nuclear deterrence

Strategic Command Needs New Three-Way Deterrence Model, Deputy Commander Says

U.S. Strategic Command is struggling to find a deterrence model that will work for three comparably armed nuclear powers, but it is not seeking to match Russia’s new kinds of nuclear weapons, which aren't covered under existing treaties, said Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere. The U.S. has “fairly coherent two-body deterrence models,” Bussiere said in a streaming seminar presented by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “We have decades of experience” within the Pentagon and academia providing a foundation for deterrence between the U.S. and Russia. But as for a three-way Cold War that includes China, “that’s a dynamic I don’t think our nation has teased out,” he acknowledged.
afghan evacuees

More Bases Accept Afghan Evacuees as Aug. 31 Deadline Looms

More U.S. bases are accepting Afghan refugees as the airlift out of Kabul enters its final days in the aftermath of the suicide bomb attack that killed 13 U.S. troops. The Pentagon announced Aug. 27 that Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., would bring in Afghans who fled Kabul, along with both Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Pickett in Virginia. The announcement comes as the U.S. and coalition have evacuated 105,000 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 14. The Pentagon also clarified that the Aug. 26 ISIS-Khorasan suicide bomb attack at the airport killed 13 troops, including 11 U.S. Marines, one U.S. Army Soldier, and one U.S. Navy Sailor. Despite initial reports of two bombings, the investigation has determined there was just one explosion, said Maj. Gen. William D. “Hank” Taylor, the Joint Staff’s deputy director of regional operations, in a briefing. “We have seen firsthand how dangerous that mission is. But ISIS will not deter us from accomplishing this mission,” Taylor said.
air force global strike command

Cotton Relieves Ray at Top of Global Strike Command

Gen. Anthony J. Cotton received his fourth star and took charge of Air Force Global Strike Command on Aug. 27, pledging to shepherd the two Air Force legs of the nuclear triad through a “major transition,” a reference both to much-needed modernization and increasing strategic competition.

What ‘Digital Force’ Really Means—and How to Build One

Members of the military and the defense industry tackled what Air Force Brig. Gen. John M. Olson called the “ethereal or amorphous or ambiguous” concept of a “digital force” in a panel talk at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Aug. 25. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond announced in May his vision for the Space Force to become the first "digital service."
international space partners

Allied Space Chiefs Tout Partnership, Domain Awareness

The United States and its allies must partner more closely to ensure space domain awareness in an increasingly complex and important domain, military space leaders from around the world said during a panel discussion in Colorado Springs, Colo. Space leaders representing 23 nations, including the the United Kingdom, Finland, Japan, France, Germany, and Chile, joined U.S. Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond on Aug. 26, sharing their perspectives and embracing their cooperative spirit.
space development agency sda

Space Development Agency to Issue RFP for Tranche 1 Transport Layer This Month

The Space Development Agency will issue an official request for proposals Aug. 30 for the Tranche 1 Transport Layer of its National Defense Space Architecture. It will provide the Defense Department a range of options for sharing information if signals are jammed or systems destroyed. The solicitation comes as the Department of the Air Force moves out on plans to build a more resilient satellite architecture. “Resiliency isn't just about the individual satellite—it's about the architecture, and it's about a range of features that you can bring to bear,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 24.

Radar Sweep

Escape from Afghanistan: One Interpreter's Desperate Run Past the Taliban to Safety

The lieutenant took the phone. "Are you able to vouch for [Said]?" he asked. I stammered for a few seconds, shocked that my voice could change the outcome of this potentially life-defining moment for Said. I found the words and said yes, my reporting had confirmed he was an interpreter for six years at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Airfield, and that I could vouch for him. He had a visa issued by the U.S., I added, as Said had sent me a copy.

Death of the JEDI: Pentagon Learning from Terminated Cloud Initiative

National Defense Magazine

When the Pentagon announced the cancelation of its highest-profile cloud computing initiative in July, not many were surprised. The lucrative Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, better known as JEDI, didn’t make sense from a business perspective, said Alex Rossino, an advisory research analyst at Deltek. “It didn’t make sense on any level, honestly.”

