March 1, 2010  

In this issue

Given the grueling winter much of the U.S. has just endured, (and Washington’s obsession with naming its storms in the style of Hollywood disaster movies was probably more annoying than the digging out), the prospect of ice melting someplace, somewhere sounds like a positive.

Think again.

This month’s cover by Lance Bacon and Rob Huebert illustrates the extent of the geopolitical frictions that are emerging as Arctic ice disappears and new seaways open.

Frank Hoffman’s article does not have the Arctic specifically in mind, but his call for an end to territorial and static force posturing in favor of a deployable expeditionary mindset tallies with the flexible forces we’ll need to secure our northernmost borders.

If the potential prospect of an Arctic war seems like too grim a read, then take heart from Ionut Popescu’s optimistic assertion that the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review should be the Pentagon’s last such stab at strategic planning.

The Army hopefully will soon release its request for proposals for its new Ground Combat Vehicle; Bob Killebrew and Dan Goure weigh in with their thoughts on what it should be (to which your average soldier in Afghanistan would probably say “here.”)

Larry Skantze proposes an answer to the Air Force’s acquisition woes: Reinstate the service’s former acquisition institution, Air Systems Command, and put a tough four-star at its helm. As a former Air Systems Commander, the general knows of what he writes.

And Joe Collins analyzes the potential for reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government; an idea that will certainly be tough to realize, but which might be possible on the back of the U.S.-led surge.