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West Coverage

At the Heart of the Matter Is the Warfighter

Friday, January 27, 2012
Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The third and final day of West 2012 in San Diego combined the thrusts of the first two days: an overview of the future military force and a breakdown of specific issues and challenges. The overview came just before the release of U.S. defense budget figures, and their relationship to the recently announced strategy was the focal point of the day’s first presentation.

The Devil Is in the Details for Future Defense Planning

January 26, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Where Day 1 of West 2012 in San Diego focused on the inevitability of defense budget cuts, Day 2 broke down some of the disciplines that will be the focal point of difficult decisions in the coming months. Capabilities ranging from information security to nuclear submarines came under expert scrutiny as speakers and panelists tried to anticipate the changes that lie ahead and offer solutions to the challenges that are emerging.

Fiscal Hazards Loom As Significant Threat to U.S. Military Capabilities

January 25, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

West 2012 Online Show Daily: Day 1

Quote of the day: “It’s going to be a very grim picture if that occurs—very grim.”—Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, director, the Joint Staff, discussing proposed draconian defense budget cuts.

 Anyone who wants to know the future of U.S. national security should follow the money, to paraphrase a legendary political saying. However, this money is in the future: the next defense budget, and the burgeoning national debt. One may offer draconian cuts in the military, the other poses a national security threat of its own.

These points were emphasized by a range of speakers and panelists on the first day of West 2012, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and USNI. Being held January 24-26 in San Diego, California, the conference’s usual nautical theme this year has been supplanted by a broad look at the future of the military.

Virtually every speaker warned that if sequestration cuts are allowed to take place, the effect on the military would be devastating. If it is forced to cut $500 billion in addition to the planned $480 billion over 10 years, the military would suffer significant losses in capability. Its ability to carry out its missions probably would be permanently damaged.

West 2011 Online Show Daily: Defense Doctrines, Processes Face Fundamental Shifts

January 28, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

West 2011 Online Show Daily, Day 3. "Adaptability often is viewed as a responsive act. However, adaptability and preparation are inexorably linked."--Alfred Grasso, president and chief executive officer, the MITRE Corporation

West 2011 Online Show Daily: Shipbuilding, Cybersecurity and China Key U.S. Navy Concerns

January 27, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

West 2011 Online Show Daily, Day 2.“We’ve got to get that [continuing resolution limitation] fixed, or it will force the Department of the Navy to make stupid and irrevocable decisions.”—Robert O. Work, undersecretary of the Navy

West 2011 Online Show Daily: Game-Changing Environment Vexes Planners

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Quote of the Day:
“We may not be able to conduct our favorite American way of war in the future.”—Dick Diamond Jr., national security trends and strategic issues analyst, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

West 2010 Online Show Daily: Information Is the New Sextant for a Networked Navy

February 4, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman and Maryann Lawlor

All the chief of naval operations did on the last day of West 2010 was describe the future U.S. Navy and its top requirements. Adm. Gary Roughead, USN, told an overflow audience at the three-day event’s final luncheon that the Navy will be built around information, in both technology and practice.

West 2010 Online Show Daily: New Needs, New Missions Mandate a New Navy

February 3, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor and Robert K. Ackerman

The second day of West 2010 began with an examination of one of the Navy’s biggest recent changes. During the Wednesday luncheon, Vice Adm. David J. “Jack” Dorsett, USN, the first deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance (N2/N6), outlined the three issues that he sees as key in this newly created position. The U.S. Navy must determine what it means for the United States to have information dominance, how it plans to achieve it and what the opportunities are for industry in this regard.

West 2010 Online Show Daily:The More Things Change, The More They Really Change

February 2, 2010
Robert K. Ackerman

The information revolution that is sweeping the globe is forcing radical changes in the national security arena. Previous notions of strategic and tactical military planning are being swept away as both time and power have new definitions. And, that information technology realm itself is a major player in the concept of national security.

Quote of the Day: “It's not a war that we can win as a coalition—it's a war that must be won by moderate Muslims.”—Gen. James T. Conway, USMC, commandant of the Marine Corps, on the Global War on Terrorism

February 8, 2008

Everyone—soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians—is a combatant in the Global War on Terrorism. While military personnel take the fight to the enemy overseas, civilians on the home front have their own duties to deny success to extremist evildoers.

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