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2017 Defense and Military Top Priorities

2017 Defense and Military Top Priorities: For Military Preparedness, Personnel and Policy is a Special Report prepared by The Washington Times Advocacy Department.

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Gen. Philip Breedlove

Getting Russia right

One great virtue of this electoral season, for all its divisiveness, was that it generated a robust debate about our relationship with Russia.

National defense: The paramount issue

I cannot remember a time when an incoming administration faced so many substantial threats to American national security. In 2014, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said: "To put it mildly, the world is a mess." She was right, and the world has gotten a lot worse since then.

Time for an 'information Manhattan Project'

War is politics by other means, Clausewitz said. Its violence and death are reserved for times when traditional political and diplomatic means have failed to protect the nation.

How the Trump administration can make doing business with DoD great again

The incoming Trump administration has stated distinct priorities for making America great again. A top priority of that journey is the ability of the Department of Defense (DoD) to entice innovative companies to do business with the government through a whole range of programs, including initiatives such as Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx). However, some of the foundational deterrents for the aerospace and defense industry doing business with DoD are widespread feelings that they are ignored, misunderstood, or their message is lost in translation.

Official Photo -   Lt Gen David Deptula  (U.S. Air Force Photo by Michael Pausic)

The military the country needs

One of the first postings of the Trump White House was a link entitled "Making Our Military Strong Again." The new administration faces an enormous challenge in fulfilling this objective.

Rebuilding American military power

The Trump administration has inherited a military that, while engaged worldwide in defense of America's interests, has been suffering from the combination of high operational tempo and the corrosive effects of sequestration.

Trump's mission: Build a new American Army

In January 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, together with their respective military advisers, met in Morocco at Casablanca to devise the strategy that would win World War II. To some, the Casablanca Conference may seem like ancient history, but the exchange between Gen. George Marshall, U.S. Army chief of staff, and Gen. Sir Alan Brooke, chief of Britain's Imperial General Staff, has much to teach us.

Time for tough choices

There is excitement at the Pentagon over President Trump's pledge to undertake a buildup of the country's military. Support for the new president's defense agenda is also found among many on Capitol Hill, with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain proposing to add roughly $430 billion to the defense budget over the next five years.

Dakota Wood

Military expansion goals: Big, modern, ready

President Trump has pledged to expand the size of the U.S. military by as much as one third in some areas. The U.S. already spends more than $600 billion a year on defense, and some estimate the expansion could tack on an extra $100 million annually.

The Heritage Foundation is granted the right to reproduce this photograph in print and electronic formats, including reproduction by 3rd parties, excluding use in paid advertising space and book covers. Use in paid advertising space and book covers available by separate licensing agreement. Photograph  David Hills. All other rights reserved.

Swords or words: Which is mightier?

Those who believe in the power of public diplomacy often argue that if only the United States spent a fraction of the Pentagon's budget — say, the cost of an F-16 fighter — on outreach to the publics of other countries, the need for defense spending would be greatly reduced. This assertion rests on the assumption that if only we all understood each other better, fewer international conflicts would arise and the world would be a more peaceful place.

MESMER is a unique, patented, low-power, non-jamming, non-line of sight, non-kinetic drone mitigation solution, enabling an effective and safe method of protecting personnel and infrastructure from dangerous drones. Image courtesy of Department 13.

Drones and autonomous systems: An emerging threat

The new Trump administration is inheriting a highly volatile world with an ascending Russia, China and Iran, and an unstable Middle East. Europe is going through complex changes involving immigration, economic issues and Brexit, as well as increasing security issues. The security landscape is made even more complex by the rise and effectiveness of rogue states, criminal gangs, terrorists and malcontents who have become more formidable in part due to the rapid spread and democratizing of technology, such as the internet and high-speed wireless devices.

Grid-protecting CIPA: Enacted, but in time?

Congress, virtually at the last minute and unnoted by the press, finally passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) -- arguably the single most important piece of legislation approved by Congress in 2016 -- by inserting it into the National Defense Authorization Act.

Keeping America's waters safe: Why stealth technology is key

How effectively will the U.S. Navy protect America's maritime interests during the Trump administration? Given the new president's oft-stated interest in protecting U.S. borders and maintaining our national prestige, it is important that a strong naval force is an integral part of the mix. Turning this goal into a reality, however, may involve incorporating cutting-edge technology in ways that the Navy has not yet fully come to embrace.

America needs missile defenses

President Trump has a long "to do" list, starting with repealing Obamacare, fixing the tax code and building a wall. But there is another kind of a "wall" that demands the president's attention: The president must make sure the nation has the missile defenses it needs.

