Colin Clark

Colin Clark, the founding editor of Breaking Defense, is now our Indo-Pacific Bureau Chief, based in Sydney, Australia. In addition to his foundational efforts at Breaking Defense, Colin also started, the world’s first all-online defense news website. He’s covered Congress, intelligence and regulatory affairs for Space News; founded and edited the Washington Aerospace Briefing, a newsletter for the space industry; covered national security issues for Congressional Quarterly; and was editor of Defense News. Colin is an avid fisherman, grill genius and wine drinker, all of which are only part of the reason he relishes the opportunity to live in Australia. [email protected]

Posts by Colin Clark

America’s weapons seem to always cost more than the Pentagon expects or the American taxpayer hopes. For much of the last decade the Air Force in particular has been the poster boy for soaring costs, badly managed programs and the odd bit of corruption or incompetence. Tanker, F-35, Space-based Infrared System, NPOESS, Light Air Support planes for Afghanistan. The list is long and depressing.

This article was originally published by our colleagues on AOL Defense.

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It is my favorite defense-related story of the Christmas season: NORAD, the command responsible for tracking possible airborne threats to America tracks Santa as he roams the globe.

In addition to tracking Santa on the day, the site offers Santa Cams that show Santa at locations around the globe, as well as lots of Christmas music and some games. Keep reading →

The Obama administration is getting ready to change the way the government handles cybersecurity.

The White House has drafted an executive order, a draft of which is currently circulating among federal agencies for approval, mirroring cyber legislation that recently failed to get through a Senate vote. Among other things, the order shunts much of the enforcement and management of cybersecurity issues to federal agencies. We understand that, contrary to some earlier news reports, the classified portion of the order does not contain significant new authorities but details those already existing. Keep reading →

Once upon a time there was the Packard Commission, convened during the Reagan Administration to find fixes for the Pentagon’s terrible record in buying weapons. They took too long, cost too much and often didn’t do what they were supposed to do. Since then, things have only gotten worse: weapons continue to cost too much, take too long and often don’t do what they are supposed to do.

The Packard Commission, which produced its report in 1986, called for creation of an acquisition czar and recommended an array of other changes to what it then said was not a “rational system” for buying and building America’s weapons. Frank Kendall, who occupies the position of czar (known formally as the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics) today announced the Obama Administration’s second iteration of a rash of reforms he hopes and expects will begin to fix things. Keep reading →

Hope springs eternal, even here in the nation’s capital. After the election, both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner made nice noises. And many pundits hailed this, believing either that sequestration would get kicked down the road a fur piece or a Simpson-Bowles’ grand bargain was in the works.

The big sticking point — at least rhetorically — had been that the Democrats want higher taxes on those earning more than a quarter of a million dollars each year and the GOP does not. Then came the electorate’s rejection of Mitt Romney and the Democrat’s better than expected performance in the Senate. Add to that the defeat of several high profile Tea Party candidates and some argued that the stage was set for compromise. Keep reading →

As FEMA, firemen, police and the National Guard wade into the devastation visited upon us by Hurricane Sandy, many of them are using maps and other information made available to them by intelligence agencies.

While intelligence analysts and their technical specialists usually spend their time targeting bad guys and helping troops plan to get them, some of them have gotten the rare and welcome chance to help their own countrymen at home several times since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Keep reading →

The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate, killing US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and four others, apparently maintained web, cell and radio silence before they acted, giving the US no hint an attack was imminent.

“If people do not emit or discuss their behavior, it’s hard to find out what they are going to do,” Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper said at the huge annual conference of intelligence professionals called Geoint. The U.S., he made clear, did not have tactical warning of the attacks. He noted that there were anti-American protests in 54 countries when the attacks occurred, clearly implying the intelligence community had its hands full that day. Keep reading →

The United States is “losing the cyber espionage war” against China, Russia and other countries, but even in the face of such a grave threat the country cannot agree on how to protect its precious intellectual seed capital from these predations, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says.

“We are running out of time on this,” Rep. Mike Rogers, respected for working closely with his ranking member, said in a speech at today’s Intelligence and National Security Alliance‘s (INSA) cyber conference here. Keep reading →

For the first time in its storied history, the secretive builder and operator of America’s spy satellites, the National Reconnaissance Office, will be run by a woman.

In the best Washington tradition, the news went out just before 5 p.m on a Friday when the NRO’s director in waiting, Betty Sapp, sent an email to her colleagues. Sapp, currently principal deputy director at the spysat agency, will move up one slot and replace NRO Director Bruce Carlson, who many credit with turning around the agency’s problem-plagued acquisition system. Keep reading →

The United States will police the globe, respond to disasters and shape the international environment much as it has –though our sharpest focus will be on China and the western Pacific — but it will do all that with a significantly smaller land force than it currently has.

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