AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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White House anti-terror chief: 'We are due for another attack'

September 5, 2006 In her windowless office inside the White House, Frances Townsend keeps a small mock-up of the World Trade Center towers in New York. The model serves as a daily reminder of all that was lost five years ago on September 11, 2001, and of what could happen again tomorrow. As ...

New Coast Guard chief discusses lessons learned from Katrina

June 2, 2006 Now that we've officially entered the 2006 hurricane season, the man tasked with rescuing last year's bungled post-Katrina operation has taken the helm of the U.S. Coast Guard. On May 25, Adm. Thad Allen became the commandant of America's fifth armed service. National Journal Staff Correspondent James Kitfield spoke with ...

Stakes high in battle between Rumsfeld, generals

May 5, 2006 The matter of Rumsfeld v. the Generals bears close scrutiny. The controversy represents the worst breach in civil-military relations since Harry Truman dismissed Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1951 for his conduct and his criticism of the president during the Korean War. It has proven an unwelcome distraction for Defense Secretary ...

Army overhaul prompts new approach to training

March 15, 2006 GRAFENWOHR, Germany -- Second Lt. Ryan Ault was having a very bad day. And the instructors at the Army's Joint Multinational Training Center here wouldn't have had it any other way. The young officer, just five months out of the ROTC program at the University of Kansas, was leading a ...

Concerns linger about plan to bring overseas-based troops home

October 24, 2005 The dagger came cloaked in bland legal script, a single sentence buried 512 pages deep in the 2005 House Defense Authorization Act and aimed directly at the jugular of the Overseas Basing Commission. Congress had established the commission in 2003 to provide an independent and bipartisan critique of the Pentagon's ...

Coast Guard official fills leadership void in Katrina relief effort

September 23, 2005 NEW ORLEANS -- Standing in a deserted air terminal in the early-morning dark of September 14, America's man of the moment realized that his honeymoon had lasted not quite 24 hours. The newspapers in Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen's hands all led with criticisms from the Louisiana governor that ...

Poor communications slowed military's hurricane response

September 19, 2005 Where was the cavalry? As the bodies were pulled from Louisiana nursing homes and hospitals, and as the nation began to contemplate the detritus of Hurricane Katrina, the question was really uttered more like a recrimination. And in a nation understandably proud of having the best and most powerful military ...

Military's Northern Command steps up response efforts

September 2, 2005 PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Joint Operations Center at U.S. Northern Command is an electronic window into America. And as Hurricane Katrina churned its way across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, gathering energy and pushing a storm surge before it, the view from that window ...

Caught in the Undertow

August 15, 2005 The Navy does battle to maintain the size of its fleet. After taking numerous shots across the bow of its DD(X) destroyer program in recent months, the Navy recently sounded an all-hands-on-deck in support of the next-generation ship. Leading the spirited defense was none other than Chief of Naval Operations ...

Losing Altitude

August 15, 2005 Budget-pressed Air Force leaders sweat over replacing aging aircraft. Study the flight line of a modern Air Force base, and you can catch a glimpse of history's most potent instrument of global power projection. It includes sleek F-15 and F-16 fighters, batwing B-2 stealth bombers, massive C-17 strategic transports, barrel-chested ...