Missile defense in the next four years

America faces near-peer challenges from Russia and China, which possess modernized complex offensive capability in ballistic missiles, anti-satellite technology, hypersonic glide vehicles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Within the next four years, North Korea and Iran will have solid-fueled mobile missiles, multiple re-entry vehicles and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that will challenge in quantity and capability currently deployed U.S. missile defense systems.

Fixing readiness doesn't require a spending boost

A "readiness crisis" afflicts the U.S. military, according to congressional hawks eager to boost military spending. President Trump promises to reverse what he labeled the military's "depletion" in his dystopian inaugural address. That's an improvement over his campaign rhetoric, which labeled it a "disaster" in "shambles."

Fighting with (and without) our allies

America's strategic posture — both military and diplomatic — depends, in part, on our allies. What our allies can or cannot do — and will or will not do — is key to our ability to deter or defeat the many threats we face.

Washington, DC, USA - August 20, 2013: Staff photos.  Eric Eversole.    Photo by Ian Wagreich / 
  U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Military spouses -- and a renewed call to hire our heroes

For nearly six years, Hiring Our Heroes at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has led the nationwide effort to find meaningful careers for veterans and military spouses through hiring events, fellowship programs, online resources, and other programs and initiatives.

Remember the caregivers

During a recent news conference, President Trump reaffirmed his administration's commitment to helping our nation's veterans, many of whom face steep mental and physical challenges after returning from their time on the battlefield. As the longest war in U.S. history continues, so too does the responsibility to care for these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Renew support for military families

Life is all about give and take — at least, that's what we're told since childhood. But for our nation's service members and their families, this sense of balance is off.

Today's military families: Strong, but overdeployed

As the Trump administration begins to set priorities for national security, it should take note of the continued stress and the changing expectations facing our 21st century military and their families. It is heartening Mr. Trump is concerned about wear and tear on the force, and proposes roughly a 15 percent buildup in its size, as well as increases in funds for military personnel and weapons acquisition.

Troop morale linked to upholding chaplains, religious ministries

No one could have imagined just a few decades ago that a secularist invasion would change military policy from "don't ask, don't tell" to our current rendering that all gay and transgender people are fit for full service in the military.

This undated photo provided by Crown Media United States, LLC, shows Axel, a 4-year-old German shepherd, with his owner, retired Marine Capt. Jason Haag in Fredericksburg, Va. They have been together three years. Haag was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury after returning from two tours in the Middle East. He saved my life, no doubt about that. I was at my wits end," Haag said. He helped me get off 30 pills, including 12 narcotics. He helped with panic attacks, flashbacks and nightmares. He brought me medicine when I was on those and helped me find my keys and truck because of memory issues.(Chris Valenziano/Crown Media United States, LLC via AP)

Put more 'healing leashes' into the hands of veterans

President Trump campaigned on promises to improve the government support and overall standard of care offered to military veterans like me. Steps to do so under his new administration must include efforts to provide more lifesaving service dogs to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Bring fiscal responsibility to defense spending

President Donald Trump has promised numerous times to strengthen America's military. Yet if he hopes to keep this vow, he must tackle a critical issue that's often overlooked: wasteful spending at the Pentagon that endangers our national security and the men and women who wear the uniform.

American Gold Star Mothers: Turning sorrow into service

Nearly 100 years ago, 1st Lt. George Vaughn Seibold was an aviator who flew in support of The Great War efforts. Since our United States did not have aviation assets to support the war effort, George joined other aviators who trained and flew for one of our allies — Great Britain.

POW/MIA priorities: Accountability for the missing, suicide prevention

We are an organization comprised of U.S. military veterans, the families of veterans and those who believe and are supportive of our agenda. The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard are represented in our membership. And while our organization came into existence in the shadows of the Vietnam War, our membership has included those who served in WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all of the conflicts that have occurred around the world and drawn upon the U.S. military.

In this Monday, March 9, 2020, file photo released by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, top right, is intercepted near the Alaska coastline. A similar incursion by two Russian maritime patrol aircraft tested the U.S. and Canadian air defense zone in early July 2022, in a show of force in the midst of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine and nuclear saber-rattling, the commander of the Northern Command said on July 22. (North American Aerospace Defense Command via AP, File)  **FILE**

Russia tests U.S. air defenses in midst of Ukraine war

- The Washington Times

Two Russian maritime patrol aircraft tested the U.S. and Canadian air defense zone two weeks ago in a show of force in the midst of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine and nuclear saber-rattling, the commander of the Northern Command said Friday.

A motorist passes by a flag of the Islamic State group in central Rawah, 175 miles (281 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, on July 22, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Iraqi forces retake the country's last ISIS-held town

- Associated Press

Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition retook on Friday the last town in the country that was held by the Islamic State group, more than three years after the militants stormed nearly a third of Iraqi territory, the Defense Ministry's spokesman said.