West 2014 Coverage

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Military and civilian pilots who have flown the F-35 Lightning II praise its performance and are optimistic about its superiority in the future battlespace. However, even with fixes that have been made, some issues need to be addressed and support crew will need to adopt new ways of maintaining the flight line, these pilots say.

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. military must make difficult decisions that will define the force for years to come amid a substantial risk to readiness and effectiveness, according to a Defense Department official. The nation faces new challenges throughout the world coupled with severe budget cuts at home, and the response to these issues must be taken carefully with a long-term strategic look.

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Business as usual will weaken rather than strengthen the U.S. military in this time of budget cuts. The force must rely on technology development to ensure that it does not maintain current force sizes at the expense of enablers.

These points were outlined by Christine Fox, acting deputy secretary of defense, at the opening keynote address at West 2014, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute and being held February 11-13 in San Diego. Fox allowed that the military must become smaller over the next five years, and it must maintain capabilities that will enable it to meet any of a number of challenges.

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

All of the efforts, money and lives expended by Western nations on Afghanistan will be wasted if these governments cut and run, say two retired military flag officers who were involved in the effort. Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and Gen. John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.), a former commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), explained the importance of that commitment to Afghanistan in a panel discussion at West 2014, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute and being held February 11-13 in San Diego.

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that has helped Afghanistan rise from the ashes of the Taliban also has produced concrete benefits for coalition members, according to a pair of retired U.S. military flag officers who were involved in the effort. Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and Gen. John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.), a former commander of ISAF, described how many nations gained from that operation in a panel discussion at West 2014, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute and being held February 11-13 in San Diego.

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