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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Army troops, budget stretched to the limit

September 8, 2003 One of the happiest times in a U.S. Army officer's professional life is when he or she pins on the winged insignia of colonel and takes command of a brigade. And when the brigade is deployed on a mission of national importance, the moment is all the more momentous. So...

Pros and cons of new nuclear weapons debated

August 18, 2003 Even as anti-nuke demonstrators were organizing protests around the country to commemorate the early-August anniversaries of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the U.S. Strategic Command held a little-publicized meeting of senior Bush administration officials on August 6 and 7 to advance plans for a new generation...

Missile Defense Readies for Launch

August 15, 2003 ith the war on global terror and conflict in Iraq garnering most of the headlines during the past year, the Bush administration's once-controversial effort to rapidly develop a national missile defense system has flown largely under the news media's radar. Yet the fiscal 2004 defense budget request includes $9.1 billion...

Satellite-Based Systems Prove Their Worth

August 15, 2003 s U.S. forces raced up the Euphrates River Valley in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they confronted a dust storm of nearly biblical proportions. Though it would cause a discernible pause in offensive operations, that storm might have proven catastrophic if it had taken U.S. military commanders completely...

Down Payment on a Technology Revolution

August 15, 2003 ith an administration committed to dramatically trans- forming the U.S. military-and two recent conflicts that showcased the vast potential of American military technology-the armed forces finally seem poised to take flight on the wings of a long-anticipated technological revolution. Core elements of that revolution, in fact, were on display during...

New Life for New Programs

August 15, 2003 hat a difference a war makes.Or three, specifically, the post-Sept. 11 war on international terror and two major regional conflicts-Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom in Iraq-all in the space of less than two years. Prior to these campaigns, the Pentagon's ambitious plans to replace much of its inventory...

Only a few months to turn Iraq around, former Defense official says

August 7, 2003 On July 17, a team of experts led by John Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former deputy Defense secretary during the Clinton administration, issued the first independent assessment-based on recent field reporting in Iraq-of the reconstruction effort. The findings were sobering. The enormity...

Cycle of violence

June 17, 2003 In the search for peace in the Middle East, violence often follows the olive branch like night trailing day. Even by the standards of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, the speed with which violence reasserted its grim calculus on the peace equation after the June 4 Aqaba summit has been disquieting....

Attack always

May 6, 2003 When addressing U.S. Army troops shortly before the Iraq war, V Corps commander Lt. Gen. William Wallace frequently noted his Scottish ancestry, drawing inevitable comparisons to his namesake of Braveheart fame. Yet his highlander fortitude was tested when the campaign seemed to sputter after the first week. Comments Wallace made...

Modern ‘Red Ball Express’

May 1, 2003 CENTRAL IRAQ-On the 50th anniversary of World War II's Battle of the Bulge, Brig.Gen. Charles Fletcher, who heads the Army's 3rd Corps Support Command, known as COSCOM, went to Europe and bicycled the same route between Cherbourg and Bastogne in France that Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army had followed...

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