The Next War

Today’s budget battles will determine what U.S. troops carry into real battles for years to come.


For soldiers, coming home can be as hard as leaving

The strain on military families does not end when the troops return from Iraq or Afghanistan.


Observers debate role, authority of intelligence chief

Whatever Dennis Blair's personal problems as director of national intelligence, the role is inherently awkward.


Army modernization project faces uncertain future

With a new administration and a worsening economy, there is unprecedented pressure to trim the complex and expensive Future Combat Systems.


Analysts debate feasibility of Obama's Iraq withdrawal plan

The president-elect laid out a 16-month exit plan during the campaign, but it comes with a lot of caveats.


Candidates have not tipped their hands on defense spending

The next administration will face hard choices in areas such as weapons purchases and Army modernization, but so far neither presidential hopeful has offered a clear agenda.


Army struggles toward goal of wi-fi infantry

The service wants soldiers to be able to share text, photos, video, electronic maps and other data while on the move.


Pilot program may overhaul treatment of veterans

Pentagon-VA program takes aim at a bureaucratic redundancy.


Former Clinton Navy secretary discusses post-Bush defense policy

The Pentagon needs "creative destruction" of some of its programs, says Richard Danzig.


McCain, Obama share some views on security

Both want more troops on the ground and both reject many of President Bush's policies; differences emerge on nuclear weapons, defense spending and the priority placed on the war in Afghanistan.


Veterans groups seek funding in advance

Groups want the VA to get its health care money on day one of each fiscal year, instead of dealing with routine delays in the budget process.


Marine Corps seeks return to its role as a naval force

After fighting alongside the Army in Iraq for five years, the Corps now needs new -- and expensive -- equipment.


Wear and tear adds up on military aircraft

New F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft are coming onstream, but the Air Force and Navy will be flying many 20-to-50-year-old planes for the foreseeable future.


On the sea and in the air, military bills come due

Air Force planes and Navy ships are reaching the end of their work lives, but current conflicts pinch new purchases.


As military begins to draw down, National Guard ramps up

Overall force levels in Iraq returning to pre-surge levels, but Guard units are mobilizing in large numbers.


Thin line separates aggressive fighting from war crimes

The somewhat ambiguous rules of warfare make the snap judgments that combat requires even more difficult.


Air Force’s commitment to new bomber a matter of debate

The service has said it will fly upgraded version by 2018, but analysts aren’t sure how serious the effort is.


Boeing stands to make a comeback at Air Force

Company has a decent chance of winning tanker and cargo plane contracts, despite procurement scandal several years ago.


New style of war key to success in Iraq

Changes in how Humvees are used, rather than in the vehicles themselves, may help reduce death rates.


Iraq burden shifts from reserves to regular active duty troops

The Guard and Reserves may have a bigger role in Iraq in 2008, leaving this year as one to regroup.