The Great Debate

What is Squad X, and how much will it change the U.S. Army?

April 11, 2016
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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The U.S. military has launched a program to equip its front-line soldiers with the latest battlefield technology. The Squad X initiative would give an Army or Marine Corps squad new computerized weapons, the latest smartphone-style communications and even easy-to-use robot helpers.

A $550 million Air Force bomber so good it will never be used

October 22, 2015
A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer supersonic bomber flies over northern Iraq after conducting air strikes in Syria

A U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer supersonic bomber flies over northern Iraq after conducting air strikes in Syria against Islamic State targets, September 27, 2014. The planned new bomber would make this one seem like a relic. REUTERS/Handout

The weapons the U.S. needs for a war it doesn’t want

July 20, 2015
Fourth F-35 Lightning II arrives at Nellis Air Force Base

The fourth Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrives at the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, April 24, 2013, REUTERS/U.S. Air Force/Daniel Hughes/Handout

Don’t believe the U.S. military when it says it doesn’t keep body counts

January 22, 2015
Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian

Residents inspect damaged buildings in what activists say was a U.S. strike, in Kfredrian, Idlib province September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof

Hunting for scapegoats, Obama bagged the wrong guy in Hagel

November 24, 2014

U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel listens as President Obama announces Hagel's resignation at the White House in Washington

The timing of Chuck Hagel’s resignation as secretary of defense may have been a surprise, but the fact that he was on his way out has been rumored for weeks. The real issue is why he either stepped down or was forced to leave after such a comparatively short time in office.

Drones: From bad habit to terrible policy

February 4, 2014

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently lambasted legislation that may prevent the White House from transferring the lethal drone program from the CIA to the Defense Department. The provision is in a classified part of the bill, so the public may never know what it says.

Can Obama ever close Guantanamo?

November 21, 2013

Twelve years ago this month, President George W. Bush issued an order authorizing the U.S. military to detain non-U.S. citizen “international terrorists” indefinitely, and try some of them in military commissions. Within two months, those seized in the “war on terror” following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan were being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The militarization of U.S. police forces

October 22, 2013

This month, more Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAPs) have found their way from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Main Streets of America. These are just the latest acquisitions in a growing practice by Pentagon that’s militarizing America’s municipal police forces.

Saving Defense dollars: From BRAC to ORAC

October 14, 2013

While the government shutdown continues because of the Democrats’ and Republicans’ profound disagreement, the real issue facing the nation is something that both parties agree on, in principle: the need to reduce the size of the federal deficit.