Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.

A Thought on Crimea: Remember, Airpower Is Good for More Than Terrorists

by Guest Blogger for Janine Davidson Monday, March 31, 2014
An F-22 Raptor aircraft deploys flares over Kadena Air Base An F-22 Raptor aircraft deploys flares over Kadena Air Base, Japan in this January 2009 photograph. (Clay Lancaster/Courtesy Reuters)

By Robert Spalding III

This week’s guest post comes from Col Spalding, CFR’s own Air Force fellow and a former B-2 wing vice commander. This post is adapted from a larger piece out today in the National Interest.

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Abolish America’s Air Force? Not So Fast.

by Janine Davidson Wednesday, March 26, 2014
A C-17 stands ready at Kandahar air base, Dec 2013 A C-17 Globemaster III sits ready on the tarmac of Kandahar air base, December 2013. (Pool/Courtesy Reuters).

An Un-Hollow Force: Readiness in the FY15 Budget Request

by Guest Blogger for Janine Davidson Wednesday, March 19, 2014
U.S. soldiers walk while on patrol in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, in August 2012. U.S. soldiers walk while on patrol in Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan, in August 2012 (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters).

By Russell Rumbaugh

The debate about the defense budget suffers a fundamental disconnect: even as the national conversation focuses on deep cuts, the actual force remains the most awe-inspiring military force in the world. Some of that disconnect stems from blurring the distinction between a smaller force and a hollow force. While a hollow force—a force that claims capabilities on paper but in reality isn’t ready to execute—is without doubt a bad thing, it is not inevitably an outcome of a smaller force. In fact, a smaller force makes a hollow force less likely. And the president’s recently released  budget request takes significant steps to prevent a hollow force.

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Mind the Gap: Putin’s Actions and the Future of War

by Janine Davidson Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Masked members of a pro-Russian defense unit take an oath to the Crimean government in the city of Simferopol on March 10, 2014. Masked members of a pro-Russian defense unit take an oath to the Crimean government in the city of Simferopol on March 10, 2014 (Vasily Fedosenko/Courtesy Reuters).

Molly K. McKew and Gregory A. Maniatis’s recent op-ed in the Washington Post is worth a read. The authors wisely observe that Putin’s aggression in Crimea—like in Georgia in 2008—reflects the future of great power conflict. Putin is not playing some sort of 19th-century geopolitical game, they argue, but rather he is “redefining 21st-century warfare”: Read more »

Pentagon’s Proposed Cuts to Ground Forces: Not as Bad as You Might Think (For Now)…

by Janine Davidson Thursday, March 6, 2014
Cadets salute during their graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on May 25, 2013. Cadets salute during their graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on May 25, 2013 (Mike Segar/Courtesy Reuters).

One of the more controversial proposals in the Pentagon’s latest budget is the cutting of the active duty Army from its post 9/11 peak of 560,000 soldiers to approximately 450,000. If sequester pressures remain in 2016, numbers could go to 420,000 or even fewer.

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Introducing Defense in Depth

by Janine Davidson Thursday, March 6, 2014
A view of the Pentagon and Washington, DC. A view of the Pentagon and Washington, DC (Courtesy U.S. Department of Defense).

Defense in Depth is a new blog about the art, politics, and business of American military power. I will track the big issues facing policymakers as they grapple with downshifting in Afghanistan, rebalancing to Asia, and maintaining a ready and capable force structure amidst sustained fiscal pressures.

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