China’s investment in and progress toward the sustained superhot conditions necessary for nuclear fusion is key to Beijing’s strategic push to sustainable energy self-sufficiency. The country's economic growth requires reliable sources of energy and creates new vulnerabilities, as recently highlighted by straining electric grids in Guangdong provinces, one of China's economic powerhouses, writes Thomas Corbett, a research analyst with BluePath Labs, and P.W. Singer, a strategist at New America.
“Wars in space will never be like Star Wars. “Starfighters” will not engage in dogfights with unlimited maneuverability and range. An actual conflict in space would be slow and deliberate, requiring prepositioning of weapons and meticulous planning ... Policymakers and defense planners need to have a realistic understanding of what is physically possible and practical ...In any space war, physical limitations will constrain both the movement of assets and overall strategy,” writes Rebecca Reesman, project engineer at the Aerospace Corporation, and James Wilson, an engineering manager in the Astrodynamics Department at the Aerospace Corporation.
Believe it or not, somewhere in the middle of the spectacular explosions of the 2007 science fiction movie Transformers is a decent depiction of Air Force combat controllers, the special operations Airmen whose job is to bring in air support and coordinate air traffic in support of other special operations troops such as Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, and British and Australian SAS.