National Defense

National Defense is a magazine specializing in Defense topics.

Articles from Vol. 91, No. 643, June

700 Miles of Border Fence Whittled Down to Nearly Half
CONGRESS LAST YEAR PASSED the Secure Fence Act, which authorized 700 miles of double-fenced border barriers. Critics charged that the law was a bone thrown to voters at the tail end of a remarkably inactive 109th Congress as the border became a...
Air Force Estimates $79 Billion Budget Deficit
THE AIR FORCE ANTICIPATES its 2008 budget will be $9 billion short of what it needs to support its current assets. By 2013, the shortfall is expected to reach $28 billion. A confluence of higher-than-forecast fuel costs, health care and aircraft...
Ammo Supplies: Production Is Meeting War Requirements, but Modernization Still Lacking
The Army has managed during the past five years to replenish small-caliber ammunition stocks that had shrunk during the 1990s. A shortage of small caliber ammunition during the first years of the Iraq war prompted the Army to quickly ramp up production...
Education Trends Portend Trouble for Defense
The United States in recent decades has seen some troubling trends. One of the most critical is that our schools are producing fewer U.S.-born science and math graduates than countries such as China, Taiwan, South Korea, India and Mexico. Consider...
For the First Time, Navy Will Launch Weapons from Surveillance Drones
Just like the Air Force, the Army and the CIA, the Navy soon could be deploying its own armed drones. To that end, the Navy will request funds in fiscal year 2010 to begin outfitting its new surveillance drone with kinetic weapons. The drone,...
Germ Warfare: Agencies Scramble to Create Vaccine Market
When anthrax was delivered to Capitol Hill and media outlets in envelopes in 2001, the prospect of a widespread biological attack became real to the U.S. government. For Jay Cohen, undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security's science...
Government Contracts Focus on Vaccines, Emergency Response
THE DEFENSE THREAT Reduction Agency has awarded several vaccine contracts under a program designed to protect against genetically engineered biological weapons. The $1.5 billion five-year program focuses on defenses against intracellular bacterial...
Interpol Makes Inroads Tracking Down Fraudulent Passports
The international police organization, Interpol, has set up an Internet accessible database that allows immigration authorities to quickly check passports to see if they have been lost or stolen. "Terrorists need to travel and there's no better way...
ITT Penalties: Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?
If you have ever experienced driving down the road and seeing out of the corner of your eye a smoking multi-car pileup or a tractor-trailer upended in a ditch, then that neck-snapping "what was that!?!" experience would mirror what many of us in the...
Liquid Hydrogen-Powered Drones within Reach
HONOLULU -- As the demand for unmanned aerial vehicles continues to soar, companies are producing systems that fly higher for longer periods and can carry more payloads, including lethal weapons. One of the newest systems in development is the Global...
Midair Collision: A Never-Ending Feud over Roles and Missions
At the heart of the latest Air Force-Army spat over who should control surveillance drones is a debate that began six decades ago: Should the Army only fly helicopters and leave fixed-wing airplanes to its brothers in blue? The feud over unmanned...
Mid Air Collision: A Never-Ending Feud over Roles and Missions
At the heart of the latest Air Force-Army spat over who should control surveillance drones is a debate that began six decades ago: Should the Army only fly helicopters and leave fixed-wing airplanes to its brothers in blue?The feud over unmanned aircraft...
More Services, Less Hardware Define Current Military Buildup
In the midst of the largest military expansion since the Reagan administration, industry analysts warn that the gravy days cannot last much longer. While that austere forecast may be hard to comprehend in the context of soaring defense budgets,...
Munitions Industrial Base: Trouble on the Horizon
A confluence of current events indicates that a vital national resource--the munitions industrial base--urgently requires attention. These concerns are not merely theoretical or speculative. They are based on historical facts. Between 1985 and 1994,...
Pacific Command Seeks Technologies for Expanding Missions
HONOLULU -- The chief of U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Timothy Keating, asked for help in four broad categories: intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; undersea warfare; communications; and personal protection. "We're pretty good on the water....
Port Security around Singapore Critical to World Economy
