In September of 2017 Turkey signed a $2.5 billion contract to buy S-400 Triumf air defense systems from Russia. The US was none-too-pleased with the news and voiced disdain for the purchase repeatedly. Frustration with Turkey is based on the expectation that they will procure NATO-approved products for the sake of systems interoperability. In a … Continue reading Buying a Russian S-400 Triumf Air Defense System
It's not very hard to get a number, or a couple numbers. I found close to a dozen sources that would state a budget or a spending number. Those are not necessarily the same thing. There were more that discussed percentages increase or decrease, and then went on to discuss what that might mean either for the Russian economy, procurement goals or both.
We've seen a resurgent Russian military in Syria in the last few years, and they seem to be notably more effective than the team we saw in Georgia and Chechnya. They have new weapons for sure, but there is also performance that reflects a new training structure that leverages effective joint operations. Did they have a Goldwater-Nichols moment? Well, sorta.
The deaths of four special operators in Niger late last year introduced the public US military activity in the African Sahel. This band of semi-arid flat land between the Sahara and savannah stretches from Africa's Atlantic coast across to the Red Sea. It is home to an interlocking network of insurgencies, drug and human trafficking, … Continue reading US Counterinsurgency Strategy in the Sahel
Net Assessment has been lauded for finding novel ways of countering the strategic advantages that the Soviet Union amassed at different times up until its collapse. But Marshall's focus on the Soviet Threat essentially coupled the man, the office and the practice to that same irrelevance that the US Defense establishment has viewed Russia since … Continue reading The Defense Department is Serious About Climate Change
Secretary of Defense James Mattis, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, have each demonstrated a willingness to speak publicly in contradiction or refutation of President Donald Trump’s tweets. Contradicting a sitting president to the public while being a member of the cabinet would normally … Continue reading Cabinet-level Influence of Executive Leadership