Oct. 1, 2015
The Case for the Joint Theater Air Missile Defense Board
Consider this possible scenario: A rogue nation threatens to fire ballistic missiles at the United States and its regional allies. In response, a forward-deployed U.S. Army radar transitions to high alert and continually scans the stratosphere, intending to detect and track the adversary’s ballistic missiles.
Jan. 1, 2012
The Iron Triangle Manifested: U.S. Air Force Tanker Lease 2001–2005 Case Study
The proposed lease of the KC–767 tanker aircraft was one of the most infamous procurement scandals of the post–Cold War era. Interactions within the military-industrial-congressional complex led to legislation permitting the Air Force to lease tankers from Boeing using an operating lease rather than standard procurement. Following the outcry from Congress, industry, the media, and numerous watchdog groups, Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) launched a wave of investigations and hearings. During the lease debate, participants reached a number of compromises documented in congressional legislation. However, this was not sufficient to continue the lease process. After nearly 4 years, Congress cancelled the tanker lease and directed the Air Force to pursue a traditional procurement approach.
Dec. 1, 2010
The Surge: General Petraeus and the Turnaround in Iraq
When General David H. Petraeus, USA, took command of Multi-National Force–Iraq (MNF–I) on February 10, 2007, beginning his 3d tour and 28th month in Iraq, the situation was grim. Increasing sectarian violence had led to an escalation of killings of civilians in Iraq, with up to 150 corpses being found daily in Baghdad.1 The government of Prime Minister Nouri alMaliki was viewed by almost everyone as ineffective at best, and the U.S. military strategy was not well defined and clearly not working. Iraq appeared to be sliding out of control toward civil war or disintegration, and the United States appeared to be headed inexorably toward defeat— another Vietnam. Popular sentiment held that the best course of action was to cut our losses and disengage from a fight we were losing. General George Casey, USA, the outgoing commander of MNF–I, had supported a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces and a handoff of security tasks to Iraqi forces even as the situation got worse
Oct. 1, 2010
Private Contractors in Conflict Zones: The Good, the Bad, and the Strategic Impact
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the use of contractors reached a level unprecedented
in U.S. military operations. As of March 31, 2010, the United States deployed
175,000 troops and 207,000 contractors in the war zones. Contractors
represented 50 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) workforce
in Iraq and 59 percent in Afghanistan. These numbers include both armed and
unarmed contractors. Thus, for the purposes of this paper, the term contractor includes
both armed and unarmed personnel unless otherwise specified. The presence
of contractors on the battlefield is obviously not a new phenomenon but
has dramatically increased from the ratio of 1 contractor to 55 military personnel
in Vietnam to 1:1 in the Iraq and 1.43:1 in Afghanistan.