James Kitfield

James Kitfield James Kitfield a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and a Defense One contributor. He is a former senior correspondent for National Journal and has written on defense, national security and foreign policy issues from Washington, D.C. for more than two decades.
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NATO leaders gather for a somber celebration

April 23, 1999 Not since the tense days of its birth during the Berlin Blockade of 1949 has NATO confronted a moment so charged with both promise and peril as this one. The danger then was infinitely greater, yet somehow easier to understand. Even as Secretary of State Dean Acheson and other Western...

U.S. military demonstrates high-tech hegemony

April 5, 1999 In a spectacle that has almost become armchair routine, U.S. military forces continue to hurl destruction on Serbian forces from a dizzying pinnacle of technological superiority. Modern bombs are guided to their targets by a unique constellation of spy and navigational satellites, advanced cruise missiles, and stealth aircraft-weapons that no...

NATO's New Mission

April 1, 1999 tour of U.S. troops on far-flung deployments to Europe last year revealed a North Atlantic Treaty Organization stretched to the point where it no longer resembles the defensive alliance that won the Cold War a decade ago. In Lithuania, near the Russian border, U.S. forces gathered with 5,000 other NATO...

The Hollow Force Myth

January 1, 1999 hen the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before Congress last September, saying that the U.S. military faced a readiness crisis, the nation's senior military leaders provoked a storm of controversy and recriminations. How could America's all-volunteer force--once believed to be perhaps the finest military force the United States had...

Services seek to improve joint operations

December 16, 1998 NORFOLK, Va.-This year the Pentagon conducted military exercises here to determine how the Information Revolution will affect the ability of the four armed services to fight together, or "jointly." The results were disquieting. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, fed up with their often-incompatible communications systems, in...

Readiness myths

December 14, 1998 Myth #1: It's a Readiness Crisis No, it's a modernization crisis. During the late 1980s and early '90s, the Pentagon lived beyond its means, essentially by making deep cuts in its annual weapons-buying accounts (weapons spending has decreased by more than 66 percent since 1986) and by making do with...

The myth of the hollow force

December 14, 1998 As they walked into the Hart Senate Office Building on Sept. 29 for one of the most anticipated national security hearings of recent years, the Joint Chiefs of Staff carried a message that officers of their generation had hoped never to deliver. All five men, survivors of the Vietnam War...

Into and out of the breach with Iraq, again

November 17, 1998 Once more (it's beginning to seem like evermore) into and out of the breach with Saddam Hussein. And once more, the questions in Washington have been much the same. Would the United States strike, or would Saddam's cheat be met with another American retreat? And if we struck, what then?...

Hot Spot

November 1, 1998 nside the Navy's new, windowless headquarters building for its forces in the Mediterranean, dots on an electronic map pinpoint ongoing operations and potential flashpoints. Sitting in Naples, Italy, just beyond the shadow of Mount Vesuvius and within range of Libya's Al Fatah missiles and MiG-29 aircraft, this underground command-and-control...

In Bosnia, troops face long, hard slog

September 8, 1998 ZVORNIK, Bosnia-Herzegovina-For Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Steven Holliday and other peacekeepers in the traumatized land of Bosnia, homely signs of normalcy-a well-tended vegetable garden, the silhouette of houses unmarred by shell craters, city lights-carry geopolitical significance. "To me, the best barometers are children and old people. If they're waving, then...

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