SINGAPORE -- Though small in size, the city state of Singapore resides in a busy neighborhood. It's the home of the busiest port in the world, and it's not uncommon to see Several hundred container ships stacked up in neat rows Stretching out dozens...
Ready to Respond? National Guard, Army Chemical Units Criticized for Being Untrained, Unprepared
The news appears good on the surface. The Defense Department has doubled its investment in chemical and biological defense since 9/11, and proposes a 20 percent increase during the next five years. But the additional funding has not yielded results....
Skeptics Watch Cannon Progress Closely
THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT civilian leadership cancelled the mobile artillery Crusader platform five years, ago, but the concept lives on in the Future Combat Systems non-line-of-sight cannon. The cannon, currently weighing 27 tons, will be the first...
Soldiers Need More Non-Lethal Weapons, Better Knock Down Power
TROOPS IN IRAQ and Afghanistan would like to see non-lethal alternatives to conventional ammunition, said Lt. Col. Al Kelly, commander of the 17th Infantry Brigade. Non-lethal weapons are needed for crowd control and mob situations, he said. If...
Son of Crusader: Future Combat Vehicles Will Fall Short of Preferred Weight
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- "Future Combat Systems 20-ton cannon in 2008: fact or fiction?" an artillery officer asked in a 2003 military journal. The answer four years later is "fiction." Officials working on the Army modernization program admitted...
Terrorism Schools
Defense Department prison policies fomenting radicalism, expert saysThe practice of mixing suspects with hardened terrorists in Iraqi prisons is further spreading radicalism, and could spawn the next generation of violent extremists who could threaten...
Terrorism Schools: Defense Department Prison Policies Fomenting Radicalism, Expert Says
The practice of mixing suspects with hardened terrorists in Iraqi prisons is further spreading radicalism, and could spawn the next generation of violent extremists who could threaten Europe and the United States, said a terrorism expert who recently...
Terror Lawsuits Can Serve as Intel Gathering Tool, Says Lawyer
Money is the fuel for terrorists, and it may be their Achille's heel, said Michael Elsner, an attorney representing victims of suicide bombings in Israel. His firm, Morley Rice LLC of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., is assisting in a lawsuit against Jordan-based...
The Eastern Front: Southeast Asia Struggles to Create Anti-Terrorist Network
SINGAPORE -- The strategy is called "whack-a-mole" and it's precisely what those fighting the so-called global war on terror want to avoid. Waiting for a threat to rear its head, then reacting with a hammer is considered bad policy. As conflicts...
Tiny Fiber Sensors Offer Another Option for Communicating
HONOLULU -- Light and thermal sensing fibers that are embedded in uniforms can both alert soldiers that they have been targeted by laser range finders and permit them to hear communications via infrared light. This new technology was developed by...
U.S. Space Initiatives Fall Short on Ambition
For a perspective on the nation's science and technology status, one need look no further than President Bush's initiative to send Americans back to the moon by 2015. The plan is to have astronauts spend extended periods of time on the lunar surface...
U.S. Space Initiatives Fall Short on Ambition
For a perspective on the nation's science and technology status, one need look no further than President Bush's initiative to send Americans back to the moon by 2015.The plan is to have astronauts spend extended periods of time on the lunar surface gathering...
Wanted: Better Battle Gear: Combat Veterans Catalog Equipment Shortfalls
HONOLULU -- One by one, soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen marched up to a podium before an industry conference here and gave a litany of battlefield deficiencies they have recently encountered in operations around the globe. Many requested improvements...
Washington Pulse
EXPECTATIONS FOR AFRICOM SLIGHTLY OVERPLAYEDThe Pentagon slowly has begun to downplay what so far have been lofty expectations about its new Africa Command, which is scheduled to open for business next year. In a series of high-profile announcements...
(Weapons of Choice) Bomb Making Skills Spread Globally
SINGAPORE - His name was Dr. Azahari bin Husin. He held a Ph.D. in statistical modeling from Redding University in England, and because of his innovations, he was considered one of the top experts in his field.But he chose nor ro pursue a career in acudemia....
Weapons of Choice: Bomb Making Skills Spread Globally
SINGAPORE -- His name was Dr. Azahari bin Husin. He held a Ph.D. in statistical modeling from Redding University in England, and because of his innovations, he was considered one of the top experts in his field. But he chose nor to pursue a career...

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