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"Nobody does defense policy better than CSBA. Their work on strategic and budgetary topics manages to combine first-rate quality and in-depth research with timeliness and accessibility—which is why so many professionals consider their products indispensable." – Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs.

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Briefs

Classified Funding in the FY 2010 Defense Budget Request

Classified or “black” programs appear to account for about $35.8 billion, or 17 percent, of the acquisition funding included in the fiscal year (FY) 2010 Department of Defense (DoD) budget request (see Table, page 3). This total includes $18.1 billion in procurement funding and $17.7 billion in research and development (R&D) funding. These figures represent 14 percent and 22 percent, respectively, of the total funding requested for procurement and R&D in FY 2010. Among other things, this analysis finds that:

Briefs

The F-22 Program in Retrospect

It now appears likely that F-22 production will end with a procurement of 187 Raptors, of which 179 will be operational aircraft. The crucial moment came on July 21st, 2009, when the full Senate voted fifty-eight to forty to strip the $1.75 billion Senate defense authorizers had added to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 defense bill to keep F-22 in production. This vote came in the wake of intense lobbying by defense secretary Robert Gates and a veto threat from the White House should Congress continue F-22 production beyond FY 2009. In light of these developments, now seems as good a time as any to look back and try to take stock of the F-22 program. Are there any lessons to be learned, and where, if anywhere, is the program likely to go from here?

Briefs

Gates Submits ‘Reform’ Budget for FY2010

Secretary Gates termed the FY 2010 defense budget a “reform budget.” With today’s release of the detailed budget request, we begin to see what shape that reform will take and where he intends to lead the Department. This budget is a departure from the previous administration’s budgets in several ways:

Briefs

Somali Piracy: Not Just a Naval Problem

The hijacking of the 17,000 ton container ship Maersk Alabama off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia on April 8th, 2009 was the first occasion when a US-flagged ship with a US crew had been captured by Somali pirates. If this had been an ordinary ship the expectation would have been that the ship and its crew would have been held for months beyond hope of rescue or retaliation waiting for a substantial ransom to be paid. Thanks to the effort that Maersk Lines had put into planning for such an eventuality, the courage and determination of the American crew in recapturing their ship, and the accuracy of the sharpshooters firing from the moving deck of the USS Bainbridge who killed three of the pirates holding the ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, in a lifeboat, this was not an ordinary hijacking.  Instead, it was one of the shortest ever recorded.

Briefs

Near-Term Prospects for Battlefield Directed Energy

For more than a decade, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) has closely followed emerging technologies that, integrated with new operational concepts and organizational structures, offer the potential to  fundamentally change how advanced militaries fight. Such changes in the conduct of war constitute what has come to be called a “revolution in military affairs,” or RMA. The German military’s development of Blitzkrieg in the years between the two World Wars (1918-1939) constitutes one of the more familiar examples of an RMA. Visionary officers integrated tanks, radio communications, and tactical aircraft with opportunistic deep-penetration tactics and the flexible, combined arms structure of the Panzer division in ways that still influence how we conduct combined- arms warfare.

Briefs

A Cooperative Strategy for the 21st Century Seapower: An Assessment

Since the end of the Cold War, the US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Coast Guard have been in search of a new maritime strategy—a new naval Holy Grail. The first grail, revealed in 1890 in the form of Alfred Thayer Mahan’s The Influence of Seapower on History, guided the Sea Services through the end of the Second World War. Mahan’s views on sea control and his emphasis on a concentrated battle fleet were genetically encoded into generations of officers during two decades of wargaming at the Naval War College between the two world wars. Soon after World War II, however, the grail was lost during a turbulent period when America faced no real maritime challenger.