Commentary

Another Week; Another Missile Test: Inching Toward a Freeze – With Eyes Wide Shut? May 25, 2017 — On January 20, North Korea became the responsibility of the new Trump administration. After eight years of “strategic patience,” North Korea, as President Obama advised his successor, now poses the greatest threat to the security of the United States. MORE

Tommy Luginbill @ Grey Matter [MD5 Podcast] May 8, 2017 — An MD5 podcast with Tommy Luginbill, Director of the Entrepreneur and Innovation Institute at the College of Southern Maryland and Chairman of Grey Matter, to learn about his work, company, and tech transfer. MORE

Tell-Tale MRAPS May 2, 2017 — A recent article in the Washington Free Beacon, “Biden Used False Data to Smear Marine Corps over Armored Vehicle Request from Iraq,” gets the story wrong on the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles used to protect servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan. The April 24, 2017 article by Bill Gertz, a seasoned national security reporter, accomplishes the rare feat of politicizing a bipartisan issue; blackguarding both parties erroneously; and unnecessarily embarrassing Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. MORE

Ben Solomon @ Fed Tech [MD5 Podcast] April 25, 2017 — An MD5 podcast with Ben Solomon, the Founder of Fed Tech, to learn about the organization, tech transfer, and few success stories. MORE

Vice President Pence in Indonesia: U.S. Interests in the South China Sea April 12, 2017 — If the past decade is prologue, sometime in the next four years developments in the South China Sea will again call into question U.S. interests and commitments in Southeast Asia. The mid-April visit of Vice President Pence to Indonesia and Australia offers an opportunity to define U.S. policy toward the region. MORE

What is Military District 5 [MD5 Podcast] March 27, 2017 — What is MD5? How was the organization started and where does it fit in the DoD Innovation Mission Spectrum? MORE

The Defense Acquisition System: Its Impact on Workforce and Outcomes March 27, 2017 — The ”Defense Acquisition System” is legislation, policy, and process layered on top of practice. This article outlines how the current Defense Acquisition System impacts performance, cost, and speed. As priorities shift between the three imperatives, the acquisition workforce is expected to navigate the complex layers of legislation, policy, process and practice that govern Defense acquisition in its current state. Such adaptation requires training as well as hands-on experience guided by an ever-shrinking pool of seasoned workers, well-versed in successful practice. MORE

PLA Reform in 2017: Likely Directions and Implications for Taiwan March 8, 2017 — 2017 will be a busy year for PLA reform. Key goals include rebalancing towards a greater focus on the navy and air force, restructuring the ground forces, and revising the personnel system to promote stronger joint operations capabilities. Taiwan needs to work, both individually and in concert with the United States, to mitigate the risks of a PLA that will be better organized, trained, and equipped to threaten the island’s safety. MORE

President Trump’s Defense Budget: Just a Down Payment March 7, 2017 — President Trump took the right approach: an incremental first step that demonstrates his commitment. Before he lays out the required long-range strategy to correct the shortcomings in our armed forces, he will need to explain his vision for America’s leadership role in the world. His forthcoming National Security Strategy will lay out that vision, and the National Security Council must assist him in laying out the underpinning role of defense within that overarching strategy. It must also define parameters for a subordinate National Defense Strategy that Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his still understaffed team at the Pentagon are responsible for. These more detailed plans will lay out the larger architectural design that the American people and our allies so clearly need to see. But in the absence of the entire design, we should cash the down payment immediately and begin to sharpen the tired instruments we have to work with now. MORE