Chorus Grows to Declassify Space Threat Info From Services, Congress

Breaking Defense

The House Armed Services Committee’s draft policy bill calls for the head of the Space Force to review all classification of space systems “to determine if any programs should be reclassified or declassified.” The chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act is the latest in a growing chorus arguing that the classification of the vast majority of information regarding national security space impedes cooperation with allies and partners and limits the public’s understanding of the threat environment.

PODCAST: Afghanistan Assessment: The Rendezvous

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 37 of the Aerospace Advantage, John Baum engages with the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies team, many of whom served in the theater, worked on the war from the policy vantage, and have known people who’ve paid the ultimate price in this conflict, to discuss the broader events surrounding America’s longest war. It will take years to understand what happened and why, but this conversation marks the start of that assessment.

2 Companies Win Contracts to Research Cyber Protections for Military Aircraft

Defense News

The Air Force Research Laboratory awarded contracts to Booz Allen Hamilton and Ball Aerospace to research advanced cybersecurity and digital engineering to protect aircraft electronic systems against digital threats. The Aug. 24 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to try to shield those avionics systems from cyberattacks are worth up to $200 million each over five years. The companies’ research will include cyber assessment and testing tools, cyber-hardening technologies, resilient cyber protections, and open-system architectures.


Defense One

Amira Jadoon, a terrorism expert at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Andrew Mines, a research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, have been tracking ISIS-K, the group that has claimed responsibility for the coordinated suicide bomb and gun assault that killed 13 U.S. troops in Kabul, for years and answered questions about who the terrorist group is and the threat it poses in a destabilized Afghanistan.

US Special Operations Vets Carry Out Daring Mission to Save Afghan Allies

ABC News

With the Taliban growing more violent and adding checkpoints near Kabul's airport, an all-volunteer group of American veterans of the Afghan war launched a final daring mission the night of Aug. 25 dubbed the "Pineapple Express" to shepherd hundreds of at-risk Afghan elite forces and their families to safety, members of the group told ABC News.

Global Microelectronic Shortages Trickle Down to Military Satellite Programs

Space News

Defense Department satellite programs are feeling the effects of the widespread microchip shortage that has stymied carmakers and consumer electronic manufacturers. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is hoping to launch as many as 12 satellites into low Earth orbit next year for the Blackjack program, but supply shortages are creating schedule risk for the military space network demonstration.

Q&A With Preston Dunlap, Chief Architect for the Air Force and Space Force

GovCon Wire

Preston Dunlap, chief architect for the Air Force and Space Force, recently spoke with GovConWire for an exclusive Q&A session regarding the first phase of delivery for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), the speed and timing challenges of technology development, the future of network modernization, and more.

VIDEO: Nuclear Deterrence Forum With Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In the Mitchell Institute’s virtual Nuclear Deterrence & Missile Defense Forum with Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere, deputy commander of United States Strategic Command, Bussiere discusses the threat of Chinese and Russian nuclear stockpiles, the U.S. nuclear modernization effort, the future of U.S. nuclear deterrence, and other topics.

‘Tonight, We’ll be Maxed Out.’ Inside Ramstein Air Base’s Push to Host Thousands of Evacuees From Afghanistan

Air Force Times

In less than a week, the air base that runs the U.S. military’s European and African operations has transformed into an international city, hosting tens of thousands of men, women, and children fleeing Afghanistan. Officials at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, first learned Aug. 19 that evacuees escaping the Taliban would be brought to the installation for processing, medical evaluations, and temporary housing before they are resettled in the United States. By the following day, the first influx of C-17 military transport aircraft arrived, filled mostly with American citizens, Afghan nationals, and their families.

One More Thing

VIDEO: “Lifeline: Aerospace Logistics Tomorrow”

Computer History Archives Project

In the 1960s, photographic effects pioneer Con Pederson made films for the U.S. Air Force about space. The Computer History Archives Project recently unearthed one of those films, believed to be created in 1965 but not released by the Air Force until 1971. The 13-minute-long film postulates how the future Aerospace Force will do its logistics to orbit and a moon base.